Relationship Status: Financially Committed
For many of us the number of zeroes in your savings account statements are an indicator of our financial health. The validation of monetary security becomes equivalent to personal security. How do you manage your relationship status with money to keep it healthy and secure?
STOP FEELING BAD
There is often a lot of guilt around money, but surrounding your finances with negative feelings interferes with our capacity to create abundance. Instead of focusing on the fact that you cannot afford a vacation this year, pay attention to the seemingly simple things like paying the bills on time. With a higher credit score or a few extra thousands in your account, you are reaffirming your goal of owning a home. Re-framing your expenses puts you in a completely different mindset — a positive one that makes you feel more ready and willing to take action to change your circumstances.
FIND YOUR BALANCE
You have been avoiding your online statement since you splurged on those new shoes, which is understandable, but it is time to face the music. Knowing exactly how much money you have and what you owe helps you get a better control of your budget, but putting attention on your finances makes your monetary choices healthier and more informed. Checking your balance every morning establishes a daily habit of taking control of your finances. Yes, you will be more aware of your bottom line, but you will also take back the power you have been giving your purchases, making you feel more in control again.
MAKE YOUR SPENDING MATCH YOUR VALUES
Spend money in ways that make you feel expanded and not contracted. Take a look at your expenses and align them with who you really are and what you really want with a simple and emotive exercise: Print out your bank statement, and draw smiley faces around purchases that made you feel happy and sad faces around spending that made you feel icky or restricted. For example, seeing a charge for a dinner with a friend who always complains may get you down, while paying for a yoga package may make you feel lighter or more relaxed. Aim to fill your life with less of the “sad face” purchases and more “smiley face” ones next month.
SAVE FOR YOUR SELF-WORTH
Instead of looking at saving as depriving yourself of that extra dinner out, see it as a way of taking good care of yourself — and your Italian food-loving belly. Saving outright may be difficult so approach it in an easier way like editing your expenses, such as skipping the expensive haircut for a more reasonable one, skipping the lunches your not interested in and not attending the movies you don’t care about seeing in theatres. Make it fun by naming your account something you really do want. As your choices begin to reflect what you truly value and enjoy having in your life, you will strengthen your self-worth.
MAKE IT A GROUP EFFORT
“We need to bring money out of the shadows, and discussing it on a professional, service based solution forum has brought a lot of financial triggers out of the woodwork,” says Halima Iqbal, CEO Oraan. “We need safe spaces of confidence and no judgment to address our financial needs as a collective.” Often we keep our money issues private, like a shameful secret, it can eat away at us until it becomes an insurmountable problem. Discussing the nitty-gritty details of our money woes can feel awkward if not downright embarrassing. However by doing so, you may learn how friends got out of a similar crisis. Plus, with the support of a group, you may start to feel like you can move forward again.