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When it Comes to Money, You Have More Control Than You Think

Friday, September 22, 2023

When it Comes to Money, You Have More Control Than You Think

I’m not sure how this perspective will be received; but I don’t believe I’d be doing my job if I didn’t talk about it.

So then, what is the perspective?

"You are more in control of your financial situation than you believe you are."

Now, before you start coming after me for not knowing your specific situation, let me offer my perspective and then we can chat through your unique scenario.

When I was a kid, my parents made it known that the priority was to focus on school. So even though I knew several others who had jobs while going to high school, I “wasn’t allowed” to work during the school year. And truth be told, I’m not sure how I would have found the time to work. I was up at 5:45am, out the door at 6:15am, before-school classes, after-school rehearsals or shows, and then homework.

Every. Day.

So when it came to me actually having money, I always had to go to my parents - because I wasn’t working. And while that was an easy concept for me to understand, I still found myself disliking money. Now, maybe I felt that way because I went to a private school with kids who were getting Cadillac Escalades for their 16th birthdays.

Or … maybe, it was because I just didn’t have enough experience with money myself.

Time would tell.

College turned out to be very similar. There was no time to work while in school. This means I didn’t have a job during the school year, only over the summers. So my spending money had to come from somewhere. And while I was working over the summers, I never made enough to get me through an entire school year. And I didn’t have the option to go to my parents for money at this time. So my spending money in college actually came from student loans. And I spent money on only the most important necessities. In fact, I still have a Delta Sigma Phi afghan which was paid for by my student loans. (Because that was important for me to have.)

The most expensive afghan ever.

After college, I was living in New York City as a performer. But what was different about me living in NYC vs. high school and college was that I was finally working full time. When I wasn’t performing, I was waiting tables. And in NYC, you can make pretty good money waiting tables.

So my situation obviously improved, right?


Even though I was always working and making money, I still never seemed to have any money. But you better believe I still didn’t like money. In fact, it was about this point in my life that I started to get really angry with money. And I think I must have worn that ideology; because over drinks with an ex who was in town visiting, I was told, “You know, it’s a shame that we didn’t work out because I make really good money now and I could support your little music theater hobby.”

Gee, thanks. I wonder why it didn’t work out.

I never bought new clothes. My bed was an air mattress with a hole in it until I upgraded to a $100 futon from Walmart. I occasionally ate Chef Boyardee from the can. I was dodging phone calls for past-due credit card and student loan payments. And I never had the money to do “any of the things I really wanted to.”

But yet I somehow always seemed to have money for beer and going out with friends.

Now, this brings us to about 2009, and these patterns would continue for almost another decade.

I ended up becoming “used to” my relationship with money, like uncomfortably comfortable: constantly coming up with excuses for myself as to why my money situation was what it was. It was something I also continued to journal about constantly … just how much I hated money and my lack of it. I was so sure that I was the only one who didn’t have this “money thing” figured out.

Choosing music theater as a major in college must have been my “mistake,” because I was not making enough to feel like I had things under control. In my mind, I was a victim of my situation and circumstances. I continued to tell myself that that was why I was in the financial situation that I was in. And I was living in this state of mind believing only things outside of my control were the solutions to my problems.

To put it simply: none of it was my fault. It was all outside of my control.

But this way of thinking also meant that I was convinced I was definitely, positively, 100% not the solution.

When I was in high school and college, I believed that finally having a job and making more money would fix my situation. But when money started to become more consistent and my situation still didn’t improve, I submitted myself to the belief that I was just bad with money, had chosen the wrong career, and was doomed to live the rest of my life under this financial stress.

That is, unless a miracle happened. (Again, something outside of my control.)

I would hear people complain about things like prices going up or commiserating about being “starving artists,” and I would think, “Yeah…that’s why I’m broke.”

Again … still never seeing myself as a solution.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because the one through line in this entire story was me. And the same is true for you and your story. You are the most consistent part of your life, which means that you have more power to affect change in your life than you believe you do.

And there are all kinds of reasons why you don’t believe in yourself.

But I want to remind you that you are reading this for a reason.

You see, the power to transform your financial situation lies within you, even when it feels like external factors have the upper hand. My own journey was a rollercoaster, filled with times of financial uncertainty and frustration. But amidst it all, I had failed to recognize the one constant - me.

It's easy to blame circumstances or believe that money will miraculously fix everything. I certainly fell into that trap, believing I was merely a victim of my situation. I thought that an increase in income or a change in career would be my savior. But here's the truth: You are your own solution.

The reason you're here, reading this, is because deep down, you know there's more to your financial story. You're seeking change, even if it seems daunting. And that's where your power lies. You've already taken the first step by acknowledging the need for change.

Remember, your financial situation might be unique, but you have the ability to take control and steer it in a new direction. It's not about what's happened in the past; it's about the choices you make today and tomorrow. It's about embracing your power, challenging those self-doubts, and realizing that you can reshape your financial future.

So, why did I share my story with you?

To remind you that the most consistent factor in your life is you. Your potential for change is limitless, and your journey towards financial empowerment begins with believing in yourself.

You've got this.

Stay Curious,



Kyle Fowler

Founder of Financial Flippers

The personal finance world is packed with TONS of information. And while it's not all bad, it's not all good. I work hard to make sure I am sharing helpful content that keeps you on track while still providing different perspectives. If you ever have questions, want to share ideas for other topics, or want to know more, shoot me an email: kyle@financialflippers.com

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