My relationship with money

In Latest, Money cents by Donna Willan

While thinking about this column I realized that what I really want to explore is my relationship with money. But what does that even mean? So I Googled the concept, and there is a lot out there encouraging us to explore our relationship with money, and asking: are you a spender, a miser, a buyer, a saver. Does money make you anxious, do you never think about it, do you obsess about it, does it control you, do you control your money. And whatever your story is, why is this the case?

That’s when I realized that I am the classic profile of someone who thinks a lot about my money, planning it carefully and making sure I don’t have debt etc. But, although it is good to have financial plans and be debt-free, I don’t think I have a healthy relationship with money. I worry about not having enough and that my current ‘comfortable’ position could disappear overnight – I obsess about money. When I explored it further I realized that this probably comes from being poor as a kid, and never wanting to go there again!

So what to do? Yes, I manage my money well, but I am often anxious about it – can I worry and obsess less about it? I guess I’m talking about developing a healthier attitude, one that says, yes I must manage my money and yes I have financial goals that I want to achieve – but being scared of not having enough money is not healthy, and certainly is not going to make me more money. I need to change my attitude to financial security.

I came across a great quote that really resonates with me: “Financial health is having a conscious and purposeful relationship with money that is satisfying and isn’t overly stressful… Financial health or wellness includes: spending money based on your values; having low or reasonable debt; saving money to meet your goals; and having a safety net, such as an emergency fund or insurance.” (Source: Klontz and Lowrance)

I am going to add achieving financial health and wellness to my financial goals for this year.

In my next column I plan to explore my children’s relationship with money; what they are already learning, where we need to change direction, and how can I support them to achieve financial health and wellness later in life.

Donna Willan


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