Today we’re talking about a different kind of relationship: Our relationships with MONEY.
Whether you’re a spender or a saver, the truth is that money is often what makes the world go around. The health of our relationship with money has a ripple effect and tends to directly impact things like career choice, our physical and mental health, intimate relationships, world view, and our overall financial stability.
I was listening to a podcast by the amazing Jenna Kutcher called Why a Money Mindset Matters. In the episode, she breaks it down to where we all basically have either an abundance or a scarcity mindset when it comes to our relationship with money. And our mindset can be tricky when it comes to managing our budgets, but also, managing our relationships if our partner has a different money mindset than us.
Our money mindset, just like anything else, is often shaped based on how we grew up. Different generations have faced different struggles and stresses that ultimately affect their relationship with money. Whether they hoard every penny in fear that it’s going to be taken away, spend every penny because they were never taught to budget and save, or maybe feel jealous or envious of the wealthy because of the amount in their bank accounts. MONEY is the center of everything we do and depending on the example set when we’re growing up, it may have serious ramifications when we’re older.
Growing up, I wouldn’t say I had a lot of positive influences in my life when it came to money. Everyone I knew had several credit cards that were put to the test every Christmas, birthday, or back-to-school season. I knew several people who would score a high-paying job in the oil field, spend every penny on frivolous things, only to get them repossessed or have to sell them once they lost that job. We never went hungry at home but as we got older, I learned to recognize that we couldn’t afford all of the designer gear some of the other kids got to wear and knew “payday” was when you asked for things. Maybe more impactful than all that, I knew “the wealthy” were above us and if we just had enough money, all of our problems would go away. The “rich” were often the bad guys even though we made lists of what we would do if we won the lottery and someday ended up with money like them.
I didn’t really put any thought into how I viewed money until I got married and started navigating two incomes, bills, etc. I am a SPENDER. My husband is a SAVER. At the beginning of our marriage, I was fine with buying something with a credit card and paying it off over time - he was not. I thought it was normal for someone to buy a new car every 3-4 years - he has had the same car and no payment since 2007. I had been a single college student working two jobs to make ends meet for a few years and had never had a savings account - he’d never not had one.
Over the years, we’ve grown and have a much better relationship with money. He is less afraid to spend it and I’m working every day to be more responsible with it. As with so many things, I’m not perfect and don’t have the right answer for what a “healthy” relationship with money is. I’ve established certain boundaries and financial goals and am taking it a day at a time.
I challenge each of you to evaluate your relationship with money and how it may be affecting other areas of your life. Is your marriage tense because money is always an issue? Are you saying no to opportunities because you’re afraid of spending any money? Is money your main motivator in a career? Start Seeing 20:20 by 2020 by getting a firmer grip on your relationship with money. You’ll be surprised on how much it helps other areas of your life. Because desiring money or having wealth isn't a bad thing... unless you let it be.