I am often reminded of that little joke we hear around the festive season – “it’s all fun and games, until your jeans don’t fit anymore.” It’s a similar thing with money – it’s great to spend and enjoy life until reality hits and we reach a level of financial discomfort – perhaps too much debt, an inability to save, or just concerned that we are buying stuff all the time, most of which we don’t need.
Our money talks to us in many different ways and we all hear what we want to hear. Truth is that everyone has different money personalities, ranging from the frugal amongst us who save every cent for tomorrow, to those that believe that the universe will provide, and today is for living, so we spend as it comes in. In between these two extremes is a range of personalities, formed through our childhood and various other factors in society.
But another truth is that money is finite. We only make so much and most of us have to work to earn it. The trust fund babies amongst us can stop reading now!
So if you are one of these people that work to earn your money, what are you doing with it? What is it saying to you each month as it slips into your bank account? Do you feel rich for a few days, and spend with wild abandon, or do you cautiously make it stretch throughout the month?
Either way, it might surprise you that what is really important is not much money we earn, but what we actually do it. Think of how many successful entrepreneurs started out as young teenagers with great business ideas and very little capital – they somehow had an ingrained ability to make money work for them. And that is the trick that so many of us miss in life – we place our bets on our ability to earn an income – that valuable resource called cash that buys us a lifestyle.
So what is your money saying to you? Spend me, or make me work for you? Some thoughts around changing direction and having a healthier relationship with your money:
- Understand why you want to make a change – if you don’t understand your why, you will not buy into it, and not be committed to stay the course.
- Own your money – take responsibility for it, as well as the consequences of your actions. It’s so easy to be a victim and claim that life is just expensive, you only live once, you must have to have the latest gadgets, etc. The list of excuses is endless. Find your truth and take responsibility for your actions.
- Live the life you can afford, and ditch the “fake it till you make it” approach.
- Find a financial coach or buddy that can work with you and keep you on track. Just like a personal trainer keeps you focused on your health goals, so a financial coach will help you stay on track with your money.
- Get knowledge on the world of money – read up, do research, take the time to understand how you can make your money work for you, instead of you having to work for it.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – habits are formed over many years and these will take time to change. Start small, celebrate successes, and build a financial foundation that will last a lifetime.