With February being the month of love we are reminded to work on our romance skills and build a stronger relationship with that special someone in our lives. With no day of the year allocated to our relationship with money, when last have you stopped to think about the ZARs in your bank, other than wanting more of it, obviously? Every salary earner has a relationship with money, whether you realise it or not. The trick to getting more joy and flexibility from your money is to cultivate a healthy relationship with it.
First off, let’s look at some of the tell-tale signs indicating a poor relationship with money:
- You have no idea what is going on in your accounts.
- You aren’t saving.
- You spend above your means.
- You constantly worry and obsess about money even though you have enough.
- You have no money goals.
- You are drowning in debt.
5 Tips for building a better relationship with money:
Make it a priority
Like with any relationship, when it is made a priority issues seem less overwhelming and more manageable. So make time to think about your money, get to know and respect it, figure out where you are going with it and what you ideally want from it.
Build on the good
Every relationship has good in it. Find out what you are good at when it comes to money related matters, except spending, of course. If you are good at creating a budget, then maximize on this by creating a killer budget that you will be able to stick to. If you are good at shopping for bargains, allow extra time and research prices and recipes to save even more.
Move on from the bad
Naturally all relationships have some issues. The key is to forgive and forget all your past money mistakes, and instead focus all your energy on solving them. If your credit card is maxed out, don’t ignore it or hate yourself for it, instead start paying double the instalment. If you’ve used all of your savings on a bad investment – move on, and start again. If you cannot move on by yourself, get professional help i.e. a psychiatrist, a financial planner, a debt counsellor etc.
Plan for the future
All healthy relationships are headed somewhere. If you don’t plan, set achievable short-, medium- and long-term goals, and actively work towards meeting these goals, your relationship with money won’t grow and flourish into all it can be.
Hold on to it!
How many of us are eager to get our hands on some extra cash, yet the moment it comes we spend it almost instantly? To really know and understand what “extra” money can do for you, you have to hold on to it. Even if it is as little as R100, put it in an interest accruing account and hang tight, don’t be too eager to see your money leave.
At the end of the day everyone wants to buy the things the heart desires but the road to getting there seems a lot like hard work. That’s why it is often easier to make debt in order to get those things now. A lifestyle build on debt leaves us with less control and more worries. Instead, start by managing the little money you have well. If your debt has gotten out of hand, get help. Debt Rescue can help you start a new relationship with money.