Chris Rancourt, LMSW
Money means different things to people. But, we all have a relationship with money of some kind. Like any other type of relationship, it can be strong and healthy, or toxic and unhealthy.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting certain things or treating yourself here and there, it’s important to realize that money needs your attention. If you want a better relationship with money, you have to start treating it as you would treat someone in an important relationship.
With that being said, honoring money as your “partner” in a relationship is a great way to make that connection stronger and healthier.
Let’s look at three practical steps you can take to improve your relationship with money.
- Give It the Attention It Deserves
Think about the relationships in your life. If you were to ignore your spouse, for example, things probably wouldn’t go very well.
The same thing happens with money. If you don’t acknowledge your money, deciding you’ll give it attention later, you’ll lose sight of its importance. When you do this, you can start to spend money you don’t have, get into debt, etc.
Relationships aren’t always going to be pretty. If you’re avoiding your money situation, you probably have your own personal reasons for it. But, by not paying attention to your money, you risk letting things get out of control.
If you’re having trouble confronting your money issues, it’s okay to reach out for support. A counselor or therapist can help you to sort out your feelings about money so you can develop a healthier relationship with it as you move forward.
- Prevent Money Fog
Always be conscious of where your money is going. Just letting your money “disappear” to different places each month is sometimes called “money fog.” Mostly, because you may not even realize the digital disconnect with money in the information age.
Take a look at all of your accounts, and see exactly where your money is going. If there’s something you don’t need, consider removing it from your budget. Clarity is a huge benefit when it comes to money management.
When you have more clarity about the way you spend your money, you’ll feel better about it and you may end up with more in your pocket each month.
- Consider a Long-Term Relationship
When it comes to money, most of us think in the here and now. It can be difficult to see how you will ever dig yourself out of debt. Or, you might think you’ll never make more money.
If you thought about your relationships that way, they would be doomed from the start. People typically don’t enter into a committed relationship without thinking about the future.
It’s important to have a long-term vision in mind when it comes to your relationship with money. Just like any relationship, there will be ups and downs. There will be times of excitement, and times that are dull.
By focusing on the long-term, you can more easily maintain a healthy, consistent relationship with money that will last a lifetime.
Don’t put off thinking about your financial choices, and your relationship with money. The sooner you start paying attention to that relationship, the better it can be.
It might seem silly to some people to think about having a “relationship” with money. Yet, it’s a great, practical way to make your financial situation easier to look at.
Treat money as you would any other relationship, and you just may find yourself taking better care of your finances.