The Right Relationship

“What is my relationship with money?”

It seems like an odd question at first. But when you consider that the answer to this odd question will greatly influence your financial future, it definitely deserves your attention. When we talk about having a “relationship” with money, what we’re essentially talking about is each individual’s feelings and attitudes towards money.

According to Reeta Wolfsohn, founder of Financial Social Work (FSW) and the Financial Therapy Network (FTN), in her article “Rethinking Your Relationship With Money”, your relationship with your money provides the foundation for your money habits. “Your money habits,” she explains, “refer to how you earn, spend, save, share and borrow money.”

How you earn, spend, save, share, and borrow money obviously has a lot to do with your financial future. So ask yourself, what’s my relationship with money?

If you cannot articulate a crystal clear answer, here are a few questions to tackle that will help get you on the right path:

1. Which money personality type best describes you?
    a. Spender – Believes money is meant for spending
    b. Saver – Believes in seeking out the biggest and best bargains
    c. Risk-Averse – Places security and planning above all else
    d. Gambler – Thinks money is all about the thrill of the chase
    e. Avoider – Doesn’t really give much thought about money
    f. Money Monk- Thinks money is dirty and will corrupt you
2. What is your primary financial objective in life?
3. What is the most significant money memory from your childhood?

4. How comfortable are you around money and/or discussing it with others?

While the answers to these questions will not paint the complete picture of your relationship with money, they will give you a good idea of where you are and which areas you might need to work on. Your relationship with money starts to form early on when we observe how our parents interacted with money. Because these concepts are formed so early on in life, they can be difficult to change. Difficult, but not impossible.

Your relationship with money influences how you save and spend it. Setting some time aside to understand that relationship can help set you on the financial path you want for yourself. I call that time well spent.

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