[Photo credit: Pictures of Money]
Your relationship with money determines your ability to either accumulate or squander it. You can earn a good income but have no money. Conversely, you can earn a low income but yet, have plenty of money. While your income helps in accumulating wealth, your relationship with money is what truly matters.
The lessons I learned were priceless and my relationship with money changed completely.
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When I was teaching full-time, I earned a good income. I was also a really good saver. I could pay all my bills easily, take holidays, go out to eat and drink and still save money quickly. While I could save easily, every few years I would find myself in the same position - paying my bills and living life comfortably but with nothing in the bank.
For me, having money in the bank was one definition of success. It was also a key element in how I valued home and family. When I resigned from teaching to work for myself full-time, I was no longer earning that good, consistent income. I had no money in the bank and with the variable nature of self-employed income, I was slowly slipping behind in paying the bills, as they gradually piled up.
It dawned upon me that my inability to hang on to money for the long-term was a direct result of what I experienced as a child.
As I reflected on our financial situation twelve months down the track, I had a lightbulb moment. It dawned upon me that my inability to hang on to money for the long-term was a direct result of what I experienced as a child. What our parents say and do, particularly in our early years, fundamentally forms our attitudes, values and beliefs. I had never applied that understanding to my own relationship with money.
Those twelve months were hard going. We had a plan though and we got back on top of our finances. I realised that as hard as that twelve months was, I wound’t trade the experience for anything. We still paid all our bills and even saved money. The lessons I learned were priceless and my relationship with money changed completely. I’m so grateful for that experience that I now reflect on that time with joy.
How To Improve Your Relationship With Money
- Review what you learned from your parents.
Think about the things your parents used to say about money. What was their relationship with money like? Are there any similarities with how you relate to money now? Consider how you value money, your beliefs about wealth and your behaviours after each paycheque.
- Prioritise your bills.
There are always going to be times when it seems like all your bills come at once. When this happens, don’t stress. Financial stress is one of the worst types of stress. Create a plan and prioritise. Ask yourself, which ones are the most important. Then create a plan to pay them off. If you do this before they arrive, even better.
- Live within your means.
When you change positions, jobs, careers or move from one type of employment to another, and your pay goes down, make the necessary lifestyle modifications to suit. If your pay goes up, don’t go rushing into upgrading your lifestyle. Continue to live at your current level and make that money work for you, instead of you working for your money.
- Kiss it goodbye.
Every time you swipe your card, hand over money or press submit on a bank transfer, kiss that money goodbye with a loving heart. Remind yourself that there is plenty more where it came from.
- Learn to love money.
Whether you like it or not, we need money to get by in our modern, civilised world. When you have money, you can help others too. You can do more for, and with, your children, your family, your friends, your community and the world.
Your ability to accumulate money is defined by your relationship with it. Rather than focusing on how much you earn, focus on how you use what you’ve got. Improve your relationship with money for long-term financial security and abundance.
What is your relationship with money like? Whether it’s good or bad, what can you do to make it better?
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