Strange as it sounds we all have a relationship with money. When you think about it, it does make sense. 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 the deepest darkest Amazon jungle where there are no other people and you can be self sufficient, not my idea of fun.
I hadn’t really thought about it either, 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.
A little tongue in cheek, but think about it this way, if you were dating money what would it say about you?
I 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 both materially and their financial security.
I will never forget the conversation with one of my business clients, when I asked her what she thought her relationship was with money, she 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 her answer as I saw that pattern in how she ran her 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, is there 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 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.