You’ve no doubt heard the oft-quoted phrase, ‘Money can’t buy happiness.’
Although it’s true that having more money doesn’t equal greater happiness, your attitude to money can affect the extent to which you enjoy life.
There are several things that can influence your relationship with money, including the way you were brought up, your financial arrangement with your spouse, divorce, and bereavement.
These life events affect people in different ways. One person might become overly frugal and deny themselves life’s pleasures. Another might take on debt, assume everything will ‘work out’ and realise at the age of 70 that they’ve spent all their money.
By changing your attitude to money, you could live a more enjoyable life. Here’s how.
Understand your attitude to money
The first step in improving your money relationship is to take a brutally honest look at your attitude to money. Everyone views money differently, and it’s often shaped by our past experiences.
People’s attitude to money often stems from their parents. If your parents scrimped and saved yet never had enough, you might have an ingrained fear of running out of money. Even if you have sufficient wealth, you might lack the inner freedom to spend money on enjoying yourself.
On the other hand, if your parents were always giving you presents that you never had to work for, you might have a sense of entitlement towards buying yourself little luxuries.
Your attitude to money might also have been influenced by your experiences in adulthood. If you’re divorced and your ex-partner was the breadwinner, you may view yourself as less valuable and less able to deal with money. Or, if your partner has died, you might feel guilty about spending money that you don’t feel is rightfully yours.
To fully understand your attitude to money, you need to be open and honest with yourself. It could make for an uncomfortable trip down memory lane, but it’s a crucial step to improving your money relationship.
Change your attitude for the better
Once you’ve understood your attitude to money and the events that helped to shape it, you can start to take steps to improve it.
The first thing is to forgive yourself for your previous money mistakes. If you’ve missed a bill or had a period of overspending, this is the time to practise self-forgiveness and focus on moving on. Remember, we’re only human – and humans make mistakes.
The next step is to realise your self-worth. Many women who give up a career to care for children devalue themselves. They end up feeling undeserving of money and unequipped to deal with the family finances.
Unfortunately, society places a greater value on people who earn money than it does caregivers. Yet staying at home and looking after children is as, if not more, valuable than going out to earn an income.
By staying at home, you not only saved money that would otherwise have been spent on childcare; you also helped to shape your children into the wonderful adults they are today. You were the rock, without whom your husband would not have been able to go out and earn money.
So, if you have money from a divorce or your husband has sadly passed away, give yourself the freedom to own it – and then use it to live life to the full.
Believe in yourself
Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’
If you’re suffering from money worries or doubts, this is a good quote to live by. It emphasises how much our attitude can determine our success or failure.
If you have a negative attitude to money, you’re probably negative about your future, whereas if you have a positive attitude to money, you’re more likely to be positive about your future.
People’s behaviours tend to follow their beliefs, so by having a positive attitude to money, you’re more likely to adopt healthy money habits. This, in turn, will boost your chances of achieving your goals in life.
Some of the steps to consider include:
- Create a budget that works for you
- Think about your life goals and aspirations
- Use techniques such as mindfulness or yoga to cope with money worries
- Remember what matters to you the most.
How Finance Lab can help
At Finance Lab, we’ll take the time to fully understand your attitude to money. We’ll create a financial plan that reflects your values, needs and goals, and make you aware of any blind spots. We’ll act as your financial coach, helping you to change your money mindset for the better.
By enabling you to take control of your money, we can help you live a more enjoyable life that’s free of financial anxiety.
Get in touch
For more information on how we can help you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 262 1414.