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Change Your Relationship with Money

How you think of money affects how you behave with money. Here are a few easy ways to start changing your relationship with money today!

How you think of money affects how you behave with money. Here are a few easy ways to start changing your relationship with money today!

By: Kutlwano Sello

It has been cited as one of the key factors that contribute to our happiness alongside social relationships, adaptation to one’s society and culture as well as positive thinking styles. No matter which way you look at it, money is an integral part of our lives and as such affects our behaviours and habits. 

Whether you’re wondering how to make it, save it, grow it or spend it- money affects our lives on a daily basis. But how can you stop yourself from getting that pang of guilt whenever you make a purchase you hadn’t budgeted for? Or wracking yourself with anxiety over how you can stretch your Rands to cover your bills, insurances, savings and investments while still being able to have the things you desire? How can you change the way you think about and behave with your money?

Research has found that our outlook on money and our money habits are primarily set by the time we turn seven with socioeconomic factors playing heavily into how we relate to money. With South Africa ranking as the most unequal society in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic having likely worsened the situation, it is no wonder that a vast majority of people in our society have a contentious relationship with money. 

Here are five things that you can do today to start changing your relationship with money:

  1. Take an honest look at your current financial situation:

The truth is most of us avoid situations that will result in us feeling uncomfortable- having to interrogate our financial standing is no different. Interrogate how much money you make on a monthly basis, your total monthly expenses as well as how much debt you have and commit to keeping track of your money.

  1. Figure out what having a healthy relationship with money could look like for you:

How would you like to relate to money? From a place of ease? Comfort? Or is it Confidence? You get to decide. Define how you would like to feel, think and act with your money.  

  1. Make a list of all your unhealthy financial habits, thoughts and behaviours:

When you think about money and the many things it does for you- do you find yourself having increasingly avoidant, negative or self-deprecating thoughts? Things like not wanting to check your banking app after an impromptu night out or thinking “I should have saved more money this month”. Are you the type of person who splurges when they’re feeling a little bit down? Unpack all the unhealthy ways you feel, think and act with your money. 

  1. Make a list of new healthy money thoughts and behaviours that you would like to follow:

Think about things that you can do differently to change how you feel, think about and behave with your money. Write down healthier thoughts and practices you would like to have when thinking about and dealing with money.  

  1. Create a visible plan for how you can implement your new healthy money thoughts and behaviours:

Reverse-engineer a plan from where you currently are to where you want to be. Outline small, manageable steps you can take and practice these on a regular basis.

Understanding your financial standing, interrogating your limiting beliefs and behaviours when it comes to money and building a tangible plan to better your situation are pivotal steps you’ll need to make to improve your relationship with money. But like with all new habits, the journey won’t be an easy one- be willing to be patient and kind to yourself. Focus on what you can do and start today.

At LifeCheq, our dedicated advisors can help you build a personalised roadmap to achieve your personal finance goals. Sign up for an obligation-free consultation now.

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