27: Victim or Badass

I’m in a lot of Facebook groups that are about money.  Recently, I was following a thread on one such group.

A woman made a comment that went something like this:  She still had enough money to cover her rent for a period of time but her and her partner had lost their jobs due to COVID19 and she wanted to hear from others about their experiences.

There were a lot of comments on the thread.  From tenants, landlords and property managers.  It was very interesting.

There were a lot of emotionally charged comments being shared and before you write to me with ruffled feathers I want to encourage you to listen with an open mind because I don’t believe many of the women writing the comments in the thread are conscious of the results they are creating in their life with this thinking and in the interest of empowering women to make more money, I want to call it out.

There was one woman, let’s call her Jenny, who was firm in her view that owning an investment property put you in a better position financially and that the landlord could simply sell their investment and they would be better off than the people who were renting.  In addition to this she said that landlords should be offering a discount and was disappointed that she had not been offered a discount.

Now she may well be correct, maybe that particular landlord would be better off if they sold their investment.  We will never know.  But here is what we do know.

Let’s separate out the story from the facts.

A landlord is a man or woman who rents out land, a building, or accommodation.

A tenant is a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

A lease is a contract by which, one party conveys, land, property, service etc. to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment.

When a tenant rents a property from a landlord, commonly the transaction is facilitated by a third party. The real estate agent draws up a lease and all parties agree to the terms.  The landlord agrees to rent the property and the tenant agrees to pay for a specified time.  There are usually other conditions agreed to that are outlined in the lease.

Now they are the facts of the matter.

Here is the story part.

We make up stories in our mind based on our thoughts, we all do it.

Now Jenny the woman in my example has a story about landlords.  Who they are, what they can and can’t afford.  How well off they are.

Now I want to point this out because we have no idea about the landlord.  Right?

What story do you have about your landlord?

What kind of person they are?  How much money they have?

I don’t know how many times I have heard about those bloody baby boomers who have all the money and have bought all the properties and because of that we can’t afford to buy and we are all poor.  Okay so maybe that is a slight exaggeration.

But what are the actual facts and what is the story you have decided, based on your beliefs, background and experiences?

As a property investor myself I can tell you that I am not a special species.  I didn’t turn into an arsehole when I invested in my first property, right?

There are property investors or landlords who are not nice people, there are landlords who are lovely people.  There are wealthy people who are amazing and loving and generous and wealthy people who are arseholes.  There are also middle class and poor people who are arseholes.  It’s not black and white.  Having money or being an investor doesn’t make you a bad person but if you view ‘people like that’ in that vein, you will never be someone with wealth.

Money just amplifies the person you already are.

Now I would urge you to question your beliefs about your landlord or the people in your life that you perceive to have money.

Why?

Because it affects your ability to create wealth for yourself, full stop.

And by the way, you can think whatever you want but I want to ask you, if you have a thought like ‘my landlord doesn’t care’ or they’re an arsehole’ ask yourself how you feel when you think those thoughts? Is it serving you to think this way? Does it feel good to think this way?

I mean maybe they are an arsehole but how does that make you feel about where you live?  I can’t imagine it feels very good right?

What if you choose to think something like 'I love this house and I’m so grateful it’s available for me'.   Totally different vibe yeah?

Now to my second point.

Jenny was disappointed her landlord hadn’t offered her a discount on her rent.  Don’t be that person and here is why.

When it comes to money, do you want to be a victim or a badass?

To the person wanting the discount, okay sure, that would be pretty cool right if a landlord said ‘hey I’m going to discount the rent.’  Sure, great I can see why that is appealing.  Just like if something was discounted in a shop.  If my landlord said that, I would say ‘great thanks.’  Unexpected, but if someone wants to throw money at me great, who am I to argue?

The point here though, is that she wants her landlord to make her life easier.  She has unintentional thoughts about people with money or about who landlords are and what they should do. It’s not your landlord’s job to look after you.

It is your job to look after you.

You have agreed to pay your landlord an amount of money in exchange for having a property to live in.  That’s it.  Just like you pay an amount of money to buy milk at the super market.  It’s a monetary exchange for value provided.  And as a side note, you actually have no idea about your landlord.  They could be barely scraping by.  They might be mortgaged up to the eyeballs, renting out their family home because they had to move for work.  They might be struggling to pay their rent and cover the shortfall of the mortgage. They might be out of work too because of the pandemic.  On the other hand, they might own 20 properties and be rolling in it, who knows.

You really have no idea.

Paying your rent is a good thing.  How much value do you get from having somewhere to live? Amazing, right?  Think about it.  I love paying my rent.  I love paying my water and electricity bill.

Why? Because how amazing is it to have shelter.  How amazing is it to have a shower and drinking water in your home?  I want to pay for those things because I value them so much.

I can hear you asking, but Meaghan we are in a pandemic, we should be getting cheaper rent.  Those ‘rich’ landlord people should be making it easier on the rest of us.  No, why should we be getting a discount?

Let me tell you another story to give you a comparison.   One of my clients was telling me a story that she had recently negotiated with her landlord to not raise the rent.   She had received a notice that the rent was going to go up.  However, her work hours had reduced at work so she rang the agent and negotiated with them to not raise the rent.  This was pre COVID19.

The result of that call was, that the landlord kept the rent at the same price for an agreed period of time.

Now the difference here is my client is a badass.  She took responsibility for her circumstances.  She did not sit around waiting and wishing for her landlord to offer her something.

And the beauty here is everyone has choices, my client’s landlord may have said no.  My client may have chosen to move out who knows we all have choices.  But she didn’t sit around waiting for someone to save her. She took action.

Jenny on the other hand is the victim.

Now, don’t misunderstand me.  If I had lost all my income and was struggling financially, I would absolutely take action and contact my landlord and every service provider I have to negotiate payment plans or alternative arrangements.  It’s in everybody’s best interested to do this.  This is not being a victim this is being a badass.  I wouldn’t sit on my butt feeling disappointed that I didn’t get offered a discount on my rent.

Are you following me here?

Talking about money and what people do or don’t have can be such a charged subject.

The take away message I hope you have gained from this.  Is that people are just people.  Tenant, landlords, men, women, wealthy, poor, we are all humans.  Living the human experience.

Create awareness around your money stories.  Are they true?  What are the facts?  And what is the story you have made up?

Do you want to be someone who take responsibility for your life and circumstances or do you want to blame someone else for your circumstances?

You get to decide. Here is the good news.

You create it all. 

If you want to take this work deeper and explore the thoughts you have and what they are creating in your life email me at Meaghan@moneymindful.com.au to book a free consultation.

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2 Comments

  1. Laurel FreelandMay 7, 2020

    Victim or Badass is one of your best podcasts. It is so powerful to create awareness around our own thoughts and beliefs and how they can take us forward or do us in. This was brilliant Meaghan well done.

    Reply
    1. Meaghan J SmithMay 7, 2020

      Thanks Laurel. I think this is something we can all get caught up in without realising. Sometimes I think we could all do with a reminder that we are in charge of the results we create.

      Reply

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