Updated: Apr 17
One foot in front of the other… I paced intently through Pony Wood alongside Cheryl*, my long-time friend one winter morning in Lancaster.
Having chosen my friends wisely, when I commented on my lack of spare cash at the end of the month, my words were received, caught and offered back to me in the form of a workable solution.
She had previously volunteered with Christians Against Poverty whom she suggested I contact.
So a week later I met Fi and Richard, hosts of the local CAP Money Course** online. My worries about information overload were soon allayed, as informal chat, a few inspiring videos from John Kirkby, the founder of CAP, and a short presentation introduced us to the CAP way of doing things. We then broke until the following week.
Over the next few days, I investigated the resources now available to us (including a truly stellar online budget planner) in preparation for the final session, where Fi and Richard effortlessly simplified complex financial information. In addition to learning how to manage money more effectively through increasing income, reducing expenditure and using a cash system approach, we learned how to save money and budget for every occasion.
However something deeper also emerged.
Money is energy which needs to flow, and flow well. If its direction is only one way. i.e., out through spending only then all kinds of issues can result. The link between money and mental health is well documented, for example by Martin Lewis Free Mental Health and Debt booklet - MSE (moneysavingexpert.com)
Over the course of the fortnight the key messages which stood out for me were not the words spoken by previous participants but:
- A sense that quiet confidence had replaced their financial fears.
- The presence of an abundance rather than a deficit mindset.
- A sense of peace.
And in a twist to the tale, perhaps the most outstanding feature was how unremarkable and easy the transformation and outcome appeared: Could enough money for presents for the grandchildren bring more contentment than a yacht in the Maldives, for example?
CAP shows the exact and specific steps it takes to turn around a life, a budget, a coin. I have tweaked and applied my financial mindset. Even that small step feels like a firm footing for future saving.
** FB: lmdebtcentre