3 Ideas: What Did Money Do For You?


written by oz chen

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Welcome to the Rich List, a weekly newsletter of 3 ideas to increase your wealth, well-being and wisdom.

Personal update

It’s been more difficult to write this week’s newsletter.

Last Sunday, I woke up with blurry vision. “OK, more tired than usual” I thought it would pass.

It didn’t. My right eye saw double. It’s called diplopia, and the effect is particularly strong with text. If I use just my right eye to look at text, there will be a ghosted image of the same text right underneath it.

I find it funny and predictable that I feel the most grateful in situations like this. I’m grateful for…

  • The condition not being life threatening; I’m still get on with everyday tasks albeit with reduced vision
  • My girlfriend waited with me in the Kaiser ER from 10PM – 3AM. She’s an angel.
  • My sisters (both doctors) giving me medical advice
  • Switching out of Kaiser Permanente (HMO) to Blue Shield (PPO) next year.

It’s from this perspective of gratitude that I write this week.

I’m grateful for you reading this. Regardless of the # of subscribers (currently 640), it means a lot that I have this way of communicating 1:1 with you. It always surprises me when a friend or acquaintance of mine mentions they read my newsletter. If that’s you, say hi!

Happy Thanks Giving!

Idea 1: What did money do for you?

I once read a poem about a woman who turned her relationship with her body around.

Instead of criticizing the current state of her body (not thin enough, wrinkles, too fat…) , she thought of her body as a vehicle, separate from her ego and there in service for her.

That led to the question: What did my body do for me?

I tried answering this question, and there was gratitude:

Thank you body, for digesting my food. Thank you body, for breathing automatically. Thank you body, for carrying me through this life.

My financial therapy brain turned on: we can do the same with money.

It’s worth separating money from our identity, and think of it as a vehicle that brings us to where we are today.

What did money do for me?

Thank you, money, for…

Feeding me
Putting a roof over my head
Bringing me to this point in my life

Even small gratitude balances out the negativity bias we’re all predisposed to.

If this speaks to you, will you try it and tell me how it goes?

Idea 2: How I shop on Black Friday

Hard switch—yes, I partake in the consumerist chaos that is Black Friday.

Here’s a peek into my process of how I (try to) stay in budget and maximize my savings:

  1. I start with a budget and list. My rule of thumb of how much to spend: “Can I easily save and invest the same amount?” If my budget is $500, then I’ll transfer $500 to my investment accounts first.
  2. Search for items on Slickdeals to suss out where the good deals are.
  3. Add offers to credit cards: cards like Chase and Amex have offers you can add to your card for some amount of cash back. For example, I dig Rhone shorts and Amex is offering $25 back on $125 spend.
  4. Triple dip when checking out: Get the Honey and Rakuten extensions installed on your browser (doesn’t work well on mobile) for extra cash back at checkout.
    • Tip: some sites will let you “turn on” Honey first, then you can activate the cash back on Rakuten to get 2 cash backs from the same place. Then, use a cash back card when you check out.

Resource: Here’s a spreadsheet I use to budget purchases (it automatically prompts you to make a copy in Google Sheets)

Or…you can opt out and just chillax.

Idea 3: I choose to not buy that

As a money coach, I get triggered when people say “I can’t afford it.”

I want people to feel empowered about money.

The way to do this is to bring money into our realm of control. Here are new money scripts worth practicing:

  • This is not in my budget.
  • I’m not going to buy that.
  • I do not value this that highly.
  • This is not a high priority purchase.
  • This does not align with my financial plan.

These scripts don’t talk about a purchase being too expensive; neither is it rooted in your financial ability. They’re rooted in what you choose to do with your money.

Doesn’t that feel so much better than I can’t afford it?

Just for fun

A heartwarming post of a music center forgiving loans of a mother who borrowed money to pay for her son’s trumpet. “Tough times never last; tough people do.”

liked this article? tell your mom, tell your kids


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