Beyond Frugality: Money Abundance For 2020



People aren’t too fond of learning about money. Too much of the advice around finances focuses on self-denial and frugal living.

It can be frustrating when you try to focus on your passion(s). A lot of the time you need to spend money: on equipment, materials, tuition… The expenses add up quickly.

What if I told you that tapping into abundance is the opposite of self-denial? It may sound unbelievable, but don’t stop listening just yet. I’ll show you exactly how it works.

Your mission is to learn and apply the principles of joyful money for your passions.

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Task 1: Learn why self-denial doesn’t work


Most people try to save money and never manage. Every time they get ahead, something happens to eat up all their money again. I was once in this sitution myself, and I know it sucks.

Nor am I going to tell you that you can just will yourself out. The truth is, it’s absolutely possible to change your financial destiny, but it requires some dedication and consistency.

Self-denial is counterproductive, because it is restrictive and limiting. You won’t create flow by building barriers. It’s as though two opposing forces of nature were at work.

Money Abundance

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Task 2: Tap into money abundance


Instead of focusing on the lack of money and what you can’t do or buy, focus on what you can and what you already have. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

  • Every time you pay something, say or think: “There’s more where that money came from.” (I learned this from Marie Forleo)
  • Give away 5% of your income. Find a worthy cause or donate spontaneously each month.
  • Create a Passions budget of 5-10% of your income.

You may also look into increasing your earnings and learning to budget, as well as improve your mindset long-term. Take a look at my Money abundance program, read books on personal finances, educate yourself about investing. If you work on it consistently, you’ll notice a huge shift.

Who Owns You Really?



This might sound crazy. After all, if you’re watching this video, you’re almost certainly not a slave physically owned by anyone else!

I’m not talking about actual slavery, but entirely different, subtle forms of ownership. In our day and age, this usually happens through money.

Your mission today is to become aware of who owns you, and then minimise the outside influence.

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Task 1: Become clear on who owns you


Of course we are no longer physically owned by someone who can literally buy and sell us, harm and even kill us. And yet there are people and organisations that have a claim on parts of your life.

If you’re employed, large parts of your time belong to your employer. If you pay off a mortgage or buy anything in installments, you have effectively given away power.

This isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s something you need to be aware of. Create a list of everything you’re paying off or owe.

who owns you

Photo by Christopher Harris on


Task 2: Take back ownership


A bank can take fairly drastic measures against you if you default on loan payments or a mortgage. Here are some steps you can take to gain back control.

Check the list from Task 1 so you’re fully aware of who owns you – or part of you and your time.

  • Separate the wheat from the chaff: For example, if you have a small child, they have a claim on you but that’s not ownership, it’s a natural and temporary duty of care.
  • Follow the money: Some forms of lending are good (mortgages can make a lot of sense, depending on the circumstances). But if you live in your overdraft or have loans for items, you need to re-assess.
  • Get smart about your money: read books, take coaching, go to a financial advisor. Create a plan on how to take back control bit by bit. It won’t happen overnight, so you need long-term support.

Do You Have Money To Spare?

money to spare
“I’d love to go travelling for a few years,” confessed my client, “but I just don’t have the money to spare.”

This last bit made me perk up. I probed a little further, and it turned out that she had this idea in the back of her head, that better-off people simply have money left over. When she thought about it, she admitted that it didn’t make a lot of sense.

I agree. On the whole, I don’t think there are many people – apart from the super-rich – who actually have money “to spare”. In fact, I’m fairly certain that if I were to do a quick poll of when’s the last time you had money left over at the end of the month, you and almost everyone would probably say: “That doesn’t really happen.”

If you’re one of the rare exceptions to this, congratulations! But even in that case, I’d wager that you’d have more money to either save or invest into your dreams if you didn’t pay for everything else first and simply took what was left. And that’s my point here: Money is energy.

Think back to the money you existed on as a student, or when you got your first job. Chances are you’re earning more these days. However, does it feel like you have buckets of cash? Probably not.

The reasons for this phenomenon are manifold. Generally speaking, we adjust our lifestyles to our income without even realising it. Once our available money increases, so does our mindset and subconsiously, our needs as well.

What this means is that you need to come up with a better system if you’d like to have money “to spare”. Fortunately, I’ve got you covered there!

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The one-pot philosophy


You may argue that you can always budget and divide up your income – necessities, savings, gifts, play money, the way you’ve seen me suggest it a number of times if you’ve been following me for a while. Maybe you’ve even tried this method and found that you didn’t stick with your budget.

Before you feel like a failure, let me tell you a story. Imagine you cook a meal – say, a stew? – for a family of five. You divide out the food and tell each of them: “This bowl, that’s your food. Look at it and remember it well.” And then you take the bowls and one by one empty them into a big pot. Each person gets a spoon, they gather around the pot and start eating.

And then you get cross when they don’t “remember” their parts and all start eating whatever hits their spoon first.

It simply can’t work that way, can it? Then why do you expect it to work with your money? If your salary sits in just one account, then all your budgeting won’t help; you’ll keep using money for other purposes than what you’ve budgeted for, and you’ll definitely never have anything left over to save or use for your passions.

Money to spare: Divide and conquer


The best thing to do is to create separate accounts for each purpose. With most banks in the developed world, this is free. I have all my accounts in my mobile banking app at one glance; other banks offer online banking or phone banking. It’s a little hassle to set up all the different accounts, but it’s a necessary step if you’re serious about managing your money.

Some budgets don’t need an account of their own after all, for example your rent or mortgage. My monthly spending money gets withdrawn in cash at the beginning of each month, so no account is needed for that either.

See what works for you and don’t be shy to talk to a bank advisor. If they know their business at all, they’ll congratulate you on being so well-organised. Once your accounts are set up, you can either transfer the necessary amounts each month when your salary comes in, or – if your income is the same each month – you can even set up standing orders for things like the rent.

I can’t fully explain why it works, but once the money is gone from your main current account, it’s far less likely for you to mess up your budget and use money for an expense it wasn’t allocated to.

Try accounts for necessities (rent, bills, food, haircut – ca. 60% of your income), play (ca. 5%), giving (5-10%), education/coaching/workshops (10%), saving (10%) and saving for spending (5-10%). You’ll gain peace of mind as well as funds for the things you love.

3 Steps To Dramatically Change Your Finances Through Focus

change your finances

I’m not exactly rich right now. Two years ago, I’d finished paying off old debts and made a conscious decision to live and to pursue my passions. What followed were a few major expenses. I got my teeth fixed (around 3,000 EUR) and enrolled in business courses (2,700 EUR). I finally got into traditional archery and swordfighting (for which I bought equipment far exceeding 1,000 EUR).

Add to that the fact that I took a substantial cut in salary when I downsized my life, plus a few unforeseen expenses, and you have a fairly skint Sibylle who once again owes some money. Yet when I think back to the time I went broke in 2004, I realise it couldn’t be more different this time around.

For one thing, I owed a lot more back then. But the main difference is that I had no idea about finances and no idea how to deal with the mess. I was scared and helpless. Now, while my finances are a little strained, I still know exactly what’s going on. I went into this knowingly and don’t regret a single expense, because they were all necessary for my well-being and/or happiness. Most of all, I know without a shadow of a doubt, how and when I’ll have every last penny paid back and a comfortable financial “cushion” once again.

In short, I’m now educated about finances. I’ve also developed something which enhances everything in life, including finances: focus.

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Learning about finances


To learn about finances, I spent years going to workshops around the world and doing every program offered online. I read dozens of books on money management and found through trial and error, which of the systems I learned made sense. Therefore, I regularly write about money in the newsletter, and I hope with all my heart that it’s helpful.

The most important thing when you want to change your finances is to tackle them on two fronts: Money management, which is about knowing where your money goes and how to budget it, is step 1. Step 2 is a mindset which is as free as possible from learned ideas about money being scarce, or only coming to bad, greedy people, and all these other things we pick up from childhood onwards.

Where is your focus?


You’ve probably heard about the law of attraction, which states that you manifest in your life whatever you focus on. Focus is what occupies your mind most of the time. Now with an average of 6,000 thoughts that each of us has every day, it’s practically impossible to police this process. Fortunately, there’s a shortcut: Your emotions, which are caused by your thoughts.

Ever felt pretty good, and then you remembered something awful someone said to you, or your child being bullied, and after a minute or two you feel awful? Nothing outward happened, you just thought of something negative, and it changed everything.

To find out where your focus is, check in with your emotions. Set 3-4 alarms on your phone throughout the day. Whenever you hear the alarm, ask yourself how you feel. If the answer is anything other than: “Wonderful!” at least half the time, your focus is not on things that make you happy.

If you consciously adjust your thoughts 3-4 times a day, you will form a habit over time. Think thoughts of gratitude, or think of someone you love. It takes a while, so stick with it for at least a month or two! The change will be dramatic.

Change your finances


Here’s how you can use the above process in relation to your money situation.

1. When you “check” in, specifically ask yourself how you feel about your finances. If you feel awful, or even just uncomfortable, your focus is likely on bills, expenses, or debts. Adjust this towards thinking of the money you receive, however little it is.

2. Create a “giving” fund of ideally about 5% of your income. If you can’t afford it, start with 10 or 20 bucks a month. Donate these to a cause close to your heart. Whenever you do this, send along your love.

3. Also check in with how you feel whenever you spend money. If you feel anxious or worried, stop yourself. Say: “I happily give xxx EUR/$ for this” or, as Marie Forleo suggests: “There’s more where that came from.”

These may seem like small steps, but they will turn around your focus and change your finances. You’ll move away from scarcity and regret, and towards abundance and security. Your cash flow will follow.

One Question To Ask If You’re Always Short Of Money/Time

Short of Money and Time

One thing I love about Coaching is that it’s a gentle discipline. It’s the most powerful tool I know of to completely revolutionise and transform a life, but it doesn’t usually need to use harsh methods to accomplish this. Very occasionally, though, my Coach can be a little in-your-face about things.

There was one time when I hit a wall with my beliefs about money, beliefs I’d carried since childhood, which were seriously limiting my financial abundance back then. I had worked on them before but like a boomerang, the beliefs came back around and hit me in the face. Then my Coach asked something monumental:

“How does being broke serve you? What about it makes you so reluctant to let it go?”

My first reaction was protest. This was ludicrous: Being broke is awful, I don’t choose to be short of money! As I sat and thought about it, though, I realised that parts of me were ashamed to rise above so many of my equally skint friends, and worried I’d lose them if I became wealthy. I also felt like I was trying to be more than my family have ever been.


Of course, you may not have these beliefs at all. However, if you’ve been struggling with your finances for more than a year or so, chances are you’re getting something out of it. The same goes if you’re constantly pressed for time, always stressed, always busy.

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The hidden benefit


A heads-up before I say any more: You’re likely to feel a lot of resistance about this, just like I did that time with my Coach. I invite you to bear with me for a moment and just remain open to the possibility. Can you do that?

With this openness, look at your life. Is there anything that you know doesn’t serve you? Any external circumstance that just seems inevitable, that you’ve been unable to shift? There might be “really good reasons” for it, but don’t dismiss it, please. If you know it doesn’t serve you and it’s still there, it’s a candidate for what I call hidden benefits.

Which one is you?


Ask yourself how this annoyance serves you. Here are some examples of what you might come up with, but in truth, your reasons might look completely different, so simply take these as inspiration:

  • Always being stressed and having too much on your plate makes you feel accomplished and in charge. It gives you the good feeling that you’re doing something in your life, that you’re going places.
  • Having no time keeps you in that comfortable place where you can say you’ll pursue your passion just as soon as the “busy period” is over (though in reality, it never seems to be over at all), without having to face the scary aspects of actually going for your dreams.
  • Being short of money can have the same effect: You’ll pursue your passion and live your dreams once you can afford it. By staying broke, you won’t have to actually step up and do it, risking failure, disappointment, and change.
  • You may have grown up in an environment that looks down on people with money, so you’re subconsciously making sure not to become one of the “filthy rich”.
  • You may have grown up with values that include hard work, and internalised the belief that you’re only a successful human being if you always keep busy.
  • You’re afraid your friends will think you’re greedy and not really passionate about what lights you up, if you start making money from your passion.

Discomfort is your friend


How do you move past these ingrained beliefs? I have to admit that I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my Coach, so if you’re having a hard time with it, I warmly recommend getting some support! In any case, finally leaving behind what doesn’t serve you will require you to leave your comfort zone behind.

Find actions which make you uneasy around the area where you’re stuck. If you’re downright afraid to do something, or simply “don’t feel like it” for no obvious reason, although it might advance what you really want, you need to buckle down and do it. Warning, this is really, really uncomfortable! It’s also the No. 1 reason why so many people get stuck in situations they hate.

It requires discipline, a lot of self-love, and persistence, but you can change your finances and how much free time you have. Stick with it, and you’ll surprise yourself with how much easier it gets after only a short time.