69: The Truth Behind I Can’t Afford It

How often do you say the words 'I can't afford it'? I'm pretty sure that you have told yourself on one or many occasions that you can't afford something.   It seems legit, right? Now, I would like to put a little spanner in the works here and suggests that the thought I can't afford it, is actually not true. So often we say that we can't afford something, when actually we can.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The lies you tell yourself and how to stop it
  • Why you should stop saying 'I can't afford it'
  • How to stop blocking yourself from what you want
  • How to shift your thinking from disempowering to empowering
  • The opportunity cost of believing you can't afford something

You can listen to the episode above or read the unedited transcript below.


Meaghan Smith  00:20

Hello, beautiful people. And welcome to another episode of the money mindful Podcast. I am your host, Meaghan Jean Smith. I am a money mindset and life coach for women. I help women get out of their own way, using mindset tools, so they can create the extraordinary life that they want to live on purpose.

Meaghan Smith  00:44

Okay, good stuff, let's get into it. I want to explore the concept of I can't afford it today with you. And the truth about that. I'm guessing, in fact, I'm pretty sure that you have told yourself on one or many occasions that you can't afford something, whatever that is, whether it's an item of clothing, something that you want to do a course or something that you want to participate in, and you've had a moment where you've thought to yourself, I can't afford it seems legit, right? Seems believable. Yeah, no, I can't get that because I can't afford it. Now, I would like to put a little spanner in the works here and suggests that that concept that thought I can't afford, it is actually not true. A lot of the time. Now, don't get me wrong. On occasion, there might be something that you want to buy. And yes, you literally do not have the money in your account to buy it. And maybe you won't have money coming into your account anytime soon, because of whatever reason, I don't know, maybe you don't work, maybe you've just lost your job, I'm not sure. I'm not saying that there's never instances where there's something that you want to buy, and you don't have the money for it. That's not what I'm saying. And I want to make sure there's a clear distinction between an item that you want to purchase, whatever that is, whether it's an actual consumable, good car, of course, coaching, whatever, yes, you may not have the exact amount of dollars in your bank account. That's different from saying I can't afford it. And I'm going to explain to you what I mean, by that, I'm pretty sure you probably understand the concept that we get better at what we practice, right? any activity that we participate in, if we practice in general, we get better at doing it. And before we know it, it becomes a habit. Right? We practice something, we get really good at it. And then we don't even think about it, it just becomes part of our being. And I want to offer to you that we do that. With that, with that thought that concept. I can't afford it. Yeah, think about that for a minute. Sometimes we're so conditioned, we're so practiced at saying I can't afford it, that we actually tell ourselves and believe it that we can't afford something before we have even questioned the validity of that. And if it's actually even true. Now often we say that we can't afford something, when we actually can afford it. We literally have the money in the bank to pay for it. But we're making a choice not to spend the money on that item. But instead of saying, I'm choosing not to spend my money on this item, we tell ourselves and we even speak it publicly. We say Oh, I can't afford that. Why is this a problem?

Meaghan Smith  04:34

Let me tell you, there's a few reasons. The first is that we get better at what we practice, like I just said. So if you're always practising that thought, I can't afford it. Guess what? That's what you always see. That's that's what you you live through. That's what you see your life through that filter. I can't afford it. The problem with that is this is that, then you block yourself from things that you want, that you actually can afford. But you don't even allow yourself to be able to afford it or think that you can afford it. Because you're so practised at thinking that you can't afford certain things. Because most probably, you're quite fine with spending 20 or $30,000 a year on rent, or mortgage, but to spend $20,000 or $30,000, on something else that is different to that, that you're not used to spending money on. Like, for example, investing in shares or investing in a coach or something along those lines that you've never done before. You you initially might just say, Oh, I couldn't possibly afford that. When in actual fact, you haven't even taken the time to examine whether that's even true. Now, another reason why I think it's a good idea to not practice that thought I can't afford it. Is that saying you can't afford it is very disempowering. It's, it comes from a place of, it's out of your control, like, Oh, well, I can't afford that. Instead, think about whether you might be open to saying something like, I'm not choosing to spend my money on that. There's so much more power in thinking from that perspective, I'm choosing not to spend $5,000 on a handbag, because spending $5,000 on a handbag is something that's not a priority to me. And yes, that's something that's Wouldn't that be nice to have. But at the end of the day, I don't really care if I have a $5,000 handbag or not. And I'm choosing to spend that money on something else, I'm choosing to spend that $5,000 on paying my rent, or I'm choosing to spend that $5,000, on paying for my health insurance, whatever it is, but can you see the distinction between saying I can't afford it, and how disempowering that is? Then to say, I'm choosing not to spend my money on that. And the reason why this is so important, is because when we take ownership over how we spend our money and what we're spending our money on, as opposed to just saying I can't afford it and accepting that is that we open the door to being able to spend money on things that we actually want to spend money on. But we thought that maybe we couldn't. And I just want to share a story with you about when I was first considering doing coach training, the very first thought that came to my mind was I can't afford it. I did exactly what I'm telling you not to do is that I just thought I can't afford it. I think I've mentioned before, when you do the currency conversion works out if I round up to being about $30,000. That's what I spent on coach training. And at the time, I had never spent that kind of money on myself before, upfront, right outside of university fees that in Australia, we can put on HECS and it's it's a bit of a different system, because you can pay it off over time. Whereas this was this money, I had to pay this money upfront pretty much. And my brain just offered to me, that's too much money. I can't afford that. Because I had never spent that much money before on something for myself in terms of education. But here's the thing, I actually could afford it. And I did afford it. And I did spend the money. And I was able to do it.

Meaghan Smith  09:26

I'm letting you know this because I think often we stop ourselves, we limit ourselves because of ways that we think on repeat that we've practised with practice thinking this way. Like all we don't spend $5,000 or $10,000 or $30,000 on doing a courses or investing in ourselves or buying shares or what have you. We're not used to doing it. It's not part of our self concept and so The first place we go to is oh I can't afford it. And I want to encourage you, the way to change this is to get really curious. Okay, be open, be willing to question the validity of that thought, like whether you can't afford something or not. And if it's even helpful to say, I can't afford it, like, how is that even helpful in any way, I think it's far more helpful to say I'm choosing to spend my money on something else. Because in this instance, I may have never enrolled in coach training, if I'd kept going down that thought that thought pattern of I can't afford this. And I want you to consider when you're thinking about investing in yourself, or investing in something that's important to you, that you that you actually really want to do. Be willing to, to go there be willing to explore that maybe the way that you're thinking about it, you could be wrong, right. And even if you don't have the money sitting in your bank it because I didn't have $30,000 in cash ready to go ready to pay upfront, right, I had some of the money, I didn't have all of it. Now, I could have chosen to save up for it. But the truth be told, is that I think I'd probably still be saving for it now, and still not have done coach training if I had gone down that avenue. Because there's always something that comes up, there's always something that you can spend your money on, there's always a car expense or whatever. And when I just made the decision that I could afford it, and that I was going to pay for it, I just created the money. And what I mean by that is that when money when income came in to a household, I chose where I allocated that money to go. And a lot of that money I allocated to pay for Coach training. Right. And also, there was one month or something that I didn't have the money. And I because it was paid over a couple of payments, I put it on my credit card, but then I was able to pay it off relatively quickly. And what I'm hoping that you're getting from me explaining this to you is that I was actually I actually could afford it, I was able to do it. And if I'd kept believing the lie that I couldn't afford it and hadn't done it. I want to offer to you, what's the impact when you don't do something, because you think that you can't afford it, when you actually haven't taken the time to explore it. It's just some it's just not part of your self concept. You've just never done something like that before, like spent that much money. So the first place you go to is I can't afford it. And so then you don't do it because it feels really uncomfortable to spend that kind of money. But what does it actually cost you when you don't do it? Because I think of my life. Now, the fact that I work from home, in the evenings and during school hours, I'm earning money on my terms, I have a whole new career, I have a whole new way, the lifestyle way that I live my life, my relationship with my children, my family. It's all changed because of my own self concept of who I am how I show up, because I did this training, and I'm now a life coach, right? What is the cost if I hadn't have done that I would be missing out on so much just from a simple little thought I can't afford it. And then a simple little feeling of discomfort, feeling uncomfortable spending the money because I just had never spent that money before. So just to wrap up in summary, if there is something that you want to do,

Meaghan Smith  14:14

and your first thought that comes up is I can't afford it. I would love to encourage you to get really curious be really open to examine and question that thought consider whether it's actually the truth and be willing to explore it a little a little bit dig deep. Because by not doing that by not be willing to explore and just accepting that thought I can't afford it. I want you to consider what you're blocking yourself from what are you missing out on? Because you're just having a thought that you're well practised at that you've just decided that you can't afford something When in actual fact, you probably can. Now, I just want to end on a final note to say, if you are currently in extreme debt, you're about to go bankrupt, you don't have a job, you're in extreme financial hardship. I'm not suggesting that you should just turn around and spend money on whatever you want to, because you just have this desire that you'd like to get something, I'm, I'm just saying, Be willing to look at yourself what you think, what you're creating in your life, because I can't tell you how many times when I've been working with clients, and they've told me something like, ah, but you know, I don't think I could really afford that. And then, you know, five minutes later, they're telling me how they've got, I don't know, $20,000 in the bank or something. And there's something that they really are passionate about, and want to do that costs way less than $20,000. But it's just because they can't get over the fact that they think it's expensive, or something like that, and that the first place their brain goes to is I can't afford it. And then they stop themselves from moving forward and doing something that they really want to do that could have an incredible impact on their life. All just because they never even thought to question whether that thought is even true. If you find yourself thinking, I can't afford it, maybe that is the truth. Maybe there's something that you want to buy, and you really can't afford it, you really don't have the money in the bank, I want to encourage you that even if that's the case, it's not helpful thinking I can't afford it. Because it creates a barrier between you and what you want. Instead, I'd love to encourage you to think I'm choosing to spend my money on something else, or I'm working towards creating the money for this thing. Because those thoughts are so much more empowering, than I can't afford it. Okay, that's all I've got for you today. If you would like to take any of the work deeper that you hear me talking about on the podcast, I would love for you, I'd love to invite you too, have a consult with me. If you're not sure what happens on a consult, I'm going to tell you now, basically, we talk online for about 45 minutes to an hour, you get to tell me about you and all the amazing things about you. But then you also get to tell me about the stuff that you're struggling with and the things that you want to change in your life. And over the course of that hour. By doing some exercises with me, I asked you lots of questions, you will learn more about yourself in that hour than you probably have ever realised we get to we look at exactly what the problems are that you're experiencing at the moment, the challenges, why you're experiencing those challenges and exactly what you can do about it. It's an amazing way to spend an hour whether you choose to work with me or not you walk away with that information. So I'd love to invite you that if you're curious about what all this life coaching is and you're interested in finding out what that might look like working with me book a consult, it's really easy to do, you can do it on my website. I have a scheduling thingamajiggy on there. And yeah, we get to meet and talk and help you with your life. All right. That's it for me today. Have a beautiful week. Bye Bye.

Episode references

Be sure to join in on book club this month.  You can find out all the info and get the book here.

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