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Everyone has a money relationship, whether you want to admit it or not. And just like anything else in your life, your age doesn't matter, you can always make changes.
Your relationship with money can be explained in simple terms as: the way in which you look at, act with, handle, spend and make money; or in even simpler terms: everything that you do with money in your life.
And then to add to the complexities of your money relationship, add in your feelings and emotions.
Now I know you are going to say "Hold up, what do my feelings and emotions have to do with money?"
Honestly, your feelings and emotions have everything to do with your money. And until you really see this, there will always be issues for you with your money and money relationship. (Check out my Emotional Money Course if you want more help with your feelings and emotions around money which is coming soon!)
Your relationship with money can be simple or it can be complex, at the end of the day, it all depends on you and how simple or complex you allow the relationship to be, just like when you are dating another person.
Are you the kind of person who is always questioning your partner's loyalty?
Are you the kind of person who has trust issues?
Are you the kind of person who has a hard time believing the good things really do happen?
Are you the kind of person who keeps your head buried in the sand because not actually seeing what is going on is much easier for you?
Are you the kind of person who knows exactly where your money goes every time you spend it?
Are you the kind of person who knows exactly how much debt you have and how much money you have in the bank?
Are you the kind of person who always has the bad things happen and have just given up hope that your luck is going to change?
Are you the kind of person who wants to do everything for everyone else because they'll love you more that way?
Are you the kind of person who has to have control of everything in your life?
These questions above, and so many others that may pop up along these same lines, can apply to your relationship with another person, and they can also apply to your relationship with money.
Most of the time, we can treat our relationship with money just like we do our relationships with other people. And these relationships that we have in our lives are what we have observed while we were growing up. You only learn what you have been able to see happening in your life.
Since our current relationships are simply what we have observed while growing up, they are all that we know. But now we have the opportunity to learn new things and possibly something better, but most definitely something different. And we can apply that to our money relationship starting right now. (You can also most likely apply this same principle to your other relationships too, but I'm not a relationship expert with people, just money.)
Step One: Realize that your current money story and relationship is something that can be changed. You don't have to carry the beliefs of anyone else going forward. You have the ability to create the story and relationship that you really want to carry with you. But until you actually realize this, nothing is ever going to change.
Step Two: Make the decision to make a change. This the hardest part. We are humans and we are hardwired to not like change, even though change really does happen every single day. And until you make the decision to actually make the change in your life, you are always going to revert back to your same old ways with money. No amount of anything else in your life will help you make a change if you can't make the decision to make a change to your money relationship.
Step Three: Define what you want your money relationship to look like going forward. This includes all of the things you want in your life, how much money you want to make, how much money you want to have in the bank and investments, the experiences you want to have and most importantly, how do you want to feel with money. This step is crucial. You need to write out in as much detail as you possibly can, exactly what you want your life and relationship with money to look like. But also remember that you can continuously come back and make changes to this. It is not set in stone, unless you decide to carve it into concrete, which I don't recommend. The more detail you write, the more you are adding your emotions and feelings to your relationship. And this helps you take your relationship to a whole other level by doing this.
Step Four: Pick one area that you want to start making a change in. You have debt and you want to get rid of that more than anything else, start here. You are a shopping addict and you and you want to stop your impulse buying and only buy necessities, start here. You have already taken care of your debt and just want to build your savings and investments, start here. There is no right or wrong place to start. But you want to start somewhere where you know that you will make progress in changing your patterns.
Step Five: Pick another area and keep making changes until you eventually have built the relationship that you described in Step Three. By describing your relationship in such detail, you are able to really feel what it's like to have the relationship of your dreams. And it will make you really want to work to achieve your goals to complete step four over and over again until your relationship has actually become what you described it to be.
And this is when you go back and look at your relationship now and see if there is anything else you really want to change and then start changing that.
Just remember, you can always make a change. The only person holding you back from making a change is you.
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Clarissa Wilson is a financial strategist and online educator who holds two master’s degrees in Forensic Accounting. Also creative and spiritual, she is an intuitive empath and introvert. Clarissa is the host of The Prosper + Profit Podcast, where money conversations occur on a daily basis -- as she believes that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject. After growing up on a dairy farmand learning to work hard for money, Clarissa awakened to a path that allowed wealth to flow easily to her. Clarissa currently lives in Pennsylvania with her two cats.