What’s Your Relationship With Money?

What’s Your Relationship With Money?

What’s the first association you make when you hear the word “relationship”?

Is it the emotional bond you have with your significant other? Or maybe the ties you have with your family and friends? Maybe your relationship status, defining who you are?

When we think of relationships, it’s normal to limit our ideas to the connections (and disconnections) we have with other people, but our relationships are actually far more wide-ranging than that. We have relationships with objects and activities too. Hobbies, food, sleep, workout routines, art, books – you name it, we have a relationship with it.

Sounds weird, right? But believe me when I say that the mental connections and interactions we have with the world around us are the same internally as the connections with the people we love and spend our time with, especially those activities we keep coming back to. These emotional attachments are normal – essential, even – and they make life more unique and interesting.

The only issue with these inanimate relationships is they run in the background. That means a bad relationship with food, sleep, exercise or money becomes a habit that we are most likely not aware of. It doesn’t take much to rejig your thinking and install some good habits that make these relationships strong and healthy, you just need to put some conscious thought behind it.

Why money relationships are important

One of the most important relationships that we need to nurture is our relationship with money. Robert Kiyosaki, the financial guru and author of the popular investment book Rich Dad Poor Dad, tells us this:

In a world dominated by capitalism, our relationship with money starts at a young age. It’s impossible not to have a mental and emotional relationship with money because it’s around us and the driving force and motivator for just about everything we do. Like all relationships, the more time we spend with it, the more we learn and the more our relationship develops, whether it’s healthy, toxic, indifferent or obsessive.

What develops this relationship is nothing but mindset. As a business coach, I can tell you that what our money relationship is like is directly responsible for your financial success and satisfaction.

Training your brain to have a great relationship with money is essential for business owners if they want to attract and keep wealth personally, as well as grow their business to the highest of heights.

This blog will show you how easy it is to work in some great mindset habits and get the money wheels in motion.

How a relationship with money is formed

Everyone has their own unique relationship with money. It comes from how the people around us handled and talked about money when we were young, including parents, teachers, grandparents and siblings, as well as what we read in books and saw on TV.

We can either admire what we see and take it on board ourselves to develop similar money relationships to our upbringing, or completely reject what we know and do the opposite, depending on how much joy and satisfaction we received from our early money experiences.

All these small interactions lead to how you accept money as adults as well as how readily you spend, save or gift money to others. As you work towards financial independence, other factors start to affect your mentality with money, particularly your desired socioeconomic status and lifestyle choices which can be influenced by your work peers, romantic relationships and friendships.

Our personal values also come into the money equation to determine whether money is spent on luxuries, essentials, experiences or status symbols. What you value (or don’t value) in life affects the relationship you build with money. How important is comfort versus saving money? Are you saving up to grow a real estate portfolio, or would you prefer to spend a lot on new tech or hobbies?

When it comes to values, there is no right and wrong. The only thing to make sure is that you have the money mindset you need to meet your needs and have a positive relationship with finances. Without a proper balance, you might end up being too thrifty that you can’t even enjoy the good things in life, too extravagant that you drown in debt, or too greedy that not even the most expensive car or the biggest mansion will satisfy you.

In business, a good mindset with money is one that understands your goals versus your means. If you are not financially driven it’s going to be hard to get really momentum behind your business success. You can match your money goals to your values without compromising your core business goals, so if your goal is to help people and change lifes, a slight change in your money mindset can see that the more money you have coming in, the more you can share with others and expand your generous reach.

Growing your business and having it thrive can be about making more money, but it can also be about far more than that too.

The difference between money and greed

There are plenty of money saying that do the rounds and influence our money relationships. One of the most negative ones being, “Money is the root of all evil.”

Many people believe this and turn to examples of corrupt public figures who step on others, lie and steal to get their hands on money. But the thing is, it’s not money itself that’s evil; it’s the greed for money that is.

Separating money and evil and money and greed makes it easier to ask for the things we need. Money is something we simply can’t do without: Food, shelter, water, clothing – all of our basic needs require money. Everything that we need today in order to live comfortably requires money in and money out. Having a negative relationship with money, where you push it away and don’t have the confidence to say that you want more of it is the biggest obstacle in building wealth. Why? If you can’t even admit to yourself that you want, what will drive you to work towards earning more then?

Common wealth mindset setbacks you might not realise you have as part of your money relationship:

  • I’m not deserving of having what I want
  • I’m asking for too much
  • Money will corrupt me
  • It will all be taken away just as easily

Let’s be honest: no matter what the inner dialogue might be, we all want a good life with basic comfort and safety as the bare minimum.

As an entrepreneur, you started your businesses out of ambition and a dream for success. No matter what your goals are, even if they are not financial, you can achieve the success you want by building wealth. Nothing about that is evil; we’re all doing our best to thrive.

Wanting money doesn’t automatically make you greedy. Greed, especially when nurtured, leads to theft, dishonesty and manipulation but not all money leads to this extreme. I talked more about how greed leads to an unhappy life in one of my previous blogs. In that blog, I also explained that there are so many ways to use your money for good.

For instance, you can fund a brilliant student’s education who would not be able to afford schooling without help. You can create jobs through scaling your business. You can donate to causes that are close to your heart. You can buy equipment for hospitals. The opportunities to do good are endless when you’re wealthy.

Again, it’s all about having a positive mindset that set your goals towards money, not away from it.

How to change your relationship with money in five steps

When it comes to running, managing and leading your own business it’s vital that you have a healthy relationship with money. It’s the only way for your business to grow and flourish.

If you are finding money hard to come by or hard to keep, you can switch it around by creating healthy money habits and connections. Here’s what you can do to improve your relationship with money:

  1. Have the right mindset.

Here’s a common pattern I see. Try a new strategy. It doesn’t work. You quit.

Changes of any kind rarely work instantly, you have to have a few goes at it, refine your strategy and keep at it, that’s what positive mindset is. It’s not going into something believing it will work out, roses and sunshine, it’s about a willingness and flexibility to keep going and keep experimenting. Previously in blogs, I’ve discussed how mindset trumps talent in the race for success. That’s because when you keep at it you are not only going to find the right solution, but as you push through the challenges and work around a problem your brain neurons are creating new connections and pathways that show you how to persevere and pursue future problems. If you have talent and you get your work done, you don’t learn anything new or develop mentally. It’s a great mindset (especially through adversity) that builds determination within you and pushes you to grow.

When it comes to building wealth, never give up on finding new ways to earn money or advance on the financial processes that are already working. 

If you believe that you’re in a hopeless situation you’ll stop looking for answers. If you only work to gain instant gratification, you’ll end up with little savings and no wealth. If you tell yourself that money isn’t important or that it’s the root of all evil, you won’t achieve your ideal lifestyle.

Don’t limit yourself. Rags to riches stories are genuine. There is nothing in your way that is big enough to stop you from achieving your goals? Keep aiming high and working hard.

  1. Set money goals and track your progress.

No matter what your personal and business values and aims are, making money needs to be one of your business goals. Without it, you won’t have enough influence or resources to reach any of your other targets. Setting goals in general is important for your business as it helps you make solid (and correct) decisions about what direction you need to be moving in.

As well as having clearly defined goals you need to have ways to track your progress. Set milestones for each goal that breaks your big goals down to monthly or even weekly achievements. You can use this to monitor how close or far you are from reaching your main goal. If you are doing everything right and falling short, it might just require some adjuster – milestones are a great reality check to help define which goals are over the top and which are just right. As per point #1, if it’s not working, change some things and try again.

  1. Read, read, and read some more.

There are hundreds of thousands of finance books out there. Pick one up and read it. But don’t stop there. Learning the basics isn’t enough if you want to build your wealth effectively and efficiently.

Keep reading. Even if these books are on the same topic of financial success, each of them will offer perspectives that you can learn from. It’s up to you to decide which pieces of advice you want to incorporate in your financial planning.

Let yourself learn something new every day.

  1. Don’t let greed win.

It’s human nature to feel greedy once in a while, but nurturing it and allowing it to consume you will be your downfall.

Be self-aware. When you catch yourself entertaining greed, remember your goals and your principles. Stop yourself from acting on selfish desires.

It helps to have a goal that is bigger than you and how much you can make or how big you will look to others. Focus on what your business can actually do to help others achieve and win.

  1. Plan for the long term, don’t live (or spend) in the moment.

Treating yourself once in a while is important. After all your hard work, of course you deserve to use your hard-earned money for something nice. Life’s too short to hold yourself back from the things that make you happy.

Keep in mind: Everything in moderation. Make sure you balance work and spending, time in and time out of the office. 

Check in with your values and what’s important to you to make sure the rewards you are giving yourself are actually satisfying. Buying something or doing an activity just because everyone else is is going to backfire financially as well as fail to bring you happiness, setting you off on a dangerous spiral of continuing to spend.

Hone in on the activities and luxuries that really matter and exercise control. Whenever you’re tempted to buy something you don’t particularly need, look to your personal goals and values to see if it’s a worthwhile fit. You may find other things you could spend that money on, or better yet, save it for.

Having a healthy relationship with money is crucial for building wealth. Just like in your relationships with your loved ones, the connections are strong and worthwhile when there is nurture, support and gratitude. Prioritise your long term goals over instant gratification and make sure you are feeding your personal satisfaction with the financial choices you make.

Having a positive, growth mindset around money will drive you to reaching your goals and achieving financial success in all areas of your business.

“I have a fantastic relationship with money. I use it to buy my freedom.” – Gianni Versace

Want to understand your relationship with money on a deeper level? Book a call with us and we can help you get some healthy money mindset in place.