Episode 26: How to Avoid Feeling Guilty about Money

Episode 26: How to Avoid Feeling Guilty about Money


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Does talking about money make you feel icky, greedy, shameful, and materialistic?

As a society, there’s a belief that rich people are bad.

As boutique photography business owners how do we avoid feeling guilty about making, spending, saving and giving our money?

I sat down and asked myself,

“How did I become okay with making and talking about money?”

I found seven reasons why it’s a good thing to make money in your photography business and I want to share them with you.

#1 Protecting My Marriage

When I first got married, I wanted to protect my marriage.

Money is one of the top things that couples fight about, so I decided to try to take the financial strain off our marriage.

We started by making good financial decisions.

We didn’t buy things that we couldn’t afford, or go into unnecessary debt.

Making smart financial decisions in our marriage has helped us thrive and grow. 

#2 Having an Insurance Policy

No one knows when tragedy is going to hit.

I want to make sure that if something happens to my family, we don’t fall into a scary place.

Some of you are there, but it’s not too late to pull yourself out.

If you make more money than you spend, you’re going to have a little cushion for unsure times.

That’s why it’s important to have your own insurance policy.

#3 Not Relying On The Government For Retirement

While I hope social security will be there, who knows if it will.

I want to take care of myself instead of relying on someone else.

Saving for retirement through the 401k was something I was taught to do in my very first job.

The more money you make, the more security you can have.

A lot of people only think about today’s finances, but let’s think about tomorrow too.

#4 Not Telling My Kids I Couldn’t Afford Something

When I was younger, I would hear people tell their kids,

“We can’t afford that.”

I always thought,

“What a terrible thing to say to your kids.”

But as an adult, I get it.

We can’t just buy our kids everything they want. However, I think the better conversation is to say

“This is our monthly budget. We can prioritize what we want in order to be happiest.”

I want them to pick and choose so we can say yes to amazing opportunities.

It is so important for kids to be involved in decision-making so that they don’t develop a scarcity mindset.

I want my kids to know that they can afford anything if they go out and work for it. 

#5 Shopping Local

I want to be able to shop locally, no matter the price.

I love being able to support local businesses whether it’s at a nice restaurant or a clothing boutique.

I love lifting up other local business owners and I’m grateful money can allow us to do that.

I don’t care if I can find it cheaper elsewhere.

I value my relationships with business owners and I want to support my local community.

It’s so important to me.

#6 Supporting Sales Kids 

It is so important to me to give to every child who knocks on the door selling something.

This is a decision I made years ago in order to encourage young people to sell.

If it’s candy, I gift it so I don’t eat it.

If it’s ugly, I donate it.

If it’s a lemonade stand I buy it, but I usually don’t drink it.

If they’re selling unattractive hand-painted rocks, I’ll buy three.

I do this because I remember being a pushy and obnoxious sales kid who got rude reactions from adults.

These early experiences built up head trash about why salespeople are bad.

I refuse to treat another kid that way.

I want to encourage these kids. 

#7 Giving Back

If we do well we can do good.

I’ve always had a heart to give back and make a difference in the world.

The bigger my photography business gets, the more good we can do in the world.

Over the years, we’ve donated $50,000 to Operation Smile and we just donated $10,000 to O.U.R., Operation Underground Railroad.

That is lifting as we climb.

I would not have been able to personally write a check for $50,000 or $10,000, but through our industry, boutique photography students, and clients, we’ve been able to make amazing donations.

We also started a local family endowment called the Petty Cash Fund where we give to local charities.

I started this endowment almost 15 years ago and it keeps growing.

When I’m gone, my kids will have that fund and decide what changes they want to make in our local community.

I think that’s pretty cool.

At the end of the day, there will be people who try to shame you about the money you make in your photography business.

Decide for yourself that money affords you the opportunity to be a more joyful, happy, and fully present boutique photographer.

They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can take a lot of stress off your relationships.

So why not use money to help you become the best version of yourself and put your family first.

You are not a bad person if you make money in your photography business.

So let go of the shame and guilt that life has thrown at you about money and make the decision to welcome money into your life.

You won’t believe what happens.

connect with portrait photographer Sarah Petty on instagram to make money in photography


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