Eva Cheng

What drew me to the Financially Happy program was that they were open to a different conversation around money and that really resonated with me.  The real kicker that got me across the line was that we weren’t going to look solely at our actions around financial investing, sustainability, and literacy, but more so at what are the barriers that each person might have with finances, really breaking down our money story and moving past it.  That was the real issue for me, my own challenges and barriers around money rather than the knowledge and the capacity to take financial actions. 

At the start of the Financially Happy program, I was unsure of why looking after my own finances was such a big thing for me. I knew it wasn’t that hard, but there was something stopping me from doing it and I wanted to understand what that was. 

The Financially Happy course was a very internal journey and made me reflect on some deep questions like, what is my financial background, not in terms of knowledge, but my behaviors, and what do I do that encourages good financial habits, but also what do I do that upholds limiting financial habits, and what is my relationship with money in general?

After working through the internal barriers, we focused on how to take action, which was really helpful because I don’t think I could have done the planning without doing the internal thinking and reflection. Now, as a graduate of the program I feel much more empowered because I understand why I behave in certain ways towards money and now I catch myself out on it as well.  I haven’t fixed all my issues but at least I’m much more aware of them. 

Another major change is how I see money. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with money because of how we attribute a lot of success towards it. Personally, I don’t necessarily see money as an accurate measure of success. The real learning for me was that money is just a measure of value, and in terms of being able to communicate value in different ways, it’s just one normalizer.

My biggest takeaway from the Financially Happy program was diving into the ‘why’ behind the financial systems we were putting into place.

The Peace, purpose, power pyramid really made sense to me. And when I put numbers to it, it really helped me to understand why I should be taking certain financial actions.   I knew I had high earning potential and that I wasn’t making the most impact with it, putting it into that simple model was really effective and I’ve already seen results on my financial return. 

If you’re thinking of joining the Financially Happy program, DO IT! You’ve got nothing to lose and we all have something to learn from taking control of our finances and owning our financial security.

But also it’s not just the knowledge and thinking about planning ahead and challenging your own financial barriers, but you also meet a great community of people. We had some great conversations and very open and transparent conversations in a safe environment with participants from all over the world. 

What’s different about this program from others in this field is the philosophy embedded into it. When I do something, I always want to know why I’m doing it and I really appreciated unpacking the motivating factors behind our money behaviors.  For me it was really beneficial to identify my negative money behaviors and to see the table of money saboteurs and identify with almost all of them.   It made me feel normalized and that I wasn’t somebody who was completely off the planet, and then I was able to recognize what behaviors were negative and needed to change.  I already started to action some of those changes and they’re continuing today. 

Being able to combine the Financially Happy philosophy with how to apply this in everyday life was definitely different and transformative.

The mindset shift that the Financially Happy program provided has been something I needed for a very long time, I just didn’t know how to get there. So firstly, feeling comfortable with money. This has been a very long journey since probably about primary school, so I’m glad I finally got here. I now have a good relationship with money and appreciate the impact that money can have, rather than thinking that it’s a negative thing. In terms of my behaviors, I now have awareness and own how I use my money. I feel I have choice over my financial behaviors and I can say yes to things.  I also feel much more comfortable working with my financial planner because my relationship with my current finances is much more positive and I feel more empowered around my money decisions. 

As a Financially Happy person, I’d say that I feel much more comfortable with money, my relationship with money is more positive, and i’m excited about what I can do with money and the impact that my money can have. 

I feel much more empowered to make financial decisions so that my money connects with my purpose and values.

If you feel like it’s a bit intimidating to start the Financially Happy program, grab a friend and do it together.  It’s really good to have these conversations because what I realized is, when I get together with a lot of my friends, we don’t talk about money, but we worry about it. With Financially Happy you have a safe environment and you can share some uncomfortable conversations with people who have had similar challenges.  It’s very different to when you’re hanging out with a group of friends and the guys go off and talk about shares, but you’ve never talked about that with your friends and you don’t feel comfortable and you feel that there is no entry point.  If you’ve had some discomfort in learning about money this is the place you can share that with somebody else and it just makes it so much more interesting.  And knowing that we all kind of have these challenges, it’s not just you.  So, grab a friend, and jump in!

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