This isn’t about how you talk about your money with your partner or kids, or boss. This is about how you talk to your money.
Talk to your money? Yes.
You have a relationship with your money, just like you have a relationship with all the important (and not so important) people in your life. How healthy and happy you are in your relationships speaks directly to how much attention you give to them and how well you manage them.
This is also true with your money relationship. If you give your finances the proper attention that it deserves, and if you diligently manage your money, taking care of it when negative situations arise, you will have a successful relationship.
If you ignore your money, overspend, don’t save for yourself, or treat your money poorly, you’ll see the outcome of these behaviors will create a worse relationship.
Change your narrative
One way to have a good money relationship is to talk positively about your money. Instead of saying “I never have enough money,” or “I’m not good with money.” Even reinforcing your negative association with money, that you aren’t good with budgeting, or don’t like to save money, is developing a bad money relationship. This self-talk behavior reinforces your negative relationship with money.
Instead, put a different narrative in your head. “I have enough money”, or “I’m learning how to budget”, “I have a good relationship with my money.” It may sound like woo-woo, but it really works when you change the way you talk to yourself with the intent that you are already doing well with money.
You can even talk to your money. “Come on, money. I really need a hundred bucks by the weekend.” Or even better, ask the money for more. “Could you make sure I have a hundred dollars by the weekend.” Then believe it will listen to you and give you what you need. And here’s the most important part. Believe it will happen. I know this sounds woo. But try it. It won’t hurt.
Give your money direction
You need a plan when it comes to money. Spending your cash with a budget in place, shows you where you are directing your dollars so they can work for you in the best way possible. That means you have to be the boss of your income and expenses. You are the leader and your money is the follower (and money makes a great follow if you do it right), not the other way around.
This is the one of the only relationships where you will benefit from taking charge and directing the actions of your money.
Don’t be a slave and let your cash rule you. Step up and take command. If you don’t know how to do this, start with a simple budget. Learn how to budget and save. Take control and give yourself the life you want living within the means of your monetary income. You will still have a good life if you do this. It will be more freeing, and you’ll feel safer when your money starts working for you and doing what you tell it to do.
Never compare yourself and your financial standing with others
People may have a financial advantage, or disadvantage, in life. Sometimes it’s pure luck — they were born into money, or were otherwise lucky. Some people have good karma, if you’d like to call it that. They have a really good relationship with money and have a “Midas Touch.” Some people may look like they have everything in life, but are miserable. Others can have very little in life, yet be happy.
It’s all a matter of perspective, and money is not the end-all to your happiness. You don’t know what others are suffering through. They can have very toxic financial values, and be dependent on the cash they own, or the material things they’ve accumulated. It may be their whole identity.
My point is, you determine what makes you happy, regardless of money. Treat your cash only as a tool to get the things you need. And then, maybe some of the things you want. However, if you have close relationships with your loved ones, you look forward to getting up in the morning and living (and loving) life most days, if you have a handful of things that give you joy, you will be happy regardless of how much you have in your bank account. It may be a soothing hot cup of tea, or playing music, or even watching the birds outside your window. It doesn’t matter, it’s what makes you enjoy your time on this earth.
Have a goal and then work to reach it
There’s nothing more motivating than creating a goal you’re passionate about, and taking the actions you need to reach it.
The best part is finding out what you really want to do. Dream! Go big with it. Create some mini goals along the way. Each time you achieve a part of your dream, celebrate.
For the longest time, I wanted to travel to Costa Rica. I researched the country and the areas that inspired me to visit. I worked to save money for my trip. Then one day, I found I’d reached the amount I needed for a plane ticket and lodging. I pulled the trigger and bought tickets, and took my first solo travel. Every penny was worth it, that was a lifetime experience.
Your dream can be anything. Mine usually involves traveling. Yours could be getting a degree, or a house, or a dog. It could be learning how to paint, rock climbing, or speaking a new language. You may want to learn how to throw clay, and make beautiful pieces of art. The sky’s the limit.
When you start thinking that you have an real relationship with your money you can start to understand there is a perceived positive and negative response to the relationship. It matters that you approach it with a positive mindset. When your perception changes, when your mindset and how you interact with your money changes into a more positive interaction, this will create a fruitful life for you.