What is your relationship with money? Are you a spender or a saver? How do you label expenses and investments? I ask these questions because this is something that I struggle with. It seems my mind always comes back to the money. Why is that? In my health coaching program I learned that the stories we tell ourselves about everything come from the values and programming received at young age. Now I am not saying you should blame your parents, family, friends etc. for all your issues or things that you perceive to be what’s “wrong” with you. However, becoming aware of tendencies, getting curious, and re-framing these beliefs can change your life.
This idea for a blog post on money came about as I battle my own thoughts and beliefs about money. Medical bills, taxes, budgets, vacations, buying a house, education, etc. are all areas that put stress on the pocket book. My favorite quote that rings true is “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” What is the common theme that comes up for you around money? Struggle or debt, fear, never enough, I don’t deserve it, I can afford that when…, the list goes on. I encourage you to get curious about this and you may find that this theme shows up for you in other areas of your life as well. Relationships, career, health, self care, connection to something greater. For example, if you have a belief around money that you don’t deserve to have or make a certain amount, this could be showing up as you don’t deserve to be happy in relationships and choose the wrong partner, you don’t deserve to get that promotion at work, you don’t deserve to take time for yourself and spend all your time caring for others, you don’t deserve to be healthy and eat foods you know are unhealthy. For me it’s the never enough syndrome which leads me to my next idea.
Investments vs Expenses
I have reframed my belief around money of “not enough” to thinking in terms of investments and expenses. It could also be thought of as wants vs needs. I’ve always been a saver (which I will get to in a second) but with that comes not wanting to spend money, the fear that I won’t have enough or I may need this for something else. I’m not suggesting you should spend money willy nilly on everything, but think about your purchases in terms of investments. Reframing the word expenses/bills to the more positive term of investments has helped me significantly with my relationship to money. Spending money on high quality groceries and joining a CSA, spending money on education or training classes, spending money on vacations, spending money on vehicle repairs and medical bills, putting money into my retirement account (literally an investment). With all of these examples, I look at them as investments in my health, my career, my relationships, and my connection. The saying you have to spend money to make money comes to mind here, and it’s the bitter truth for us savers.
Wants vs Needs
Using the examples from above and others that may come up for you, get curious about categorizing them as something you want versus something you need. This is a completely subjective measure, you could literally rationalize that anything could be a need. So first thing is that you need to be honest with yourself when determining is this a need/investment or a want/expense. What this boils down to is, first, what is important to you and second, how is it related to the areas of health, career, relationships, finances, connection, and self care. Do you need that new pair of shoes or do you just want them because they are cute? For my serial spenders how does this show up for you in the other aspects of your life? Do you use spending money as a comfort? Do you use food as a comfort? What about unhealthy relationships? Do you have debt? How you do one thing is how you do everything.
Saver vs Savor
As I mentioned before I have been a saver all my life, which is great for my bank account but comes with its faults. Transforming my mindset from expenses to investments has allowed me to savor this life. Instead of passing up opportunities because of money to grow my career, in dental hygiene, health coaching, nutrition and fitness, I have embraced new education programs and trainings as a way to invest in myself. The ability to really savor your life comes from being healthy and able to do all the things that you want to do. Using that mindset it’s easy to make the investment on high quality food and not groan at medical costs if you consider the alternative. When I am 80 years old I don’t want to be held back by decisions I did or didn’t make in my 30’s. We are all capable of longevity but only if you invest in your health and wellness. The most neglected area for myself and probably many of you is self-care. Usually, it is the last to be addressed if at all; I continue to work on this. Self-care can come in many forms whether it’s mental, emotional, or physical all areas are important to be curious about and explore what you can do to fill that need. Investing in your self-care allows you to be the best version of yourself so you can help others around you. Like they say on the airplane “put your oxygen mask on before assisting others.” What will you do today to invest in yourself? I need a massage!
I hope you gained some insight from this post. Let me know what you found most helpful. Our relationship with money, self, and investments stems from our programming at a young age, but we have the power to change that message. I would love to help you change your story.