Transforming your relationship with money

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The first step in transforming your relationship with money lies in understanding that relationship (and no, this isn't a marriage counselling session!)

Thinking about, talking about and dealing with money can bring up a huge amount of emotional baggage in people. You might think some of the most important relationships in your life would be with your partner, your kids or friends and family.  Of course, they are important, but another relationship that affects your WHOLE life is the relationship you have with money.

And just like all relationships, the one you have with money can be filled with feelings of security, safety and love or with baggage, heartache and barriers.

Taking some time to really think about your relationship with money is vital if you want to start transforming your relationship with money, because how you manage money is dependent on how you relate to money.

couple with masks

Emotional spending

Loads of us can be emotional spenders.  We buy stuff if we are stressed, bored or sad or to feel better about ourselves.  What’s worse is that we buy impulsively, so in 2 months time we won’t even remember, or care, about the £50 jumper we just “had to have”.   Often it doesn't even take us that long to regret that purchase - it can be as soon as we leave the shop or as soon as we have clicked that "pay now" button. 

The guilt, the remorse and the shame start immediately.  We promise that we won't do it again.  But we do.  And that just makes us feel bad about ourselves again, so we look for something to cheer us up.

And the whole cycle starts again. 

Sound familiar?

If so, try to develop an awareness of your spending, by keeping a spending journal.  .Just notice all your feelings and write about them. What's happening before you purchase?  How do you feel as you browse?  At the point of purchase?  What about post-purchase?  What are you thinking then?

Notice how you feel when you are buying something that is not on your shopping list.  Ask yourself if this purchase is supporting the debt-free life you want to create.  Tell yourself if you still want it in 48 hours you will purchase it (chances are you will no longer want it!). 

Becoming aware of how you feel gives you the chance to develop strategies to combat emotional spending.  Once you recognise the warning signs, you can choose one of your strategies, rather than resorting to spending.   

How about these for solutions to changing your emotions?  If you feel sad, watch a funny movie.  If you are feeling fat and ugly, then head out for a walk whilst listening to an uplifting podcast or album.  If you are bored, then phone friend or fire on a fab box set. 

It's just about having simple solutions already in your head, so that as soon as you notice the trigger, you can change the reaction.   

woman on phone

Past money stories

Some people have lots of negative emotions around money from their past. This could be from how their parents viewed money, from bad experiences with money or from running up loads of debt.  Often these feelings develop into low self-worth. “I’m hopeless with money” or “I’m never going to get out of debt”. 

These can be self-fulfilling prophecies and can create money blocks.  You have to discover why you think that way and work on changing your thought pattern, if transforming your relationship with money is to be effective. 

If you find yourself thinking a lot of negative thoughts around money, then build up evidence to challenge these thoughts. 

“I saved £2.00 today by not buying a takeaway coffee”.

"I have £5 in my savings account and will increase this soon."

“I am improving how I manage my money."

These little wins will build up and suddenly your first thought won't be "I'm useless with money." or "I will never have money."  You will grow your ability to cope with money at the same time as growing your self-worth. 

Start learning about money and increase your knowledge.  This doesn't have to be a chore!  Nowadays you can listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video. so do whatever feels easy to you.  You might like to start with this brilliant episode of Clever About Cash where Kim and I chat about the effect of emotions on our spending.

Keeping up with the Joneses

We can quickly find ourselves having difficulty with money due to peer pressure and the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality.  It can be hard if our friends are in a different financial situation than us and suggest expensive meals out for nights out etc.  

We want to be able to do the same as "everyone else" and it can be tempting to spend more than we can afford.  However, by trying to keep up with a lifestyle you can't afford, you actually push away the possibility of that life being a reality, as you build up debt, trying to keep up. 

Instead, focus on you and what you really want.  Get really clear on your goals for your future and then start working out how you can make them become a reality, without getting into loads of debt to do so.  

If you feel under pressure from friends then come up with solutions for socialising.  Hold a pot luck supper, suggest lunch instead of dinner, go out but don’t drink alcohol and save money on the drinks bill and the taxi home.

Focus on your goals and compare the outcomes. 

“Do I want to buy that coffee table I saw on Instagram or do I want to be debt-free and booking a dream holiday for next year?” What would I rather have?

infinity swimming pool

Keeping secrets

Another money relationship problem is being secretive about money.  This can be for different reasons.  You could be hiding debt from your partner, scared to talk about money with friends or simply have been brought up to believe that talking about money is rude or improper. 

None of this is good for your health or good for your relationship with money (or with anyone else).  To get over this you have to make money talk the norm.  Try talking to friends about money, you don’t need to be specific or nosy about their personal situation, but just discuss things in general. 

If you find this too hard to do join an online forum or group where you don’t know anyone, this may make it easier to do and you might pick up some great tips and money-saving ideas.  Why not start by joining my Your Money Sorted group - it's a friendly place where we chat about all things money.  

Transforming your relationship with money

You can’t solve a problem until you identify both the problem itself and WHY it is happening, so get to the root of your emotional relationship with money.  Once you understand what it is that is holding you back, there are loads of tools out there to help you get the fulfilling happy confident relationship you want. 

Why not get started on transforming your relationship with money today? 


Master your money mindset course
Eileen X

I am Eileen Adamson, money coach, working online with UK based professional women, helping them to develop a better relationship with money. Through this, I can help you to create time, freedom and financial security for you and your family.

For more information on how I can help you, please see my coaching courses, my favourite products and services, my Etsy shop or my Amazon shop.

Eileen Adamson money coach

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