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Talk your way to financial freedom
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. Feeling trapped by lack of funds? We can learn from those who live comfortably and retire early. They use language differently from those who are stuck in a scarcity process.

1. Banish the word "expensive" from your vocabulary. Replace with, "That's not a priority for me."

"Expensive" is relative.

In my town, a group of people get together every day for coffee and conversation. My neighbor, Jane, refuses to participate "Two dollars for a cup of coffee? " she sniffs. "Expensive!"

When you work at home, you need a break and you want to talk to other like-minded people. The value of coffee is table rent and support. We want to keep the caf� open so we'll have a place to hang out.

My friend "Laura" used to get her nails done every week while she was unemployed and broke and had no interviews lined up. Impractical? Frivolous? Expensive?

For Laura, manicures were a symbol of where she had been and where she will be in the future. She spent money for her priority with no regrets.

2. Banish the sentence "I can't afford it." Replace with, "That's on my wish list."

Adding an item to your official wish list makes a statement. Do you really want a new car, kitchen set or vacation? Or do you realize you already have what you "can't afford?"

Looking around my eclectic collection of living room furniture, I can dream of spending lavishly for designer furniture, ceramic artwork and crystal lamps. I also know these items will never appear on my wish list.

Even the best-mannered cat will deposit an occasional surprise on the couch, and the dog's exuberant personality can leave a trail of broken glass.

Regardless of politics, many of us empathized when the wife of newly-elected Governor Jeb Bush admitted," When you have pets you can't have an elegant home."

Saying "can't afford" puts you in a one-down position. Creating a wish list generates abundance and clarifies values. I'd put "three cats and two dogs" on my wish -- but not "designer furniture."

3. Forbid all talk about what you don't have. Replace with appreciation for what you enjoy now.

Hortensia complains about her lack of money . True, her salary is not high by any standards -- but her job offers security, generous vacation time, and excellent retirement benefits. Her location allows her to hike in the woods and fish in the lakes.

An image of abundance will enhance your strengths. Most of us have more than we realize -- in real as well as abstract terms. I encourage clients to meet with a financial planner, especially if they're facing experiencing career transition. Often a professional review helps people realize they're better off than they realized.

Bottom Line

Talking your way to financial freedom -- simple? Yes, but effective. Try these steps for a week and notice a difference -- first in your thoughts, soon in your life.

� Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is the author of Making the Big Move: How to transform relocation into a creative life transition (New Harbinger, 1999). Reach her at cathy@movinglady.com to share your thoughts.
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