Published by Teresa Milner, Wealth Advisor
Some of us have an unhealthy relationship with our money. When you hear the word “sale,” do you go and buy things just because you think it’s a good deal? How many clothes have you bought just because they were 50% off, but then never even taken the tags off? How many pairs of uncomfortable shoes do you own, just because they were cheaper than normal? All of these are proof you have an unhealthy relationship with your money.
It is time for you to have a healthier relationship with your money. When thinking of money, some people think of words like “stress, tension, controlling, abundance, and confusion.” This might be because you were raised to think of money negatively. You might have had a hard time financially, and still carry that baggage around. But, now it is time for you to take control of your relationship with money.
In relationships, you often have to use a bit of “tough-love,” in addition to a nurturing attitude. You work hard for your money, and use “tough-love” when you save instead of spend. But, every now and then, it is good to indulge. With the steps to creating a healthy relationship with your money, I belive that you will start your journey down the road to a better relationship. I like to think of building this relationship like cleaning your house. If you get overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning the whole house, why not start by cleaning one area at a time. Adopt one of the healthy habits below at a time, and soon you’ll be glad you did.
6 Steps to a Healthy Relationship with Your Money
1. Expect the best – prepare for the worst.
We go through many tough experiences in life, most of which are not our fault: job loss, unforeseen illness, accidents, etc. Unfortunate circumstances happen – be prepared for them and your survival rate increases exponentially.
2. Create beliefs about your money that will servce your house budget as well as support your lifestyle and goals.
This will help you to identify the limiting behaviors you have developed with your money. Recognize and evaluate any unhealthy patterns you might have with your money.
3. Live within your means.
Don’t spend more than you make. Limit debt and start to view credit cards as a means to be used when needed, and then pay it back immediately. Buy things you can afford, and if you can’t, save up for it! It will feel much better when you know it was a financially sound purchase.
I look at saving money as an item in my monthly budget. Aim for allocating at least 10% of your earnings to savings. However, if you can’t start at 10%, start lower and increase it on a regular basis to prepare for what’s next in life.
5. Know where your money goes.
Don’t ignore it, but learn to appreciate it. Track your inflows and outflows. This habit alone will build your confidence with your money. But, it can also help when building a steady, strong, and healthy relationship with its role in your life.
Last but not least, allow giving to be a healthy way of living. Choose to be generous and this will help break your desire for more material possessions. Having more money doesn’t make you happy. If you are not at a point where giving financially is an option, choose to be generous with your time. Do random acts of kindness, volunteer to help those in need, or simply listen to someone.
Be open to having a life of abundance – it’s a healthy human instinct. It’s okay to long for a better life. Be aware of your feelings about money, and if they are negative, you can train yourself to change the way you think. Having a healthy relationship with your money can do wonders in avoiding a disaster that could unexpectedly occur.
My career allows me to help people to have a healthy relationship with their money. Please feel free to reach out to me, and we can sit down and have a conversation about where you’re at with your financial goals, and where you want to be!