3 Strategies to Improve Your Relationship with Money

Were you raised in an environment where money was plentiful, and if so, did your parents teach you about spending money responsibly or was it spent without much regard? Or were you raised in an environment where money was scarce and every penny had to be accounted for to the point you felt that there would never be enough to enjoy? Whether we realize it or not, our childhood experiences with money shape our future beliefs and dictate how we spend money and how we feel about money through adulthood. Our beliefs regarding money are certainly in determining how we manage our finances. 

1. Think about how your parents spent or felt about money

As children, we looked up to our parents. However, as children, we were not mature enough to discern whether our parent's decisions were necessarily right or wrong. However, as adults, we're able to remember those experiences and assess whether our parent's decisions and beliefs about money were sound or not. Often, we continue living with those beliefs without giving any thought to whether we can improve on them. Think about ways in which your upbringing has shaped how you handle your money, and how it has affected your lifestyle.

2. Explore your beliefs about money

Don't assume that because you grew up well-to-do, there's no way that you could have a bad relationship with money. If you spend money as if it grows on trees and have no real respect t of what it represents in life, you don't have a good relationship with money. Likewise, don't think that because you grew up poor or not doing as well financially as other folks, that you need to resign yourself to a life that is always lacking in finances. Make a conscious decision to change your beliefs about money and start thinking about ways to start living your life differently.

3. Perform a Financial Status Assessment

Review your finances and assess where you can make changes to improve them. Would you say that you have a healthy savings account and have taken care to build and plan for your retirement? If so, you most likely have a healthy relationship with your money and understand how to grow it and make it work for you. However, if your checking account is desperately waiting for your next paycheck, or your savings account is less than satisfactory, chances are that you need to change the way you feel about money and how it can work for you and change or enhance your life for the better.

Do you have a weekend shopping budget for items that you don't really need? Do you feel that you have to make a purchase each time that you wander into a store? Think about any triggers that cause you to spend money and consciously change your behavior. Are there any expenses that you can easily reduce or do without? You can start by eliminating any non-essentials and redirecting those funds into your savings or retirement accounts.

Whether you change your behavior is all up to you. Realize that you have the power to change your life in any way that you desire. All it takes is will and determination. Think about the pay-off and the feeling of accomplishment as you take steps to change your financial future for the better. On a deeper level, you'll realize that you have the power within you to change not just your relationship with your finances, but also any other area of your life.