Strange as it sounds we all have a relationship with money. Think about it, it does make sense. We have a relationship with most things in our lives and money is no exception.
In fact, our money relationship is the longest relationship we will have in our lives!
Money is everywhere, we really can’t ‘opt out’ and say we want nothing to do with it. Unless you want to be a hermit in deepest darkest Kazakstan where there are no other people and you can be self-sufficient. Not my idea of fun.
In our younger days, we didn’t really think about it. Money was just there (or not) depending on what day of the week it was and how close to payday it was. OK, that was many years ago when I was young, single and carefree, or I liked to think I was, but looking back now, even then money permeated my thoughts and actions.
Whether you like it or not, you have a relationship with money. Love it or hate it, money is everywhere and like any relationship there are good relationships and bad.
The crazy thing is, it doesn’t matter what education you’ve had or your what your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is. Some of the wealthiest people in the world didn’t finish tertiary education. And conversely, many people with qualifications coming off the end of their business card, haven’t fared well financially.
What’s your relationship with money like? Think about it this way; if you were dating money, what would it say about you?
We have clients who love money, they look after it, nurture and grow it and in return, money looks after them and rewards them with what they want in life, materially and with financial security.
I asked one of our clients what they thought their relationship was with money. They didn’t even have to think about it. “I hate it. I hate that I never have enough of it, I can’t manage it and I spend too much of my life worrying about it.”
I wasn’t too surprised with their answer as I saw that pattern in their business, lurching from one financial crisis to another.
Unlike a spouse or partner, you can’t leave it and start again. This relationship is with you for life and you carry it with you wherever you go and whatever you do.
Interestingly enough, other people are also interested in your relationship with money. The movie Four Weddings and a Funeral pretty well sums it up. “Have you got enough to support me when I marry you?” and “When you die, will there be anything left for me?”
It is important to understand your own relationship with money and the meaning you associate with money. Every decision you make regarding money, will flow from this meaning and associated emotions.
So, pause for a moment, when you think of money. What is the first word that pops into your head? That word is the primary meaning money has for you.
As an example, if money means security to you, you probably won’t take too many risks with your money, you will be more conservative in your investments and think of the long term impact of your decisions.
If money means power to you, then you will probably take more risks and use money to control and influence others.
Both these examples are generalisations but I am sure you get the general idea.
How does this gem of information help you? Well, once you know what your relationship is with money and what it means to you, you can use that to assess financial decisions before you make them.
The good news is that you can change your relationship with money. If you feel you consistently make bad financial decisions, go back and see what meaning you were attaching to that decision. Change the meaning and you can change the decision and the path that you are on.
Whatever your vision for the future, whether a fierce determination to establish a mega base of wealth or just wanting enough to subsist with maybe a break away now and then, embracing a healthy relationship with money is crucial.
After all, it is the longest relationship you’ll have. Better make it a good one.
Not sure how to make a start? Start by sending us an email, we’re (money) relationship specialists.