Linda Smith Harvey is an inspirational speaker, financial coach, workshop facilitator, and writer. She is the founder of Abundance Money School, which offers products and services for a life of financial freedom and peace of mind. She bought her first house at the age of 21 and paid it off within five years, and now supports others, blending practical tools and universal principles such as quantum physics, to provide access to increasing the flow of money into your life and ensuring the experience of financial peace of mind.
In episode #8 of the Future Females Show, hosted by Media Personality & Transformational Coach, Susana Kennedy, and Co-Founder & CEO of Future Females, Lauren Dallas, Linda shares her daily abundance practice tips for attracting money.
You are a “financial abundance coach” after coining the term back in 2002, which makes this your official 20-year anniversary! Tell us more about your journey.
My journey actually began in my teenage years. When I was about 15 or 16 years old, I was looking at this thing called money. It seemed like everybody was working with money but I noticed that everybody was also working for money. I don’t even know where it came from, but the idea of why people aren’t getting their money to work for them just seemed like a better idea to me. For example, my dad would talk about a bond being a 20-year noose around your neck, but that only inspired me to pay off a bond within five years because then you are free from it. So I thought – get your money to work for you. But to do that, you need to have some money for it to work for you. I pondered this idea and started looking at the property market aspect. I thought if I buy a house, put tenants into it, and pay it off within five years, that it would be a great project achievement.
My first job was as a waitress. I earned R1 an hour, and I saved! That is another critical component of building wealth – you have to keep some, you can’t let it all go out. But my first official job was at the age of 19. R400 a month was my income and this was when I really started saving. In fact, I still remember people excitedly asking me what I was going to spend my money on and I said: “Nothing. I’m buying a house.” When I was 21 years old, I had enough for a deposit. When I look back now, I had a single focus. Every cent of the cash I received from my tenants went into the bond, plus I put extra in. Here’s the beauty of it: over time the rental was not just paying the interest, it was paying the capital off and the house was paid off in five years.
Fast track to about 10 to 15 years later. I realised through helping friends that there was an interest, or even a need, for a financial coach. The distinction here is very different from a financial broker. For me, it’s about empowering people’s mindsets and giving them practical tools. I was creating something from nothing but sharing my ideas, and my strategies. Over the years, many of my clients have been people who got out of their 9-to-5 jobs to run their own businesses and do their passion. Of course, you can have a passion or an idea, but if you’re not on top of the numbers, the goals, the turnover, and the income distribution plans (including saving), you can struggle.
What is your advice for saving?
Well, the first thing is that when you start saving, it’s not the amount that’s important. Whether it’s R50 000 or R1 000, it’s about the practice of saving and building those saving muscles. I’m going to let you in on a secret that’s phenomenally powerful: as your income comes in, even if it’s 1% – put that into a separate savings account. Money has a way of leaking and disappearing so don’t keep it in your current account. Money needs you to take control of it – you’ve got to give it back to yourself. In fact, a great phrase for saving is “pay yourself first.” It’s about literally honouring yourself and acknowledging that you’re the one that did all the work.
Remember, money will say to you: “Save me now and I’ll save you later.”
Can you save your way out of debt?
Absolutely. You can start by saving 1% this month, 2% next month, and 3% the month after that. So, even though it takes you two years, you can get to 25%. And the thing is, as you continue doing it, you’re going to take bigger jumps, so maybe in two years, you could find yourself saving 50%. Here’s the gem, and the power of saving: as you pull the money out of your current flow and save it in a separate account, the fact that you’re pulling it out means you are creating a demand for more to come in. You have to test it for yourself! It is such a blessing on so many levels because having an emergency fund prevents you from getting into more debt. It comes down to you taking charge.
The other phrase I like to use is: “Taking back your power.” Many people have literally given their power to money, and debt further disempowers people. Coffee machines make coffee, human beings make meaning. When you have debt, and particularly if you have bad debt, you personalise it. You feel bad, you feel anxious, you feel stressed, you lie awake at night… None of these things are helpful to you, so I like to open up the conversation beyond just good and bad debt and consider that debt is neutral, just like money is neutral. People talk about money being evil but no, it’s a tool to live our lives. When you remove the good and bad, it helps you to not feel you’re bad because you’ve got debt or because you haven’t been able to pay it off – you go to the place of saying debt is simply a number. On my website, I’ve got a document called The Debt Freedom Plan. Check it out!
How does your debt make you feel? Anxious, trapped, stressed? None of these are helpful to your abundant lifestyle, abundant mindset, or even your financial well-being future. It’s tripping you up.The debt freedom plan facilitates and allows you to determine your end date so that you can claim that feeling of paid-off debt now because your future plan is in place.
I’m going to throw a spanner in the works… My business partner taught me to see debt differently and to actually embrace it as a means of being able to leapfrog where I could get to with savings by leveraging other people’s money. What is your perspective on that?
I think that’s a very valid approach and way to operate. Once one has moved beyond that stress factor with debt, it can leverage and fast-track, especially f there’s a payment plan in place. It’s a tool to use, but if it’s a tool that’s causing anxiety, it’s kind of self-defeating because that anxiety will hold up the flow of the process that you’re attempting to achieve.
My message is not about avoiding debt, it’s about your relationship with debt and if it’s causing you stress, that is the problem because of the way you’re relating to it.
Don’t live your life from your feelings – live your life from your commitments and what you said you would do because that is the most important thing. You can take the power of your word and apply it to money.
Saving while you have debt…
People will say to you that debt is costing you much more interest than savings will earn you. That is the very trap every person falls into, and you know what, the banks are celebrating and laughing all the way to the bank because they’re making tons of money out of you by keeping you in debt. But saving while you have debt builds up those saving muscles.
Would you share some of your practical strategies from your Abundance Diary?
One of the best practices that allows you to start your day in the best way, is to focus on what you’re grateful for – big things, small things, any number of things. What is even more empowering once you’ve been using the diary is to be able to look back and see what you’ve been grateful for. It’s like building up your own little abundance nuggets – you start to reflect on how amazing your life is. It feeds your self-belief and gives you the energy to take forward and to not get stopped by detours. Many people underestimate the immense power of gratitude, but being grateful every day attracts more of what you want in your life.
Another best practice is to have gratitude in advance. The future you’re creating in terms of your business, the activities, the turnover, and the savings that you want to achieve – be grateful for that in advance. It hasn’t happened yet, but you operate as if it has already happened and then the universe catches up because energetically you are in alignment with that ideal future.
Watch the video interview here:
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