Having worked in the banking sector for a number of years, I have witnessed many people’s relationship with money from angry customers drowning in debt to high earning colleagues with no savings and a closet full of designer clothes with the tags still on. I experienced uncomfortable conversations fuelled with emotion and moral judgements because of who I worked for.
Money is a complicated topic. You don’t need to have worked at a bank to witness the craziness that money brings to life.
Consider the time when you were out for lunch with your friends and you only had an entrée and a soft drink while everyone else had main meals and several drinks, but you were expected to split the bill evenly. Or you were on a long drive to a retreat with friends and no one offered to contribute to paying for petrol. You may also remember times when you weren’t as gracious and honest with your own money interactions.
Money can cause all sorts of challenges primarily because we avoid talking about them. But not talking about your money challenges only compounds the problem and often causes fights. Unfortunately arguing about money is a top predictor of divorce and relationship break-downs according to a study published by Family Relations in 2013.
It also doesn’t help that we are in a culture that focuses on desiring ‘new’ and ‘more is better’. This quickly adds to the storm that brews in most of our minds around the topic of money.
However, one of the most important reasons for creating a more peaceful relationship with money and infusing it with your spirit is your family. It will show them how much you truly care about their well-being and yours.
It was when I became a mama that I realised how much stress money can cause. I searched for solutions but all the advice I found focused on having more or spending less. But what I quickly realised was that money itself was never going to bring me peace. I needed to change the way I interacted with it; with my mind, hands and heart.
Here are some of the tips I learnt along the way…
1. Accept Where You Are
We need to know where we are before we can choose where we want to go.
This means knowing how much you own and owe and whether you have a healthy relationship with money.
2. Mindfully Manage It
Make a plan and manage the flow of money in your life. List out what money you expect to come in and go out over the next 12 months. This awareness allows you to take control of your financial life.
3. Consciously Spend It
Credit cards and online shopping make spending money so mindless and easy. Slow down and take a moment to consider each purchase consciously. Ask yourself is this going to bring me joy? Will I enjoy the company of this item? Have I planned to spend this money? Remember to give yourself time to ride the wave of desire before making your final decision.
4. Soulfully Save It
Save to invest or share. Saving just for the sake of saving can feel meaningless so make sure the money you put aside has a purpose. I suggest making its mission to 1) create options in the long-term by allowing it to growth by investing or 2) sharing it by supporting causes or family and friends in ways that matter to you.