We all have our opinions about money, saving, credit, and spending. How you relate to money may or may not be helpful to your overall well-being and financial health. One of the first steps in making a financial plan is to take a close look at how you think about and use money.
Ways of Thinking
You may fall into one of these categories when it comes to how you think about money. This could be a pattern from your family of origin or the result of your financial circumstances in the last several years.
- Spender – Many of us feel like we never have enough money, and as soon as payday rolls around, we’re waiting for the next check. While this may be due to bills and living expenses, a spender goes out and buys things or experiences as soon as they get money, oftentimes out of fear that some circumstance will come up and take the money away before they get to enjoy it.
- Saver – I would never advise people not to save money, but a saver may do everything they can to avoid spending any money so that they can build up a large savings account. The money is not to be enjoyed, but instead to be held on to as a way of feeling secure. If something happens that diminishes their savings, things feel scary and out of control.
- Striver – A striver is constantly thinking about money and what they can do to get more. They may overwork themselves and worry what others think if they don’t have the newest and best “stuff.” No matter how much money they have or how successful they are in their career, it’s never good enough.
- Hater – Some people who grow up without enough money to live comfortably or even cover basic expenses end up hating money. It’s associated with nothing but stress and heartache, and they therefore think about it as rarely as possible. This can lead to more stress because they don’t know where they stand financially.
You might see a common thread of fear in all of these ways of relating to money. We all worry from time to time if we’re going to be ok financially, and it takes work and effort to combat faulty thinking. The best way to begin is to get an accurate picture of your overall situation. You may be worried for no reason because you do have enough money to cover your needs, even if you might need to make some budgeting changes. You may also discover that you truly are in over your head and need to make some big decisions such as radical budget cuts or filing bankruptcy to get a fresh start. Either way, knowing where you stand is a necessary step to financial health.
Time for Changes
Once you’ve evaluated the ways you relate to money and made the needed changes, you can continue to build your financial future and create balanced, healthy thinking about money. Money can become a positive tool used for enjoying life and planning for the future, without it controlling you. If you need help making a new start, give me a call. We’ll come up with a plan to make some changes and get your debt under control.