I’ll never forget the first time I shopped with Garrett. It was years ago in Aruba, and I said I wanted to buy a pair of sunglasses. So we went to a sunglass store. I picked up one pair and tried them on, but they didn’t fit well. So I picked up another pair, tried them on, and walked to the register.
I was buying them.
Garrett sat with his jaw dropped. He had never seen anything happen so fast.
But I knew what style, brand, and color I wanted. I knew the range I was willing to spend. So the shopping was just to make sure it fit and to exchange the money.
Anyone who’s ever worked with me as a client knows that I pay an invoice immediately. If I’m at my computer when I get it, it might happen within seconds. If not, it might take me a few hours to pay. But I pay the moment I get an invoice in. I also schedule payments for bills the second it hits my inbox.
Because, in my mind, the energetic exchange had already been made. I had mentally already spent that money. So this was just a formality.
I never thought this was abnormal until an energy worker pointed it out to me. That the way a person spends and relates to their money says a lot their way of being in the world.
And now I can’t not see it. With every client, with every Circler or Masterminder, how a person pays and signs up shares important wisdom about what’s going on for them. And how I pay in any situation shares a lot of important wisdom about me, too.
For example, I’m typically very decisive with my money. I have a pretty good idea of how much is in very account and on every card at all times. So it’s easy to make on-the-spot decisions. But, on the flipside, I hardly ever window shop. I don’t even consider a purchase unless I already feel like it’s a good investment. Because, for me, most of the shopping happens way before I enter a store or check out someone’s website. I mentally decide what I need,
I could probably count on two hands how many coaches, consultants, programs, or courses I’ve ever bought. I say no a lot. But always way before the payment page.
I remember telling Garrett that there’s no such thing as window-shopping for dogs with me. If we make the decision to look on PetFinder, I’m walking away with a dog. When Garrett finally let me tell people about our relationship, I chose to write it to the world. And I’m constantly de-cluttering and throwing things out. If Garrett hasn’t used it in a year and can’t tell me a specific occasion he’ll need it on, it’s donated or trashed.
But that’s very different than many people I work with. Some get an invoice and sit on it—deciding if they should do this or not at the moment of payment. Some say they’re running to sign up and then get busy and don’t. Some pay a week after getting an invoice. Some get very uncomfortable and disappear when they said they were going to pay and then don’t—only to resurface months later and apologize.
And there’s no judgment on way or the other. We all have different relationships to money and different ways of payment. But the way we pay says a lot about the way we show up and exist in the world.
If my payment style changes, I’m going to pay attention. Becomes it means something’s shifting in me.
I didn’t used to be so knowledgeable about my finances. A time not terribly long ago, I was an avoider. So much so that I didn’t even use credit cards. Because I was too terrified to get a bill. I’d rather just pay on debit to not have to ever look at or think about money. And, fortunately, I made enough money, that I never had to worry.
Not surprisingly, I was an avoider at other things in life. I avoided going to the doctor’s. I avoided seeing a therapist. I avoided understanding or dealing with my feelings. I avoided leaving my job and starting work that I truly, truly loved. I avoided dealing with bad relationships.
As I started to pay differently—and become more discerning with my payments—I realized that the same thing was happening in other places. I had less friendship but more nourishing ones. I had less clothing but more quality pieces. I had a smaller home but a much more luxurious one. I had a smaller team but people who were the exact right fits.
My relationship to money and payment changed in line with my other inner changes. And told me a lot about how I was showing up in the world.
For all the time we collectively think about and talk about money, it always surprises me how little we look at money as a self-discovery tool. Without judgment or shame. Without telling ourselves that we’re bad or wrong or having money blocks. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. Who am I to say?
But the way we spend our money—or time—is essentially the way we spend our energy. Or, rather, the way we show up in the world. And we can learn a lot from that.
What kind of spender are you? Are you decisive, impulsive, conservative, avoidant? Do you wait to pay or pay right away? Do you buy a lot or very little? Do you spend mostly on yourself or mostly on others? Do you struggle to spend in some areas but not in others?
There’s infinite wisdom in how we spend our money. And our enthusiasm—or reluctance—to spend in any given situation tells us a lot about our own fears, hopes, concerns, and desires.
It gives us vital information about the patterns that are playing out in our lives. And how we can begin to change them, if we choose.