Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Changing your relationship with money is a difficult concept to comprehend. Foundationally, having a ‘relationship’ with money doesn’t really resonate with many of us. Money is an inanimate thing. A piece of paper, plastic, or just numbers on a screen. It certainly isn’t something that you would have any type of ‘relationship’ with.
But that simply isn’t the case. We actually have a very intimate relationship with money.
We feel immense excitement and pride when the work we do results in a sale, a promotion, or a new opportunity. We feel protected and safe, when money that we have saved is used to cover expenses of an unanticipated event. Money can also make us feel happiness and joy when utilized to help purchase a thing or an experience which we truly want.
However, money can also make us feel defeated. We can feel overwhelmed when our debt is too large to ever look past, and defeated believing we might never overcome it. We can feel immense sadness and pain when money is lost due to unexpected events such as a large medical bill, or unexpected event.
Money can also affect your interpersonal relationships with others and is a leading factor in divorce.
Money affects nearly every aspect of our lives either directly or indirectly.
So where do you even start to unwind your relationship with money and consider modalities for improving your financial future?
Consider Your Experiences With Money Growing Up
Oftentimes, the things we experience as a child can have profound implications for us in adulthood. This is true in nearly every aspect of our adult lives.
Think about the ways in which money was discussed in your household as a child and the type of financial situation you were in. Did your parents talk with you about money? How did those conversations go and what was discussed? Consider the ways that your understanding of money growing up, both in terms of what you learned, heard, and understood may affect your spending, saving, and investment habits as an adult. It’s also important to note, that money is a cause of immense pain and trauma for some.
Identify Your Goals
Next, take a moment to consider what your life goals are. How close are you to achieving them and what is preventing you from achieving them? If your financial situation is a cause for delay, it’s more important than ever to truly consider your relationship with money.
The benefit to identifying your life goals is that you create an insulated and clearly defined path for which to align your spending, saving, and investment strategies. You’ll actually likely find that you are spending your money on a lot of noise simply out of routine, instead of being intentional with your purchases.
Every single purchase you make either gets you closer or further from accomplishing the things you truly want in this world. Your spending, saving, and investment strategies should be intentional and should align with what makes you happy and should place you on a trajectory to achieve the things you want.
Get A Plan
After you consider your foundational understanding of money and you’ve clearly identified your life goals, the next step is to create action steps to help you achieve your life goals. Your action steps should be clearly defined, measurable, and realistic. Research finds that writing down your goals, and reviewing them with some degree of regularity (some experts suggest 2xs a day) you substantially increase the odds of achieving those goals.
Understanding where you’ve come from, where you’re going, and creating a planned path to get there are all foundational steps which can help you utilize money as a tool and a resource to help propel and accelerate your financial future.
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