Should-Free Living by Heather Strang – Living Expenses

Heather Strang, and co-author Brooke Emery, wrote the upcoming book Stop Shoulding On Yourself! A Woman’s Guide From Obligation to Inspiration. The book encourages women to live from an authentic and should-free space.

So, grab a cup of tea and read on…who knows, you just might find some great ideas for your own life…

They, meaning all of the financial gurus, tell you that you should have 6 months of cash stashed for living expenses in case of emergency situations like a loss of a job, medical emergencies, etc. But, they also mention you should get out of debt and quit paying interest on your money. In these times, I can’t do both, so what is the best plan for people who live basically pay check to pay check?


Dear L.B.,

Those “guru’s” sure do hand out a lot of should’s don’t they? The financial should’s can get pretty complicated with all the rules about what you should and shouldn’t do. What is important, L.B. is that you feel that the choices you make regarding your financial situation are based on what feels right for you. And if you don’t feel like you know what’s right for you, you can reach out to resources you feel drawn to and that will allow you to make the most authentic decisions.

For you, that could mean connecting with a financial advisor who could educate you on a specific area around money and abundance. Or you could pick up books on financial management–ones you feel drawn to, of course–that will allow you to decide if you need to have 6 months worth of cash stashed away, in addition to paying off all your debt.

It’s simply essential that you follow what feels best for you–whether it’s reaching out to advisors or connecting with other resources like books, workshops and classes.

In addition, I highly recommend the following ladies in the area of money. They look at money from an abundance perspective and teach you how to make choices that resonate the most deeply with you:

-Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money Institute
-Chellie Campbell, The Wealthy Spirit & Zero to Zillionaire

Another important aspect of living a should-free life is embracing the abundance that you already possess. There’s no need to buy into the fear about rough economic times or the belief that you must/do live “pay check to pay check”. While on the outside these may feel like stark realities, in truth, our beliefs about our economic standing will create our external reality. So, why not choose rich, good-feeling thoughts?! Here are some tips for claiming your truest, most abundant life:

-Create an abundance affirmation (The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell is chock full of these). Make sure it’s something that feels good to you. Examples:

“I am surrounded by total abundance. When I spend money, immediately more comes rushing back to me. My bank account and investments are overflowing with good fortune.” 

“I always have an abundance of money in my life. I buy whatever I need, with plenty leftover for savings and fun.”

-Honor the abundance mentality by bringing it into your home or office with feng shui. ( The top left corner of your desk is your prosperity center, so place a plant there along with anything else that symbolizes abundance to you (for me it’s a laughing, fat Buddha and a red envelope with my intentions/affirmations of abundance).

-Create intentions about the amount of abundance you want in your life. Be sure to state these only in the positive. Intend how much money you’ll make next month, next year and 5 years from now. Intend the balances of your savings and investment accounts. Intend the vacations you’ll take each year (and go ahead and include the 5-star hotel you’ll stay at). Have fun with this and don’t self-edit. The sky is the limit!

-Watch what you say when talking with others about the economy or your own financial situation. Eliminate words from your vocabulary such as “pay check to pay check”, “economic downturn”, “debt”, etc. When you talk about money or what you will spend money on, speak about it only in the positive. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that”, say, “I’m choosing to spend my money on other things right now” (this is actual truth, after all!).

Utilizing some of these simple tips into your life can help transform your experience with money into a more positive, abundant one. Before you know it, you won’t have to worry about whether to save 6 months worth of cash or pay off your balances–it will all be done!

Wishing you much continued abundance and joy,

Have a question about this topic or any other? Next month we’ll focus on the should’s surrounding your HEALTH. Send your questions to: