10: In Focus: The $1000 Project

What a week. Wow. This week I have been home sick with bronchitis, head lice attacked the family- yuck,  and my daughter slipped over and cut her eye and now looks like a street fighter with a big black shiner. We found out my partner got into the training program he has been working towards for years, which is amazing and involves us moving interstate. We also went to an awesome gig and watched some of our family sing and play their hearts out and to top it off my eldest daughter turned five. Wow wee living our lives experiencing the full spectrum of emotions.

My coach Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School is always banging on about the 50/50 of life. Fifty percent of the time we experience positive emotion and fifty percent of the time we experience negative emotion. It’s the contrast of life. We wouldn’t know happiness if we had never known sadness. We wouldn’t know peace if we had never experienced conflict. Since learning about this concept I have released a lot of resistance to experiencing the ‘negative’ emotions in my life. It is actually so freeing to have the awareness that we are not meant to be happy 100% of the time. If someone dies I want to experience grief and sadness. I don’t want to feel happy about it! Likewise if I break up with my partner I want to feel that loss and sadness of separation.

This week is a perfect example of this concept. I don’t do sick very well as I find it incredible difficult to sit and do nothing, it brings up a lot negative thinking. I make myself wrong for resting; I think I should be doing more. I end up twice as exhausted as I spend so much time struggling with my own thoughts of unrest. Needless to say being sick is a negative for me. Getting head lice and dealing with treating the whole family, washing all the sheets and clothes not fun. Holding my daughter sobbing in my arms with a face covered in blood- scary. My mind straight away jumps to the worst-case scenario. However, knowing that sometimes I’m going to experience negative emotion gives me so much space and peace around feeling these emotions. Peppered through out it all was so much positive emotion. Getting to watch my daughters run around to my sister in law smashing it out in her debut performance with her band- so fun. Celebrating my daughter’s birthday- an absolute delight.

Learning that we are moving to a new state to start a new life adventure- equal parts fear and excitement. This is the 50/50 of life. Can you relate to this? If we were happy 100% of the time we wouldn’t know what happiness was, we would have nothing to contrast it with. When we accept we are not meant to feel happy 100% of the time it creates so much space in your life. I’d love to encourage you to explore this concept.

I can relate this concept to the book The $1000 Project by Canna Campbell. When it comes to money matters I think money can be approached from a place of abundance or scarcity. I am certainly familiar with taking action from a place of scarcity and the more time I spend on developing awareness around my thoughts and feeling about money the closer I get to creating more often from a place of abundance on the regular but hey I’m a work in progress- aren’t we all.

I love this book for so many reasons but one of the main ones is Canna approaches financial wellbeing from a place of abundance. The premise of the book is to save parcels of money, $1000 at a time or another amount that is suitable to your budget maybe $100 or $500. Canna is a financial advisor who has a You Tube channel all about ways to create money and look after your finances.

She had an ambitious goal to save $40000 in one year by saving $1000 at a time. The rules were that she had to earn this money outside of her regular job. This is the difference that I love about her approach. It’s not about restriction and cutting back on spending to save more. It’s about growing and earning more by doing activities such as selling unwanted items, taking on a side job, doing paid market research among other things. She has a whole list of suggestions, some that she has done herself.

Look I’m all about conscious spending and I think there is some serious power in having awareness around what you spend your money on but the difference here is when you deliberately decide what to spend your money on you are not restricting yourself- tightening up, you are simply redirecting the flow of money to the specific places you want it to go. Take a moment to contemplate this. Look I do it too, I’m certainly a work in progress but be careful around not spending money from a place of scarcity. I read an Instagram post recently about a person who went back to a shop to exchange something to get it 50 cents cheaper. In the overall flow of this in terms of time and money flowing where you want it to go this form of saving money seems to be counter productive. They are using up more money and time in the attempt to save every cent. Is this what you want? Do you want to use your energy on not spending any money and holding it tight, finding ways to keep it and not let it go or do you want to spend your time and energy on creating more? I know I would rather be doing the latter.

I want to dig into this a bit further and explore two examples with you.

Firstly, one of our biggest luxuries is having a cleaner. We pay someone once a fortnight to clean our house. Could we clean it ourselves? Absolutely. Would we be saving money if we did it ourselves? Probably but maybe not. Look I haven’t done a scientific study on this so its only my opinion but I would like to argue in some respects having a cleaner is in alignment with us creating more money in our lives and here’s why:

You have probably heard the saying time is money right? But what about money buys you time? When we think in linear terms yes many of us get paid by the hour so by definition the time we work is equal to the pay we get. What if we could widen our perspective on that concept? What if we looked at creating money not from the perspective of- if I work this 8 hour shift I get x amount of dollars but from the perspective of- I earn money based on how much value I create?

Most of us know how to create money by using our time. Knowing how to create money by the value you create is not as common, although many entrepreneurs and business people are more familiar with this concept. For example when you sell a product or a course you get paid for the value of that product or that course. You might be selling that course online while you are asleep- Once you have created it the money comes in based on it’s value not how many hours you spent making it.

So this is where our cleaner comes in. To me time is more important than money. That is why I would never waste my time going to the super market to exchange something to save 50 cents because my time is way more valuable than that! Having an organised and clean home is very important to me, I place a high value on it. When the house is messy or unclean I find it distracting. I find my attentions often fixes on it and I can get caught up doing the cleaning as opposed to the task at hand that I want to complete.

As I have mentioned in previous episodes we have a couple of investment properties, we have investments in indexed funds, I work part time and I care for my young children when I’m not teaching. I create this podcast every week and take care of my mental health and physical health everyday by practicing yoga and doing thought work with my coach. How do I fit it all in? Well buying time is one of many things I do to allow me to spend the time on activities that help me to grow and create more in my life.

Instead of cleaning the bathroom on the weekend I can spend that quality time with my kids. Instead of flaking out in front of the telly because I haven’t stopped all day I can spend the evening recording a podcast or attending to business to do with our rentals that bring in a passive income for us.

In literal terms yes I would be saving money if I didn’t have the cleaner but the flow on effect from spending that money intentionally is greater in my opinion than the actual amount we spend. What do you think?

My second example relates to The $1000 Project book. One of the examples Canna gives to create some money on the side is to sell unwanted items. I’m in two minds about this and here is why. I don’t tend to sell my things. On occasion I do but usually I don’t. Now I’m going to get a bit woo woo on you here, which is kind of unusual for me but hey here goes.

I quite like giving my things away. I love finding great buys in the op shop and I like the idea that someone else will be delighted finding my things. In addition to this the op shop makes money to support their cause. Doing this means I get to clear stuff out of my house quickly. Instant results and a win-win situation for all.

Here is the woo woo. I also get given a lot of things. This is something I have no control over it just happens. Friends passing on clothes, the generosity of a retailer or restaurant, I just feel like I am extremely fortunate in this way. I have no way of proving this and I can just feel some of you now thinking ok Meaghan you’ve lost me here but I like to believe somehow it is all connected. You create value and put it out into the world and it just comes back to you, it’s quite extraordinary.

On the other hand a couple of months back Louis cleared out and sold some of his old games and devices and made enough to buy himself an awesome new road bike. Amazing- 1. because he created that money so easily and quickly by selling those games and 2. What the heck? As someone who has no interest in computer games I had NO IDEA people place such high value on these games!

Getting back to Canna and her goal to make $40000 by saving smaller parcel $1000 at a time. She ended up making $32000 in 12 months! What a champion. As a side note this is creating goals in action. Okay so she didn’t reach her goal of $40000. So what. If she had not set that goal and worked towards it she would have made zero dollars. By making and taking action towards that goal she not only made $32000 she also grew and evolved as a person because she had to put herself out there, show up and step out of her comfort zone to take action towards her goal. I can’t stress enough how great this is. It’s not about the money or the $40000 it’s about who she had to become to create that result. I will just say that again incase you missed it. It is who she had to become to create that result. SO GOOD!

Reading her book couldn’t have come at a more opportunistic time. As I mentioned earlier Louis got a job offer interstate and in ten short weeks we will be moving.   There is nothing like a move to motivate me to de-clutter. If it is not essential to our everyday life or something we absolutely love it has to go because moving your stuff interstate is not cheap and I certainly don’t want to pay to move and store a bunch of things we don’t even need.

With this in mind I decided selling our unwanted items and putting the money toward the cost of relocating is something I can get behind. If I’m really really honest with myself there is nothing wrong with selling things and often I prefer to give things away simply because it is easier. Let’s face it photographing, listing and posting items to sell requires effort but I’ve said it before and I need to listen to my own advice. If you want the result of something, you have to put in the action to create it. I’m not one for posting all the time but if you are interested I will keep you posted in the Instagram stories. I think it will help keep me accountable too. Let’s put this $1000 project to the test. I just got a quote for the removalist cost and it is going to be upwards of $3500 so let’s see if we can sell that much stuff. Look I’m not going to pretend here. I don’t feel overly confident that we will make that but we sure as hell wont make it if we don’t even try.

I would love you to join me this December in selling all our unwanted goods. There is no better time than before Christmas. Don’t you think? Get rid of all the old; make room for all the new. And of course The $1000 Project isn’t just about selling unwanted items. There are many other examples Canna gives in the book, I’m just concentrating on selling our things as we deliberately have to reduce our things before the move.

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