If you’re struggling with your finances, it’s hard to think that money isn’t your enemy.
It feels like your money is working against you. You’re constantly worried about how much money you have and whether that money is going to disappear overnight. You feel embarrassed talking about your financial situation in public. Sometimes you’re scared to even look at bank statement or open the bills.
You might even feel like money is standing between you and your happiness.
You’re in a toxic relationship with your money.
Why This Matters
A toxic relationship with money could never be as bad as a toxic relationship with another human being. Your money isn’t a person, after all – it isn’t actively trying to hurt you.
But your relationship with money can make you feel just as trapped as you might in a real relationship.
The way you treat your money is pretty indicative of your relationship with it. You might enjoy showing off the things you buy to your friends, for example, even though this isn’t helpful to you in the long run. You might only pay attention to your money when you’re in trouble. You might not work very hard to understand your money or why it does the things it does.
That’s your relationship with money, for better or for worse.
The good news is that you can change your relationship with money – and you don’t even need your money to agree! It’s happy to go along with whatever you decide.
If you change the way you approach your relationship to your money, you can actually feel safer, happier, and more confident when you need to work with it.
Instead of feeling like you’re up against the enemy, you’ll feel more like you do when you go to a close friend for help. All the effort you put into making that relationship healthy will come back to you tenfold.
So let’s talk about how you can change your relationship with money.
Learn About It
The first step in any healthy relationship is knowing and understanding the other person. (Or, in this case, entity.)
Most people don’t understand how money works. Of course they know that money comes in when they’re working and goes out when they pay rent or buy groceries, but they don’t really understand how some people always seem to have plenty of money, and others never seem to have enough.
They don’t understand how to allocate money to what matters most. They don’t know exactly how much of their money goes to paying down interest on their loans or debts. They don’t really know how to prioritize spending or saving for retirement.
And let’s not even get started on investments.
If this is you, then it’s time to start learning about money. Take a course on personal finances or read a few books on the topic. Find out more on how to budget, how to save and spend responsibly, and how loans, credit cards, and debt really work behind the scenes.
Then take a hard look at your own finances. See if you’re helping your money achieve its goals or getting in its way.
Your money wants to help you reach happiness and a good quality of life – does your spending reflect that ambition? Is there any way you can manage your money differently so that it can more readily help you?
Show Some Respect
Many people speak disparagingly of their money, particularly when they need to avoid spending in order to save for a bigger goal.
They might get invited out to dinner, for example, and say, with a disgusted face, “I’d love to, but I’m on a tight budget this month. It’s the worst.”
Your money doesn’t have feelings, but if it did, it would probably feel pretty hurt by that statement! It’s only trying to help you save toward bigger goals. It’s a little mean to imply that your budget stops you from enjoying yourself, when all it’s really trying to do is secure a much greater happiness for you.
What would happen if you answered the friend who invited you out to dinner like this?
“I’d love to, but I’m saving up for an amazing vacation to Hawaii that I’m really looking forward to. Could I invite you over to our house for dinner instead?”
When you think of your money as helping you go on vacation, rather than preventing you from going out to dinner, you show respect for your money. You appreciate what it’s doing for you.
You also teach yourself that you aren’t unhappy about budgeting – you’re glad you’re making good choices that help you achieve much more long-term happiness.
Believe It Will Look After You
Many people behave as if the only thing standing between them and poverty is constant worry. It’s as if they think stressing over how much money they have will prevent money from leaving them forever!
Your money doesn’t want to leave you, though. It would be more than happy to stay in your bank accounts, growing peacefully year after year so it can look after you into your old age.
In fact, the more that people understand, work with, and respect their money, the more money they seem capable of earning.
How? Worrying all the time only convinces your brain that you have stay constantly vigilant to stay solvent, which is exhausting and eats away at your confidence – which can both hurt your ability to make sound life decisions and smart financial choices.
Trust that your money will help you achieve your goals. That’s what it’s for, after all. Money doesn’t have feelings, or wants, or dreams of its own. It’s just a tool, and it’s made for the specific purpose of helping you achieve your dreams.
Invest in a better relationship with your money, and it can’t help but give you a helping hand in return.
If you’d like to learn more about yourself and your current relationship with money – and even learn how to change that relationship so that it becomes harmonious and happy, check out our Money Map Coaching Program.
Designed by women, for women, it teaches you how to get a clear understanding of your relationship with money so you can focus on the priorities that matter to you most. Your relationship will blossom – and so will your confidence!