When we think of spring, we think of growth, rejuvenation, warmer weather, and nature coming alive. Just as we take time to focus on pruning, planting and cleaning up our garden, and spring cleaning our home, let’s take time to spring clean our relationship with our finances.
The ideas of mindfulness and living in the moment have been around for years. However, recently we have been hearing the importance of staying present in our lives and not dwelling on the past or the future. Research has shown that this mindset is linked to more happiness, better health, and overall wellbeing. Let’s take this a step further and look at our relationship with money by mindfully mapping our link between our financial past and present. That will allow us to develop a healthier relationship with our finances.
It’s time to take the lead in your life. According to a study by PIMCO, “84% of women see investing as a powerful tool for creating life choices,” (www.pimco.com). However, many women feel the power of “money shame.” Because of our relationship with money in the past, we often feel hopeless, out of control, or that we will never be able to find a solution. Often this comes with feelings of anxiety, fear, and guilt. We avoid talking about money with our family, our parents, our friends, and our significant others, and we may even feel as if we are not saving enough for our future. Let’s face it: we are not taught in school how to invest, balance our budget, or foster a healthy relationship with money, and that hurts us as adults.
However, it is never too late. Let’s change the conversation. Just as we take time in the spring to work outside on our yard and clean our houses by getting rid of the old and bringing in the new, let’s spring clean our relationship with money. Here a few key ideas to think about.
- Reflect on your current relationship with money, in the present moment. Think about your feelings and emotions regarding spending, earning, borrowing, life insurance, and investing.
- Next, reflect on your past experiences with money and finances. What messages did you receive from your family? How has society, social media, religion, and culture impacted your views on money and financial health?
- Finally, take some time to link the past and the present. How have the things you have been taught or learned, the beliefs you have and the actions you have taken in the past affected you in the present. How have or are these experiences affecting your relationships with your family, friends, significant other, and community? How has it affected your physical health, behaviors, thoughts and actions?
Now that we have connected the pieces between our past and present, we can take the journey to change. Invest where you can. Pay yourself first, work toward automatically setting money aside in a savings, investment, or brokerage account on a regular basis. Remember that building wealth takes time. Be gentle with yourself. Change can often be unpredictable and scary. Remember to ground yourself and check in with yourself and your emotions. Remember you are not alone in this journey, seek out a financial advisor who has the experience and expertise to help guide you in your journey and help you as you work to build your wealth.