In the capitalist world that we live in today, we have had no choice but to educate ourselves about money and finances. While accumulating wealth may not be a financial goal for everyone, I would like to imagine that most of us would at the very least desire to live a comfortable life. We can try to run away from this reality and even deny it, but the truth is that money is important. Can it buy happiness? That’s an argument for another day. But the bottom line is that it is, in fact, significant to the quality of our lives.
As part of our money personalities, each one of us has a unique relationship with money. This relationship could be influenced by a lot of things – our experiences, upbringing, and the amount of knowledge and/or ignorance that we have on the subject. Whatever the case, nearly all of us, to some certain extent have a negative relationship with money.
Here are 5 ways to improve this relationship with money and to make it work for you.
1. Identify your money story
Your money ‘story’ is the attitude and behaviour that you have when dealing with money, which is influenced by a myriad of factors. For some, they were extremely broke their entire lives and then life changed, for the better. For others, it’s the opposite. We watched our parents and guardians behave a certain way around money and many of us picked up those habits, including the negative ones. What is your money story? How comfortable are you around it? To make it more practical, if money was a person, how would you feel about meeting her?
Being aware of these beliefs and how your behaviours form will put you in a position to make a decision to change them.
2. Review your current financial situation
Once you have identified your money story, you will need to review your current financial situation. How much are you earning and are you comfortable with this amount of money? How much of it are you saving and/or investing? Are you wasting it away? To improve your relationship with money, you need to be in the know about your current financial situation. Having a full view of your financial picture can help you see areas for improvement and make a plan for moving forward.
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3. Educate yourself
It has been repeated over and over again – in this digital era, you have no excuse for ignorance. There are so many platforms and avenues through which you can learn about finances. This will help you to implement changes in your life based on solid advice. If you find that you are scared of investing, go out there and research low-risk investments. Find out how people overcome this fear.
Increasing your knowledge on certain aspects of finances is vital in learning how to make better decisions. If you have sound knowledge of that area of finance, you will then be in a position to make better decisions, and you will have confidence in the decisions that you make.
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4. Set your goals
Once you have educated yourself on various matters in regards to money, it’s time to set your goals. Again, financial goals may differ, and that’s okay. You don’t have to have the same end goal as your best friend. But being clear on what these goals are will give you better direction to go after them.
Steve Martin, a certified financial planner and director at BKD Wealth Advisors recommends that you take the time to identify your goals and get very specific. We all want to be retire early or to invest money. But unless we set goals with corresponding action points, it will always remain a dream.
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5. Create a spending plan
One of the most profound things that you will realise when it comes to money, it’s that when you plan for it, you improve your relationship with it. There will be less money anxiety if you have looked at the bigger picture and understood your vision and direction. A spending plan allows you to prioritize your spending ahead of time-based on your values and long-term goals so that you can make sure you have the most important items covered first. Planning For The Future – How To Create A Financial Plan
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