Our Relationship With Money

Money. Each of us has a different relationship with it. We view it differently, use it differently and think about it differently. How we experience money affects our relationships with out partners, families, and friends; and it drives our choices for our careers, environments and activities. Money plays a role in our present and future – often stemming from the beliefs we have that are rooted in the past.

What is your current relationship with money?

What we don’t realize is that it is not about having money or not having it that affects our lives, it is about how the money or lack of it makes us feel, what we believe about it and how we act with it. Whether we feel abundance or scarcity often has nothing to do with our bank accounts. There are many with very little money who have great feelings of abundance in their lives (wealth and abundance has to do with more than just money), and there are also those with great monetary wealth who feel much scarcity in their lives. The word -enough- is often associated with both states. We feel abundant when we have more than -enough- of whatever it is we wanting and scarcity when we have -not enough-. Many of my clients come to me feeling some level of scarcity around money. They say they things like -if only I had enough money, then I would-.- The funny thing is, usually when I ask them to define (quantify) -enough- they are not able to do it. If we don’t know what -enough- is, how do we know whether we have it or not?

What role does money play in your current lifestyle? What role do you want it to play in the lifestyle you want to have?

Recently my husband and I talked about this very topic. We were away for the weekend, floating peacefully on a beautiful lake and we were talking about how much we are grateful for in our lives (the scenery helped). The conversation then turned to what we most want to add to our lives (things, experiences). At the end of that talk, we realized that much of what we want we could have right now, that the cost was not very much at all, yet we hold back in reaching for it. How often does that happen to you – you think that what you want is beyond your reach when really it is far closer than you believe. All you have to do is go for it.

What is it you truly want right now? How close is it? Of course, some of the things we want do cost more money than we currently have or want to spend, but what if there was still a way to have it, for far less money? One way to achieve this is to think about the essence of what you really want or are seeking. For example, if you want to travel the world, perhaps it is experiencing new cultures or tastes or scenery you are seeking; if you want a beach house, maybe it is the care free lifestyle, solitude or playfulness you are really craving. The essence is the why behind what you want. Values can also play an important part in figuring this out. Knowing what matters most to you helps you decide where and how to spend the money you have. For example, if you value learning and growth – you may spend on classes, books, degree programs, certification, coaching; if you value security – you may spend on insurance, a safe car, alarm systems; if you value health – you may spend on acupuncture, nutrition counseling, health clubs and whole foods. My example – I value beauty and creativity therefore I spend on art supplies and an occasional art class and weekends at the beach. I also love shopping so I frequent thrift stores – it connects me with my love of treasure hunting and gives me the ability to say -yes- to everything I want since the price point is low – it’s also great for the environment to reuse – and I’m donating to a good cause at the same time.

What is your WHY – the essence behind what you want in your life?

Another important factor in your future relationship with money is gaining control of it. That includes knowing where it is and how it is working for you – being aware and empowered is a critical abundance-building step. When I met Lori Williams of Wachovia Securities, I had a mishmash of investments that were so confusing I often -ignored- it. Getting everything organized and in one place, with a person whose knowledge I trusted was incredibly freeing. Lori helped me see the big picture of what -enough- means to me and my husband at this time in our lives. This was especially helpful as I had just started my coaching and speaking business and my husband was embarking on a full time music career – making our income unpredictable. This was a big step out of our comfort zones. Working with Lori gives us piece of mind. In her we have someone with the skills and knowledge we lack supporting us in maintaining the lifestyle we want to live.

What support do you have in your relationship with money?

It is now time to think about your future. You get to decide the role you would like money to play in achieving your life goals. It is also you who chooses how you will spend your money and what you will save it for. In order to spend in the areas you value, you can look at your overall money picture in several ways: by focusing on where you are spending now in areas you don’t highly value, how much you are spending in areas you do value, and uncovering the essence of what you want to shift how/where spending now. This is also a great time to find support, in a financial planner or a life coach (or both) so you can create and life your -best life- – it may be within your reach right now and you don’t even know it.