As a counsellor and coach my area of focus is broadly on your mental health and emotional well-being.
I help people through difficult times in their relationships, and help people live happier lives and achieve their goals.
As we grow and constantly evolve and change, one common piece of the puzzle is money! I am neither a financial advisor nor plan on being one, but I do recognise how money plays an essential part in our emotional well-being and lives in general.
Money (or lack of it) can be a contributor to stress, frustration, anxiety and affect your mental and physical health.
What are your current beliefs about money?
Are they the same beliefs you had as a child?
Do they resemble your parents beliefs / financial situation?
The purpose of this post is to provide you a starting point for you to think about your ‘money story’ and to learn more about taking steps to regain control of your finances.
If you feel you are on top of your finances, that’s great! You can use this resource and the links provided as a checkup tool and confidence booster.
While there are countless books and famous sayings on the relationship between money and happiness, I want to establish how money is generally required in our society as a basic human need. Eg, for food, shelter and safety.
Looking after your money by protecting it, growing it and earning it are all part of establishing a foundation to support your basic human needs.
By taking care of our basic human needs, and communicating our financial plan and strategy with loved ones, we can feel at ease and not have to worry, (Or worry as much!) You can be free to think about and do other things that make you happy.
Back to Basics with a Budget
It’s no surprise your finances can get complicated pretty quickly and is something easily put off because it’s too hard or boring!
At the end of the day having a basic budget; a clear understanding of how much money is coming in and where it’s going – even at a high level can help you:
- Curb out of control spending
- Build your wealth faster
- Save toward a specific goal
- Make changes for better returns / investment decisions
- Reduce debts and financial burdens
And the emotional benefits can include:
- Reducing stress and uncertainty (Is my credit card going to be declined at the checkout? – how embarrassing! How annoying!)
- Emotional stability and a sense of calm and happiness by having your basic human needs met – feeling safe, fed and housed.
- Feeling confident and resilient by having the means to take care of an emergency, should one arise.
- Happier, loving relationships through better communication and understanding.
- Feeling content that you’re living within your means or are on a stable plan to pay loans or save and afford a holiday.
- For those taking on a level of risk with a career change or new business opportunity it could mean more confidence and less stress for better decision making.
Financial Clarity & Increased Certainty
For more information about budgets and how to get started – follow the below link https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/how-to-do-a-budget
Get Started Right Now – Handy Budget Calculator!
To get started right now and create your budget in as little as 10 minutes, check out this great interactive budget calculator. It quickly identifies where all your money goes!
You can even create an account to save your budget for later too.
The MoneySmart website is run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). They are not selling you anything so their tools and info can be trusted.
If in doubt be sure to run any questions you have by your accountant or financial advisor.
Your Money Beliefs – Where Did They Come From?
Earlier I asked you about your money beliefs. How did you go?
Do you have the same beliefs as when you were a child?
Have you taken on the beliefs or behaviour of your parents?
This could include:
- Being a ‘penny pincher’ and saving as if the world is going to end.
- Believing its bad to be in debt
- Being risk adverse
- Being care-free and spending up big, within your means or beyond your limits
- Having a good time now vs later
- Sharing your good fortune with others
- Similar investment strategies
There is no right or wrong answers, raising awareness of your beliefs can help you understand how they came to be your beliefs. You can then question and challenge them to see if they are still relevant, useful and serving you well.
Times change, so if your beliefs about money stem from your childhood, it is a good time right now to say to yourself:
Hang on – Is this belief I have about money true and relevant to me right now?” Is this belief serving me and my family well?
If you have a sense that your belief might be holding you back or is conflicting with other beliefs or knowledge you have gained then it’s something to challenge and investigate further!
Are Conversations About Money ‘Taboo’ in Your Relationship?
How do your beliefs compare and align to your partners? Are their unresolved sticking points causing tension? – Could they be resolved with a conversation and a new plan going forward?
If your relationship has financial tension bubbling under the surface or various other ‘money issues’ causing heated discussions then working through the concerns toward an amicable way forward will be a healthy step.
Imagine a relationship where you both have a clear understanding of your financial situation and your financial goals. Having certainty that your core human needs are being met relieves stress and creates hope for the future.
Being able to talk about your money, investments, spending, ideas and goals calmly with each other strengthens your connection and you will have a sense of teamwork and ‘being in this together’.