- Bruno Vincent / Getty
If you’re snowed under by thousands in debt, the first thing you should do when you earn some money is pay your bills, right?
Wrong, according to Simone Milasas, the author of “Getting Out of Debt Joyfully” who says there are three things you should do to bring joy into your life and get out of debt.
The first thing is to set up a “10 percent account” where you put 10% of your earnings.
Sounds like pretty rational advice so far.
However, you’re not saving this money for a rainy day. You’re putting it there so you can spend it on things like gold and antique jewellery.
“If you pay your bills first, you will always have more bills,” Milasas wrote in a blog post on the Australian site MamaM!a. “When you pay the bills first, the universe says, ‘Oh, okay. This person wishes to honour their bills. Let’s give them some more bills.’ If you honour yourself by setting aside 10 percent first, the universe says, ‘Oh, they are willing to honour themselves. They are willing to have more,’ and it responds to that. It gives you more.”
Milasas, pictured above, was in $187,000 (£110,704) of debt when she decided to make a change. She came up with “tools” to become debt free, and somehow she managed to pay it all off in two years.
According to Milasas, if you put aside your money and buy things that make you happy, then “energetically, the universe starts to contribute to you as well and you start to have money show up in the most random places.”
“Money follows joy. Joy doesn’t follow money,” she wrote. “At one point, the balance due on one of my credit cards was extremely high. I had three times the amount due in my 10 percent account, so I knew I could pay off the balance on my card if I chose to. I did not do that.”
Milasas’ second tip is to “carry around the amount of cash you think a rich person would carry.”
The idea is you look in your purse or wallet and see a wad of cash, which will make you feel better about your life.
Milasas likes to have at least $1,000 (£592) on her at all times. She also carries a bottle of water, and has a cold bottle of wine in the fridge at home, because these things make her happy.
“They provide for me the sense that I’m creating my life,” she wrote.
Apparently, you also shouldn’t be worried about being mugged, because if you have a sum of money on you that’s large enough that you’re always aware of it, you won’t lose it.
“If you avoid having money on you or in your life because you think you will lose it or it will be stolen from you, you will never allow yourself to have money at all,” Milasas wrote, which isn’t exactly untrue.
Tip number three is to buy things of intrinsic value.
Milasas has bought a lot of gold and silver with her 10 percent account. She says it’s handy when she feels like she has no money, because she can look at the gold and silver and realise that she does.
Things she recommends buying as well are platinum, diamonds, pearls, and antique jewellery.
“You don’t have to have thousands and thousands of dollars in your 10 percent account to start buying things of intrinsic value either,” she wrote. “You could start with buying a silver teaspoon to stir your coffee with, and add from there. Just make sure, whatever you do or buy, that you follow what is joyful for you.”
Needless to say, the internet has been rather stunned by this bizarre advice.
This is insane and gets more insane with every sentence https://t.co/0e2qTmIKEL
— dan (@dannolan) June 27, 2017
this is wild, I'm heading to buy some gold rn with my 10% account rather than pay power bills
— Hugh Stephens (@hughstephens) June 27, 2017
this article reads like a how to on going from zero debt to $187,000 debt in two years
did they read the pitch wrong or something
— frontin' on may may (@llewstevens) June 27, 2017
To be really financially savvy, carry around 1000 silver spoons in your wallet
— Rob Stott (@Rob_Stott) June 28, 2017
Wow I never realised my bills were coming from the universe. This changes everything!
— Laurel Ede (@laurel_ede) June 27, 2017
Here's a poem I just wrote about this mamamia take on saving:
What are you doing
This is terrible advice
Please don't give advice pic.twitter.com/fJVyxYcYol
— Sarah ???? (@SarahJ_Berry) June 27, 2017
Ah so this is what us millennials have been doing wrong the entire time!
— Stella (@stelliinous) June 28, 2017
Milasas is the worldwide co-ordinator for Access Consciousness, a self-help program that “offers pragmatic tools to change things in your life that you haven’t been able to change until now.” It is based on the idea that your consciousness can shift anything. The group has been described unfavourably on Twitter.
In an article on News.au, writer Frank Chung points out how bad the advice in the Mamamia blog actually is:
“To be absolutely clear, this is appalling advice. Do not follow this advice,” he wrote. Commenting on tweets he had seen, he added: “Peter Johns wrote: ‘It’s like if the anti-vaccine movement tried their hand at personal finance.’ Vivienne Egan described it as ‘f***ing irresponsible for @Mamamia to publish this bollocks’, while Clare Payne said it was ‘appalling.'”
Business Insider has reached out to Milasas for comment.