Playing the money game…how I do it!

This is my final Juicy Tuesday answering someone’s question sent to me. That said, do keep them coming. They give me juice to work with! Today’s question came from Jenny:

‘I’d LOVE to hear your take on Top Dog and how to overcome the critical voice. You see, it’s scary doing this shit! I have enough moola to last me until the end of May then I’m shafted.’


Look right now Jenny  at what you’re saying: ‘It’s scary doing this shit. I have enough moola to last me until the end of May and then I’m shafted. Yeah will if someone told me that I was going to be shafted at the end of May, as if I had no control over it, then I’d feel scared too. You’re creating a situation to be scared of that doesn’t exist. That’s like saying ‘hey let’s play a game, let’s make ourselves really worried and scared for like…two months!‘.


No kid in their right mind would choose that kind of game.

Here’s what I think YOU will actually do. I don’t believe that you will wait between now and end of May and do nothing.

Come mid April you’ll start to really focus your attention and energy on new avenues for making money. Suddenly low and behold all these opportunities for work start popping up. Wow, the angels must be looking down on me, maybe it’s something in the stars, maybe Venus is embracing my Uranus and my money chart is in the moon of abundance. Ahem.

Or maybe you’re a lot more capable than you give yourself credit for.

Maybe actually, in reality, when it comes to finding work, when you really need to make money, you find it, because you don’t give up, because it’s really really important.

Do you really think that, knowing you’re going to have run out of money by the end of May, you’ll just sit back and do nothing before then?

I highly doubt it.

Here’s what happened to me in January. I received a much bigger tax bill than I expected and I hadn’t exactly put money aside for it (what, I live for the moment (I know, that didn’t really wash with my accountant either!)). I emptied out every last penny of my savings. Literally.

I was broke. So so broke. And it happened in a flash. From one day to the next.

Did I panic? Nope (ok, maybe when it first hit, but not for long).

Why? Because I see it as a game. And I actually kind of like this game. When it comes to making money, finding a bed to sleep in, living off half a shoe string, I am a master at it.

How? Because rather than asking myself the question ‘will I make any money’ I ask myself ‘how am I going to make the money that I need right now in the quickest time possible?’.

You go from trying to be a fear-led fortune-teller with your knickers in a twist, to being a practical here and now problem solver.

When I was younger I taught myself the most valuable lesson ever: that when you need to make money, it is out there to be made, you just have to figure out what it is you want to do in exchange for cash and let the world know you have it to offer. This is no time to be timid. ASK OUT LOUD. Spread the word and ask others to spread it for you.


I reevaluated my plans. I would have to be put my ideas of going to live in the countryside in the UK on hold. I needed to return to London where it was easiest for me to spin some gold. I needed to live somewhere, but had no money yet for rent. I’d have to sell my campervan. And for now I’d have to pull my purse strings in tight.

I shot emails out to see if anyone needed a house-sitter, maybe a pet-sitter while they were on holiday.  I sent another message out saying I was selling my camper van. Threw together a video promoting my Career Blitz Programme and asked a friend to take bookings while I was offline and sailing through the Chilean fijords (look it was already planned – I’d travelled a long way to get there) so that I could bring some money in asap.

Back in London, while money was starting to come in I was still more broke than I had been in a long time. Purse strings were seriously drawn in. I didn’t consider myself poor. I just had to strike a few things off my list for now, like dinners out, new clothes (and bear in mind I had one cardigan and a sweater to my name due to my 100 possessions challenge a year earlier!) and any activities that required more than a fiver to enjoy. Big deal. There is so much out there that you can do with friends that doesn’t cost a thing and really, who cares if people see you in the same clothes, as long as you keep them clean.

Focus on what you do have available and you’ll see you are rich, regardless of how much money you have. 

Rather than focusing on what you haven’t got. BE CREATIVE WITH WHAT YOU DO HAVE. And with what you have to offer.

For me the game of frugal living is a chance to be creative, to think on your feet and play with your power of making things happen. Approach it in this way and having tight boundaries can be surprisingly fun. As much fun as having cash to spend. They’re both games of creativity.

Less than two months later and I was rolling in the stuff. Savings filled back up, plenty of cash, living in a lovely flat in Hampstead, puppy-sitting for friends. Beryl the camper van is being enjoyed by new owners and do you know what, having my hand forced to bring me back to London, turns out to be the best thing that could have happened. I am loving it here. What a discovery. In the place I was so keen to escape from I am truly happy and finding my flow.

You could say that being shafted was the best thing that could have happened!

So what I’m saying Jenny is that you are so much more capable than you or your yapping Top Dog are giving yourself credit for. Maybe it’s time to just reassure Top Dog of that and while you’re at it, why not send a message out to your contacts saying that you’ll have space available for new clients as of mid April and see what comes up…

I would say good luck, but luck doesn’t have anything to do with it. I trust you. You are a very capable woman. Time for you to recognise that for yourself.

x Selina

Selina Barker