If there is one relationship most of us have frequent trouble with, it’s with money. People seem to have a love-hate relationship with money; love it when you’ve got it, hate it when you don’t. This three part series is designed to help you change your relationship with money; the way you see it and how you live with it.
1. My financial situation is beyond my control:
While our financial life is totally our responsibility, financial situations can change because of outside factors beyond our control. In either case, we are require to deal with our circumstances, beginning with what we can change and accepting and working with the things we can’t. Our responses or reactions to our changing financial situations indicate two things about us:
1) How we choose to perceive our financial situation.
2) Whether or not we allow money to control us or we control it.
Changing situations are simply indicators of new opportunities that remain to be seized. We can either to refuse to actively seize these opportunities by focusing only on the problems and allowing the consequences land as they may or we may take responsibility and decide the outcomes for ourselves. How many times have we simply allowed ourselves to just take whatever is given to us? We can ask for more money, we can change our spending habits, we can change the way we earn our income – there are so many things we can do and be in order to have a better relationship with money.
2. It’s on sale. I’m saving money:
Isn’t the idea of saving money by spending money as silly as the famous sales strategy ‘buy one get, one free’? You’re spending money, plain and simple. Sure, you might be spending less money, but you’re still spending money. Money is leaving your hands and going into someone else’s pocket. If you walk into a store and pay nothing for what you’ve ‘purchased’ and leave with the same amount of money in your bank account, then yes, you are saving money. The odds, however, indicate that you’re probably stealing.
This is the common saying of shopaholics and impulse shoppers spoken to justify unnecessary expenditures. This excuse then leads to financial problems. So stop fooling yourself and ask yourself if you really need it. Go a step further and ask yourself, “Do I love or need this item so much that would be willing to pay full price for it?”
I know when I ask myself these very questions, I stop myself from unnecessary spending. The excuse of a sale doesn’t always justify the decision.
3. Maybe, I’ll win the lottery or get a big inheritance someday:
Maybe you win big, or maybe you won’t. I have known people who have won millions in the lottery. I know someone who inherited a million euros from a distant relative they only met a few times. These things can and do happen to people. More often than not, this will not happen, especially when you’re counting on external forces to give you what you’re most likely not willing to give yourself.
Hey, even if we do get a million dollars, by the act of someone else’s goodwill or by the ‘luck’ of the draw, we have to ask ourselves a couple of questions.
1) Do I have the skills (and self-control) to manage such a large sum of money?
2) If I can’t manage the current amount of funds I have now and be completely content with it, then how can I be content with ten times the amount?
Everybody talks about what they’d do with a fantasy amount of money, but in reality they’re not doing these things in real life right now. There’s the financial life we want and then there’s the financial life we have now. If we are not living the kind of financial life we want right now, then who is to say that we’d be doing it if it were to fall into our laps? Being in love with what we have now, feeling happy to have it, and knowing that we can change our situation at any time is the key to longterm financial success. No matter how much we have tomorrow, we can feel secure and content with what we have today.
Do you have any tips for changing our relationship with money for the better? Share your advice and tips!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://liveloveleslie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/L.J.Acker-2012-About.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]L.J. Acker is an American life and career coach based in Annecy, France. She offers free consultations and affordable international coaching by phone and Skype. [/author_info] [/author]