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You may be familiar with the old saying that “money can’t buy happiness”. Whilst this is true, there is no doubt a correlation between having little to no money and misery. The vast majority of people don’t earn enough income to cover the cost of their needs and others simply fail to budget and prioritize their spending which therefore leads to living life paycheck to paycheck -drowning in thousands of dollars in debt.
For many of us, much like myself, the trauma of an impoverished childhood can seem impossible to completely shake off. There is a sense of lack and scarcity that make it incredibly difficult to develop a positive relationship with money and wealth.
Money, for those who were poor as children, can feel like an unpredictable resource. If a child grows up under the shadows of low paying jobs, debt collectors, poor housing, poor education, and consistent hunger they are more likely to develop a sense of failure, lack of self-worth, and hopelessness about their future more so than that of their affluent peers- and just like that, the cycle of generational poverty is born.
Now, let me make things perfectly clear- this situation is absolutely overcomable. Yes, I know- that is not a real word. I’m well aware, but for the sake of the point I’m trying to make- just flow with it.
We are not bound by our past or present circumstances. We just need to adopt a new mindset and perspective about our finances- learn how to heal our negative relationship with money so we can begin to experience an abundant life.
How Do You Know If You Have an Unhealthy Relationship With Money?
As you reflect on your relationship with money and try to figure out whether or not you are cultivating the right habits, ask yourself this question: are you poor or just broke?
While we may use these words as synonyms for one another at times, they are in fact very different states. You see, when you are poor, you have no say in the matter. There are often political or economic policies in place that are out of your control. No one ever chooses to be poor.
On the other hand, if you are broke, though, then you have made the choice to be broke- or should I say stay broke. You are making that choice, again and again, every single day telling the world “Yes, I want to be broke,” by your actions, your mindsets, and your habits.
Why do this to yourself?
Once you become aware of the fact that you are pushing yourself down and into a cycle of negativity, it only makes sense that you would make an effort to pull yourself out of that cycle, right? If you realize that you are broke because of the way you think about and view money – that is, you see it in an unhealthy light, believe it is something that you don’t deserve or want it far too much – then you can overcome that perception.
Habits of People With an Unhealthy Relationship with Money
Do you constantly worry that you never have enough money? Perhaps you worry about a lack of funds, but never really consider how you can increase your funds and cut your costs. Perhaps when you feel stressed, it encourages you to spend some more.
Do you often feel as if you make bad financial decisions, so avoid making them completely?
Do You Spend Money to Fill an Emotional Void in Your Life?
Often, we spend money to make us feel better. We might visit the mall because we are lonely. Sadly, when we do this, our purchases are very unlikely to make us feel satisfied or happy at all. Instead, we are more likely to feel numbed and guilty about spending money – suffering from a severe case of buyer’s remorse.
Transforming your relationship with money is a simple concept, but not an easy one. You can’t just snap your fingers and BOOM! Problem solved. Not exactly how that works.
You need to work at it! Get creative and cultivate positive habits that are conducive to a life free from the shackles that money (or a lack of money) can turn into.
Why Is It Important to Have a Positive Relationship With Money?
It plays a critical role in our overall well-being. Let’s go back to the original statement that “money can’t buy happiness”. For many of us, this is a notion that has been ingrained in their minds since we were children. Yet, whilst our money does not equal happiness, our relationship with it might. A person who has a good relationship with money is much more likely to be content. Almost in a minimalistic sort of way.
They are always grateful for all that they currently have. They use their money to invest in opportunities that will make them financially independent. They enjoy giving, donating to charity, and supporting worthy causes. They could care less about keeping up with the Joneses. They don’t think debt is a normal way of life. They are always planning for the future.
On the other hand, a person who hasn’t managed to develop a healthy relationship with money is likely to spend their earnings very quickly, later regretting it. They may take on debt without really planning to, as a way of putting out their financial fires. It is only by addressing this very uncomfortable issue, that they can be set free financially. Many people maintain, that it was only when they finally drew up a budget and financial plan that they started to feel positive and good about every aspect of their life.
Being financially sensible will help you to build a solid foundation for your future. It will help you achieve the life you want for yourself, free from shame, guilt and regret.
12 Ways to Transform Your Negative Relationship With Money
- Change your mindset. Become aware of your own weaknesses with money; it is when you are aware of these weaknesses that you are most able to deal with them. Study mindset and money practices of wealthy people. Be active in your pursuit to accrue wealth. Work hard and realize that it will take time. Think about and plan your finances on a daily basis.
- Do not live beyond your means. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Whilst this tough, it is amazing how free you feel, when you finally have the courage to let go of materialism.
- Track your spending: Learn how to budget. Never be afraid to think about or talk about money. A budget should be something that you refer to on a daily basis. If you overspend, that’s fine. It’s much better to address the rest of the month, knowing that you have overspent than look back in serious debt.
- The Power of Paying Cash. These days we do most of our spending using a debit or credit card. Yet, try using cash and you will quickly realize how much harder it is to let go of your actual dollars. When your wallet is empty, you have no money left, there isn’t an overdraft buffer or credit limit. An overdraft or credit limit might seem like a safety net, but actually they are anything but. Rather, they just promote a lifestyle of unplanned debt.
- Educate yourself on the common types of consumer debt and credit. Gain a full understanding of the risks and consequences associated with credit cards, mortgages, car loans, payday loans, student loans, etc. It’s soooo easy to fall into the trap of following the masses. From day one, we are brainwashed to believe that there is good debt. I personally no longer give credence to this theory. I would much rather drastically increase my income and not need to rely on credit than to have good credit and still be living paycheck to paycheck. Thank you Dave Ramsey!
- Learn how to make more money and increase your income. Rich people focus on continuously making money, where the majority are satisfied with a monthly income. Very often, it’s easy to make a few more bucks. You would be wise to capitalize on opportunities to make more money where possible.
- Aim to save money. Work out what your monthly costs are, then decide how much you can save each month. Set that money aside before you allow a single dollar to leave your bank account.
- Having a healthy savings account will allow you to have an emergency fund. Never use this, unless you hit an emergency. Think of it as your rainy day fund.
- Financial Goal Setting. Consider your long term financial goals and make a plan on how you are going to achieve your goal.
- Learn about business financial literacy. Learn how savvy businesses money management and basic accounting skills can be used effectively to maximize your household budget.
- Always be grateful for what you already have. If you can afford to put food on your table, you have more than most people do throughout the world. Perhaps use this opportunity to set aside some of your money for giving.
- Increase your money energy flow: When you think about money, what emotions begin to surface? Do you feel happy and content? Or do you have a sinking feeling of fear? What excuses do you use to explain away your poor relationship with money? Take responsibility for yourself, overcome these limiting beliefs by replacing them with a positive attitude, such as money affirmations which will allow you to attract wealth.
The Wrap Up
To be successful, you need to feel successful. To feel this success, it is essential to develop a positive relationship with money and develop better money habits. The route out of poverty forever, is the recognition that money is a tool to success. Without it, we cannot fulfill our desires and aspirations.
We need to recognize that we have the power to take control of our finances: by earning, giving thought to our outgoings and saving for the future. Having a positive attitude towards money is critical to our success and future prosperity. We may need to make changes to our lifestyle and how we think about and plan our finances.
Breaking broke will be painful, but the alternative is an endless future of depriving ourselves of financial security. With careful planning and budgeting life could be so much easier and more enjoyable!
Do the work now and you will soon be able to start living a more fulfilled life, and before you know it you will be enjoying financial freedom.
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