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In this week’s podcast we talked about the way that as a culture we seem to have totally normalised the idea that we ‘don’t do numbers’. 

In a way that we’d never say we don’t do words.

Because while illiteracy is a taboo, innumeracy seems to be something we have no issue at all claiming with pride. Often entirely spuriously. 

For the record this is nothing at all to do with those people that genuinely struggle with both. Of course not.

I’m talking about those of us who happily and unashamedly proclaim that actually, we are completely disengaged from anything numerate as if it’s no big deal at all.

And from my unscientific study, it’s amazing to me quite how many of us cemented these opinions when we were at school.

Perhaps we had a terrible experience learning maths and checked out before we left school.

Maybe we are competent enough but have just decided we’d rather focus on other things and so saying ‘we don’t do numbers’ is shorthand for a time deficit instead.

You might be someone who has created a label for yourself or have been labelled by others, as creative or arty (categories of people I absolutely adore for the record), with the implicit understanding that creativity and numeracy are mutually exclusive and cannot happily co-exist.

Total rubbish of course.

Here are some other lies we need to throw in the bin to free ourselves of financial self-tyranny:

  1. Money doesn’t buy happiness – it doesn’t but it certainly buys options. Don’t allow anyone to make you believe that you are not entitled to build a solid financial foundation and use your money to fulfil your dreams. This belief is dangerous because it inadvertently leads to financial self sabotage. Whether it’s not negotiating your true value, allowing others to take advantage of you because you don’t believe you are entitled to have money, or adopting a fatalistic approach to your finances that sees you failing to properly financially plan, don’t let this be you.
  2. People like me don’t earn money like that – perhaps you grew up in a household or a community in which there wasn’t a lot of money around and so you’ve normalised struggle instead of ease. This is a big one to unlearn. You are entitled to it all.
  3. I don’t have the time to pay attention to my finances – we make time for everything else don’t we? It’s like me complaining that the girls procrastinate every morning getting dressed for school before realising that I easily kill an hour between 5:30 and 6:30 each morning, fully awake but with no discernible output while complaining that I don’t have time for a 10 minute yoga stretch. Cringey seeing that written down but it’s true. 

If I can commit to 10 minutes each morning, what can you do in 10 minutes each day on your finances? Whether it’s reading a personal finance book, checking a pension statement, or listening to a few minutes of a money podcast let’s take a baby step that counts.

What other lies about money do you need to throw in the bin? Let’s get it off our chests!

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