We all know that relationships can be complicated. When they’re healthy, they can be amazing, energizing, and soul-satisfying. But, when they’re not, they can be stressful, disempowering, and downright frustrating!
Your relationship with money follows the same pattern as any other relationships in your life. The difference is, when you have a bad relationship with money, it can spill over and negatively impact all areas of your life. Why? Because money is present in everything you do. As much as you may like to forget about it, ignore it, or actively avoid it, money has a bad habit of just popping up and asking for your attention.
And, just like some other relationships you may have experienced, money will try to get your attention in any way possible! Sometimes, it can be negative, like an unexpected expense that overdraws your account, or sometimes it can be positive, like finding a $10 bill randomly on the street. Either way, money is a constant part of your life, and it’s worth your time to develop a healthy relationship with it so that it can be a GOOD part of your life instead of a stressful one.
So how do you develop a good relationship with money?
First on the list is to GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. In order to have a good relationship, you need to make money YOUR NEW BESTIE. You need to get to know it, engage with it, anticipate it, and respect it. The best way to do this is to understand how money flows into and out of your life. The more you pay attention to it, the healthier your relationship will be.
In today’s busy world, people spend less and less time managing their money. You’ve been trained to automate as much as possible. Using ATMs or getting cash back at point of purchase. Using bill pay, autopay apple pay, or Venmo. Although these things are great for convenience, they pull you further and further away from really understanding how much you’re spending. You may think, “oh, it’s only $10”, but then when it’s $10 every day of the month, all the sudden you’re looking at $300. It adds up.
So it’s time to start tracking your spending. Pick up a money journal or download one of the money minder apps out there and start getting to know how and where you spend your money. You’ll get HUGE benefits from just this one simple action. You’ll feel more in control and less stressed because you know where you stand. Instead of worrying about not having enough money, you’ll be able to focus on strategies to bridge any gaps.
You’ll also FIND money. By merely tracking your spending, you start to change your behavior and be more conscious of your spending. You’ll make wiser decisions and stop wasting money, essentially giving yourself a raise and putting more money in your pocket for the things that you actually want or need. You could even make it a challenge, where you set a goal of how much money you want to “find” for the month. You may be surprised by how many expenses are running through your account that you’ve forgotten about or aren’t even aware of.
ACTION: DON”T DELAY – START TODAY!
It may seem like a chore, but I can promise you, that once you get started it gets addicting. Make sure you record both your inflows (thank you!) and outflows. Within a couple of weeks, you’ll feel the difference. You’ll find that your new pal MONEY comes around more often and your relationship moves from surviving to thriving. Now that’s a relationship worth investing in!