How is your relationship with money? Do you cling onto it like an ex? Are you flirting with debt? Are you longing for something more? Or are you content with the way things have been progressing?
If you’re like most people, you’re probably not all that content. We all have struggles with money. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck, got into debt, feel afraid to part with it, or just don’t have enough of it. “More money, more problems” feels like a lie — or, at least, it seems like money creates problems no matter what we do with it!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you feel like your money is controlling you, there’s a way to flip the switch and gain control. Creating financial success means having good money management skills, and this is best accomplished by having the right habits, attitudes, mindsets, and behaviors toward money.
Develop Good Money Management Habits
Let’s start with habits, as they help you to establish positive behaviors, mindsets, and attitudes toward money. They are the first things you need to put in place when starting on the road to a good relationship with your money
Are you checking in with your money on a consistent basis? If not, start here. You need to be aware of what’s going on in your bank account, even if you’re too afraid to look. Remember that knowledge is power, and ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your finances.
The simplest way to get into the habit of checking your accounts is to set up a date with them. If you have to, set a reminder on your phone to check-in at the same time every day (or week, or month, depending on where your current relationship with money is at). Since most banks have mobile banking options, you can access your information from anywhere. There’s no excuse not to check.
If you have several accounts to keep track of, you might find tools like Mint helpful in giving you an overall snapshot of your financial situation, especially if you’re in debt or have student loans.
Next, get in the habit of tracking your spending. If you use cash, save receipts and record everything. If you use your debit or credit card, review your statements at least once a week to keep on top of it.
At the same time, make it routine to set up a budget at the beginning of every month and check in as often as you’re tracking your spending. This is to ensure everything is going according to plan. Don’t check it toward the end when it’s too late to move things around.
By developing good money habits, you’re taking action and initiative. It’s the first step towards a better relationship with your finances.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude toward your financial situation is going to prove much more successful than being negative or apathetic. This is because you’ll be actively participating in making things better. You have control here. That’s empowering!
Think of it this way – when you go to make a purchase, only YOU can decide if you want to go through with it. Your credit card isn’t taunting you, and neither is the inanimate object you want to buy. Remember that money is just a tool, and if you use it wisely, you’ll come out on top. Don’t let money use you!
Create the Right Mindset
Being in a good relationship with your money often requires a shift in mindset (which will become easier by establishing great financial habits). It helps to operate from the abundance mindset rather than the scarcity mindset.
The abundance mindset means that you believe there is enough to go around — and there is! There are always opportunities for everyone to improve their situation. If money is tight right now, be open to the idea that there is more to go around. You just have to be open to new money making opportunities, and you’ll find them if you start looking.
Stay away from any negativity, like telling yourself you can’t afford something. If the reality is that you’re choosing not to spend your money, say that: “I can afford X, but I am choosing to spend my money on Y, which matters more to me.” Or: “I will be able to afford this in two months, when I have saved up enough money to purchase it.”
Be Mindful of Your Behavior
When it comes to behavior, the first thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to others! We’re all guilty of it, but it won’t get us anywhere in having a good relationship with money.
If you notice that you have any spending triggers, evaluate those as well. Whenever you go to make a purchase, stop yourself and ask why you want to. Is it impulsive? Can it wait? Will it make you happy beyond just a few times?
Another great behavior is practicing gratitude. Be grateful for all the things you already have. It might sound silly at first, but take a look around your home. There are millions of people who don’t have the privilege of the simplest things you take for granted. Having a roof over their heads, or a car, or running water — all wonderful things that you have that others struggle to get by without. This can remind you that you’re coming from a place of abundance, too.
Be In a Good Relationship with Your Money
Financial success starts with good money management habits and the right mindsets and attitudes. Think positively. Look for opportunities and practice gratitude. Mind your behaviors and work towards making them productive, not destructive.
If you’re feeling as though your relationship with money is hopeless, put a few of these things into practice, and see how it improves. Nothing is hopeless as long as you’re willing to take action and make changes.