Notes from the online course – How to Be Your Own Life Coach – Lesson 9. – Money: Abundant Living

Recommended Reading:

Abundant living, put simply, is about appreciating the money that you have and using it to meet your needs. Whether what you have is a little or a lot, you can live abundantly as long as you can pay your bills.

Too often we spend our time comforting ourselves with money; this may occur in an obvious way, such as growing our ego as we grow our bank account or less obviously like buying an ice cream cone when we’ve had a hard day. Sometimes a person may see someone homeless, then go in an electronics store and drop $200 just to remind themselves that they can; this tends to occur most often with people that, at one time or another, did not have enough to make ends meet.


Retrieve your bank statement (or pull it up online) and take out your journal. Try to identify any purchases that you made with the intention of comforting yourself, no matter how big or small, and write it (and the amount of money it cost) down. Did you order pizza because you had a long day? Go out with the boys and drink too much because you had a fight with your wife? Whatever the reason, if comforting yourself was the goal, it goes on the list.

Now, total it up.

Now imagine what you could have done with that money.

There is not anything wrong with having a special treat, but a treat on a good day goes a whole lot further than a treat on a bad day.

Living abundantly is a great deal about your attitude; once again, we recognize that having a grateful heart can go a very long way. Just as you might remind yourself about how much you love your child when they’ve done something awful, you must also sometimes remind yourself about how much you have when you cannot have something you want.


Now, using your journal, write down all of the things that you have (in general terms). You may have a loving spouse, a safe place to live, food in the fridge, but not much else. Now imagine you have a huge mansion filled with wonderful things and no one to share them with. What you have quickly begins to look better. If you are single, is not it great that you may already know what to be really grateful for so that you can focus on developing healthy relationships rather than accumulating stuff?

The next part of this activity may be a struggle, but is worth every second; you may need more time so if you need to break this up over several days, that’s totally okay:

Write down everything that you own that you do not absolutely need.

Everything: every extra stitch of clothing, desserts, multiple shoes, movies, music, you name it. If you do not need it to live or to work, it goes on the list. Your list may be very different than someone else’s; you are your own life coach, so it is up to you to determine if an item is truly necessary or not.

Now look at the list of “extras” you have. Think about how many of them you thought were necessities when you bought them, but really are not. Imagine if you lost everything today how nothing that made it onto that list would be anywhere that you would be worried about. Many of us tend to buy things because we like buying. It feels good. Whether it is comfort or ease or impulse, we buy things that we do not need, oftentimes with money we do not have.


Appreciating all that you do have is the first step towards tackling your money woes and your shopping habit. The second step is to identify things that do not take any extra money (or a very minimal amount) that bring you pleasure. A few suggestions to get you started are as follows:

  • Bubble baths
  • Walks in the park
  • Playing with your pet
  • Reading
  • Eating a favorite fruit
  • A picnic date
  • Breakfast in bed, etc.
Whenever you find yourself needing comfort, fun, or simply something to do, you will realize how many options you may really have. If you find yourself craving a shopping trip or want to get something for yourself on impulse, see if you can keep it inexpensive (a new-to-you book from a used book shop is a good example) or have it meet more than one need (eating a favorite fruit also gets you good nutrients and can offset hunger).

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