Many of our money related issues stem from the fact that we do not understand it. These troubles come from unhealthy attitudes, habits and believes, combined with the demands of our society. Add to that how emotionally loaded the money topic can be and you realize why we are so ill prepared to build true and lasting wealth.
The path to financial security is a long and winding one for many people, including me. No kidding! I have had more ups and downs with money than a ride on a roller coaster; and I do have a financial IQ, which really hits twice as hard.
Financial security starts with learning to control your money; otherwise, your money will control you.
“Easier said than done”, I hear you saying. Fear not, my friend, as for money is an exact science, and I am going to guide you to a healthier, and more joyful, relationship with money.
Here we go!
Build a Healthy Relationship with Money
We all have “feelings” about money, feelings that produce undesirable financial outcomes. They are also called money blocks. People relate money to themselves and use the money to define them. “If I don’t earn millions, I am not good, etc.” But money is only paper; it has the value you give it.
To achieve this point you should see money as a friend. Like in a relationship with a loved one, you look forward to meeting and spend time together, you have fond memories, and you invest time in the relationship. You are committed and do not quit when the going gets tough. When things aren’t working, you wonder what you can do to help it. It’s the same thing with money.
A healthy relationship with money means to get comfortable talking about it. Ask questions, get information. Become familiar with money-related terms and learn to see money as a friend, not an enemy. Educate yourself about money, read books (The richest man in Babylon by George S. Clason is a great book to start with)
Our “feelings” about money can produce undesirable financial outcomes.
Don’t Blame Yourself
Whenever you see your bank statement and are not happy with the amount you see there, it is of vital importance that you don’t start to blame yourself and fall in a downward spiral. Look as if these statements are your best friend’s and she asks you what can she improve? By posing the question outside of you, the natural disposition we have towards seeing other people’s problems in a less passionate or personal way kicks in, so we give ourselves better advice.
Start With a Small Step
Overhauling your money system doesn’t have to be a dramatic event. In fact, it shouldn’t be. When you take on too much at one time, it can get very overwhelming, very quickly – especially when it comes to money.
Money management is a habit. It has no sense to start in a fanatic fashion. It’s like a diet. Go cold turkey and significantly reduce the amount of food you eat, and after a short while, you will quit because it’s not sustainable.
If you start with checking your accounts daily, creating a budget, keeping track of your expenses, all at once, you are doomed to fail, because managing your money is not (yet) a habit in you.
Overhauling your money system doesn’t have to be a dramatic event. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Create a Habit by Introducing Small Steps Each Time
Order in your finances needs to become a habit, like your morning routine. It’s by introducing small steps, and seeing the results how you will keep going.
To start creating a habit, pick any activity –not necessarily related to money- and make sure you take each day the time to complete that specific task. It might be something as far away from money like flossing your teeth on a daily basis, whether you are in the mood or not. Day in-day out, for 30 days. You will notice that this becomes a natural thing in your daily routine (not to forget that your oral hygiene will show signs of improvement and your dentist bills as well).
The important thing is that the action you take is simple enough that you will actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will make a difference. Keep your new steps small and manageable, so that you can achieve your goal and prepare to take a bigger step.
Take a step simple enough that you will actually do it, but meaningful enough that will make a difference.
Decide and commit to a small new task which you are willing to take on for the coming 30 days. It does not have to be money related. The important thing is that you commit yourself to it for at least 30 days. Once you have nailed down this new habit and see the results, you are ready to take your first financial step in confidence because you have already proven you can successfully commit to something.
Money is a vehicle that can take you places, and you are in the driver´s seat. You decide where you go, which resources you will use to reach your destination. Know your route, your starting point, and your destination. Money is in your service and when you learn to manage it you’ll be in a better position to start planning for your financial future.