How is your relationship with money?
Is that a difficult question to answer or fairly easy to describe? Are you feeling icky just having a question about money proposed? Do you feel embarrassment creeping up in relation to certain spending habits?
The third Dimension of Wellness is Financial Wellness. Financial Wellness encompasses your current and future financial satisfaction. Perhaps you haven’t thought about the flow of money in and out of your life as a relationship? Or, pondered how money -- the surplus, the lack thereof, and everything in between -- is a huge component of your financial wellness, but it’s not the only aspect to consider.
For instance, a 40 year-old doctor could be earning $20,000 per month, paying all of her bills and meeting all of her material needs, yet she does not feel financially well or satisfied.
An 80 year-old retiree could be living with a more modest $2,000 per month income, yet feel incredibly well financially.
What’s the difference?
It comes down to how they are living out their values.
In coaching partnerships, we often land at this intersection of how values lay the foundation within each dimension of wellness. When you’re making decisions from a place of integrity, you will feel more at peace in your life. When you operate with clarity in regards to what success looks like for you and your financial goals, then you will feel more at peace in your life. This is regardless of what the dollar amounts in your bank accounts add up to!
If your values are unknown. Or, they’re known, but belittled or left to the wayside as you’re making choices regarding your financial wellness, it’s very possible something feels out of balance. You are the expert on you. Coaching partnerships give you the space to be curious about your experience and start making decisions that are more aligned with your values. You do that, and I guarantee your sense of satisfaction in regards to Financial Wellness will increase.
When we come back to what we can control - which is actually loads of things when it comes to making financial decisions – we are able to influence where we want to go.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor Richardson with Engage Advisors about money management. As someone who interacts daily with clients to help them align their wealth goals with their income and expenses, he has great advice for approaching what can be a difficult topic to discuss. One of the first exercises he conducts with a new client is an Expense Audit that often ends up being an eye-opening experience in uncovering the client’s relationship with money. Some of his clients have called it a “gut check” for how their spending now impacts their future financial options and satisfaction.
It’s no surprise that it’s vitally important to paint a realistic picture of financial NEEDS versus WANTS. Yet, how often do we try to skim over the nitty-gritty details rather than stare our money-spending-habits right in the face? Taylor tactfully facilitates further exploration and decision-making processes around non-negotiable expenses and other categories. This can be a simple, yet profound, exercise for those curious about their spending habits and the effect it will have on their future.
Our relationship with money is not one-way – a gimme, gimme, gimme. The way we purchase items that support us, find opportunities to share generously with our families, friends, and communities, and create safety nets for The Unknown, it all influences our Emotional Wellness.
If you’re currently in a financial situation that you find stressful or unsatisfying, I invite you to spend some time evaluating your relationship with money.
Have you mentally put a glass ceiling on what you can earn?
Do you have negative energy to air out surrounding how you have historically felt treated by money?
Perhaps the ways in which you were shown to manage money early in life were not best practices to follow?
Jen Sincero dives into money management practices in her best-selling book, You Are a Badass. In the chapter, Money, Your New Best Friend, she reminds us that, “Money is not only a blessing, it is a responsibility.” With that responsibility, there are infinite ways to attract money and the financial abundance you seek.
As a Life Coach, I have the opportunity to help my clients gain awareness about their relationship with money and its connectedness with their own wellbeing. Here are a few ideas for how you can begin to reflect on your relationship with money and start planning (and even saving!) for your future:
On what you want to save for your older years.
On what you need right now to cover your expenses.
The power of clarity in this dimension cannot be stressed enough.
(And you don’t have to go it alone! If you need an Investment Expert of Financial Advisor I’d love to connect you.)
Conduct an Expense Audit
Where is your money really going?
Do those categories – and the percentages of each – align with your goals?
Perhaps it’s time to visit the chopping block: Identify a reoccurring expense to cut out? Minimize a subscription barely used? Choose to eat out for lunch fewer times per week?
Identify and Define Your Values
If you’d like resources in defining yours – request here – and I’d be happy to email you the comprehensive list I utilize with clients to gather awareness.
Do what you need to, to interact with money in a way that protects, honors, and supports you living your absolutely amazing life. You’ve got this.