1. Master Your Money Mindset
You don’t wake up one day and suddenly realise you have bills, rent and payments to make. These payments don’t creep up on you unexpectedly. You don’t wake up one day and suddenly realise that the cost of doing what you want, raising children, having comfort and luxuries in your life start to add up. It makes sense to plan a little, right? So often I receive messages from the sweetest girls asking about marriage, dreaming about starting their own little family. Yet when we speak, it becomes apparent that they don’t have a clue of what it takes to financially make that happen.
The first step to planning your finances is to acknowledge that money is important. It deserves your attention. You treat it with care and respect. It’s a beautiful means of sustenance from Allah. You have nothing to be afraid of – money, regardless of who it comes from (i.e. employer, clients, customers, parents, spouses, government etc.) is ultimately from Allah. There is no limit to how Allah can provide for you, so do not limit your thoughts to the means by which Allah can provide for you. Your job/ clients/ customers are not the only source of your income. The means will forever be numerous, for it is coming from Allah.
In the same way, there is no limit to how much Allah can provide for you.
When your heart is in the right place, money becomes a means of amplifying that goodness from within. It becomes a means of showing up freely within your marriage (because you’re not nagging, feeling helpless or becoming resentful for what you can or cannot buy using your husband’s money). It becomes a means of expressing love, cultivating connection, supporting those in need, building your akhirah, supporting the next generation, leaving the world in a better place, and yes (of course!) buying things that make you feel good.
However, if your heart is in the wrong place, money also amplifies that. The purpose of this is to not fear or glorify money. It’s a means to an end. Albeit, a very important means of sustenance for your life.
2. Practical Ways To Manage Your Finances
“Money looks better in the bank than on your feet.”―
+ Save, Save, Save! Become an avid saver. Nothing beats financial security. Living within your means and building a financial back up is a blessing that no Insta-worthy life can rival. Living paycheck to paycheck when you’re spending excessively is a recipe for a disaster. You never want your lifestyle tied down to your monthly paycheck. All it takes is one step gone wrong and you’ll find yourself in heaps of debt.
+ Know When To Spend Big: Not every item you buy needs to be high quality but there are times where spending more pays off and adds to the quality of your experience. Invest in things that matter and truly make a difference in your life. Be intentional with your spending.
+ Track Your Income: Either through an app or an excel sheet (which is what I use), track your income daily or whenever you receive money. Track the amount and where it came from. Know how much money is coming in every month. This habit alone transformed my income. Every time you receive money, note it down and take a moment to thank Allah for it. Appreciate it and bless it. Through gratitude to Allah, you’ll receive more.
+ Become Financially Literate: This isn’t the most exciting topic to learn about. Take it upon yourself to learn about finance. I would suggest starting off with your mindset around money. The reason being is that learning about money (i.e. budgeting, investing, stock markets, gold market, buying property, what’s allowed in Islam etc.) can become overwhelming and even discouraging if you’re really far off from your goals. Read all the books, listen to all the podcasts, and follow online courses to enhance your financial knowledge. I get it, it’s not fun but it’s on you to secure your future.
3. Substance First, Style Second
I’m not saying you have to choose one over the other because as a woman you can have both. But there is always a period of focus. Every great person that you see consistently put in the time to focus. Where you put your head down and do the work. Where you lay the foundations without tinkering with the appearances. Where you focus solely on what needs to be done without looking for external recognition.
Those who don’t have are quick to make an appearance and get ahead of themselves. Yet those who have, let their energy and work speak for itself. When you put in the work, you show up differently.
Substance first and you won’t get ahead of yourself.
Put it this way, you never want to be that girl with all the material things but nothing of weight within. All the external glitter and all the trends but nothing of substance. That’s not to say you can’t be into this world but what else is there to your life? What else is there to you? Substance comes first, style second. This mantra can be applied to every area of your life. Build a foundation before you get distracted with the glitter. Build a career before you deck out in designer gear. Save for your financial future before you go all out to decorate a rented apartment. Dive deep into your healing before you advise others. Be a woman of substance before you get distracted with creating the perfect image to your life.
4. Healing Your Emotions Are Your Responsibility
Almost two years ago, over the course of some weeks leading up to three traumatic, horrific days, I lost a member of my family. The trauma of seeing someone you love, so full of life to sitting by their deathbed is unspeakable. In the bleak of a moment, you see the worthlessness of this worldly life.
Yes, I needed support.
Yes, I needed my family. I held onto them tighter than ever.
Yes, I needed my friends. They listened to me as I grieved.
Yes, I needed my coach. She pushed me to heal.
But ultimately only I could step into my own heart and begin to heal. Only I could do that for myself. About 6 months after their passing, I had to stop running away from the grief. There’s only so much that you could lean onto others before it begins to push them away. It’s too much of a burden for others to carry. You think you need others to lean into (and that is true to some extent) but it’s you that you’re ultimately searching for. It’s you that you’re waiting on. You are the only person that can tend to your heart. Others can support you, they can hold you as you grieve but only you can tend to your own heart.
This is one of the reasons why I created my “Emotional Triggers” workbook. It’s super cheap so that everyone can have access to starting their healing journey. External events may trigger your feelings but after a certain point, it’s you that’s holding on (be it consciously or not). External circumstances don’t have as much power over us as we’re made to believe.
5. Doing Work You Love Doesn’t Mean It’s Always Enjoyable
The sooner you grasp this, the quicker you can get on with your day. Doing work you love, doesn’t mean it’s always enjoyable. Cultivating a life you love, doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every moment of it. Please tell me, what joy is there in doing the laundry? If there was one house chore to eradicate, wouldn’t you choose the laundry? ?
How do you motivate yourself to do the things that you don’t want to do? Well, you take the motivation out of it. Take the feelings out of it. You get it done because it needs to get done, not because it’ll make you feel better. Some things in life need to happen and how you feel about doing it isn’t necessarily required for it to be done. This is where your masculine energy comes in – sometimes you need to force yourself to get things done and not let your feelings in the moment overtake you.
6. Plan Your Days Around Your Salah
As the seasons change, pinpoint the timings of each prayer and plan your day around it. Each season has its own merits. During winter the time between prayers become shorter and thus you might schedule focused work after Maghrib or early morning. And leave shorter activities/ errands between Zuhr, Asr and Maghrib. In summer, when the daylight hours are longer (and often sunnier), take advantage of the lengthier times between the prayers. Adopting this mindset means that the most important part of your day of worshiping Allah is at the forefront of your plans. Take caution with this too, you don’t want your Salah to become another activity on your to-do list for the day. But a meaningful and intentional practice of worshiping Allah.
7. Switch To Eco-Friendly Menstrual Cloth Pads
It took me a long time to get around to this. It’s hippy and a little out there. Switch your conventional, disposable sanitary pads/ panty liners to reusable cloth pads. (Stay with me here ?) You’ll save a lot of money over time. It’s much healthier for the earth because you’re not polluting it with plastic which can take several years (if not hundreds of years) to decompose. Here’s what really shifted things for me: all throughout history, women have been using cloths, washing the blood away. When you use a conventional pad, it’s thrown in the garbage and eventually thrown into a landfill site. That plastic stained with your menstrual blood may not decompose for many more decades to come. And that doesn’t feel right to me. Not to mention that these filthy places are frequented by the shayateen.
Convinced? Here’s are a few tips:
- At the very least, buy 4 – 6 menstrual cloth pads. A few to get you through the day and thicker cloths for a heavier flow. Like your conventional pads, when you’re ready to change it, wash the cloth using cold water, a natural detergent and let it dry. Whilst you switch to a different cloth pad and repeat as needed.
- Keep a back up of your conventional pads/ panty liners/ feminine products. If you’re travelling/ going out for a while/ at work and so forth, using reusable cloths may not be ideal. It’s always helpful to have a back up of your feminine products for those times. The wonderful thing is that by switching over to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, you’ll be buying less and less of the conventional, plastic ridden products as you won’t be using them as much.
- Find your flow. You don’t have to switch over entirely to reusable cloths. Depending on your flow and schedule, you might be able to commit to it 60% of the time. Find what works for you. One less conventional pad that you don’t use is decades saved in the landfill.
8. If It’s Not A Full Hearted Yes, It’s A No
If you’re stuck between choices, unsure about what to do, use this to guide your thoughts and support your decisions. If it’s not a full hearted, heck YESSS, then it’s a no. FOMO (the fear of missing out) out can cloud your judgement and make you believe that you need things that perhaps don’t matter as much. The back and forth in your mind (Do I need this? Is it worth it? Will I regret this opportunity? Can I actually afford it? etc.) feeds into the fear and anxiety of the unknown. Come back to your heart. For the most part, if your heart is not fully on board, then you’re better off leaving it. If your heart is not in it, what do you really loose?
9. Reset Daily
This might be pointless to some but I find it very therapeutic. Close your day off and reset daily. Physically put things away to signify that this task/ day is over, whilst resetting for a fresh, clean slate tomorrow.
Put away chargers/ laptops/ electronics after you’ve finished using them. Make your bed all comfy and lush in the morning, even though it’ll be undone by night. Tidy away your children’s toys and books even though it’ll be out first thing in the morning. Put away cutlery, saucers, pantry items, allowing your kitchen to be clutter free. Reset your space. If you’re living in a small house with multi- purpose spaces, this becomes even more important. You don’t want you living room to become the play room. Or your workspace to overtake your bedroom. Resetting your space daily becomes very grounding and therapeutic.
These are my 9 adulting hacks and tips. What is something that you wish you knew before you stepped into adulthood? What adulting hacks and tips have you picked up along the way? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
P.s. Here is the link to the Emotional Triggers workbook. This is a powerful and practical workbook to uncover your triggers, guide you through uncomfortable feelings and bring to the light the healing and lessons for you.