Lately we’ve been talking about how some people have negative relationships with money in terms of subconscious money scripts and full-blown money disorders. This week, we want to take a more positive look at how we can all improve our own relationships with money. This is a key part of achieving meaningful financial success.
As we’ve discussed in those recent Illumination Wealth Blog articles, most of us develop an outlook on money at an early age. It might be passed down from generation to generation or it stems from a person’s financial environment during the early stages of life. These factors shape an innate understanding that affects their relationship with money later in life. In many cases, it happens without us even knowing it. It’s just part of our nature.
Building a more positive relationship with money must be a conscious effort. Financial therapy is a lot like psychological therapy. It is a matter of recognizing your faults and tendencies, and then taking steps to better yourself over time.
We encourage you to go back and read our money scripts article to help with this, but here is another helpful exercise you can do. This will give you a clearer picture of what money means to you and where you may need to make some mental changes regarding your financial outlook.
The exercise is simple. Complete these 9 sentences:
Look at your answers and identify the ones that could be holding you back. Complete this exercise periodically and try to do it with a fresh perspective each time. You just might see your views change as time goes on.
Now that you have identified your potential issues, it is important to set goals. You can’t just say “I want to be rich” and hope that all the pieces come into place, though. Set realistic goals and milestones you would like to achieve. Look at tangible financial results like saving for a house, car or just for a rainy day, planning for retirement, or investing in stocks and bonds to grow your wealth to a desired point.
With your realistic financial goals in place, you can then start to take positive steps toward achieving them. Again, don’t try to change everything at once because that will probably be too difficult. Change one habit or a time or focus on one specific goal. Slowly but surely, you can affect positive change and get where you want to be.
Somewhere along the early part of your financial journey, you should seek out financial guidance and support. It can be hard to change yourself, so be open to taking advice from friends and family who are good with money. Or, go the extra mile and hire a financial advisor who can provide objective guidance and support. A financial advisor can help you further define and refine your wealth management strategy and implement the steps to achieve your specific financial goals.
As you work toward a brighter financial future, it’s a good idea to check in periodically and review your progress. Are you still on track for your specific goals? Where did you get off-track? What can you be doing better? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself and analyze along the way to make sure you are always focused on what’s most important.
Don’t forget to take the time to recognize and celebrate your financial achievements. If you have achieved a specific goal or reached a certain milestone, make it special. Maybe build in rewards for yourself when goals are accomplished. Take a vacation, splurge on a nice dinner or do something else that allows you to enjoy your financial successes. It’s a great way to stay motivated along the way and maintain a good life balance.
Just because you achieve one goal doesn’t mean that’s the end of your financial journey. Use that as a stepping stone to achieve the next. There is always room for improvement and growth when it comes to wealth management. In addition, life itself often changes your financial priorities (getting married, having kids, transitioning into retirement, etc.). Redefine your goals as needed so that you can always be headed in the right direction, even if that direction changes a bit.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to develop a better relationship with money over time and improve your financial situation. Whether you are up to your neck in debt or already successful and wealthy, there is always room for personal and financial growth.
For help with your short-term financial plan and long-term wealth management strategy, contact Illumination Wealth today to schedule a no-obligation financial consultation.