One critical condition that prevents many people (myself included) from reaching their goals is a simple lack of money. I have discussed in a previous article the importance of making intelligent spending decisions. Yet for many people, this is easier said than done. It is not simply a case of gaining more financial knowledge. Instead it requires a total transformation of your personal relationship with money.
"There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means - either will do - the result is the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easier. But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Basically, this quote is saying that you can be happy without spending your money on stuff that you don't need. Instead, you should pursue meaning and purpose in your life. The whole world will also be a better off if you do. What could be simpler? What could be better?
Defining Your Relationship with Money
In order to transform your relationship with money, you must ask yourself some very tough questions. More importantly, you must be willing to provide honest answers. Are you Managing your Relationship with Money, or are you Waiting for a Miracle?
Essentially, there are (4) Money Relationship Styles:
1. The Player - You're a Player. Basically, you spend every penny you can on having a ball. I think the young people call this "Ballin'".
2. The Friend - You find yourself forever in the "Friend Zone". You're nice to your money. You pay your bills. You may even have a little left over at the end of the month. Nevertheless, you're unsatisfied. You yearn for more from your relationship with money.
3. The Companion - You're Good to your Money. You save when you can. Maybe you even invest a little. Yet you're still not totally "Committed" to "Managing" your Relationship with Money.
4. The Partner - You are committed to managing your money. You're creating assets and multiple streams of income. At the same time, you're shedding liabilities and ending your servitude to debt.
Your Money Relationship History
What is Your Money Relationship Track Record? Think about how you have earned and spent your money in the past. People earn and spend money in different ways.
These are the (3) different ways that you can earn money:
1. Earned Income
2. Portfolio Income
3. Passive Income
These are essentially (4) different ways that you can use money:
1. Spend it
2. Save it
3. Invest it
4. Manage it
You are Managing your Money when you're Spending Less; Saving More; Investing Smart and Creating Multiple Streams of Income.
Your Money Relationship Priorities
What Are Your Future Intentions With Your Money? You've had some time now to think about how you've earned and spent your money in the past. Are you now committed to transforming your relationship with money in the future? If so, the first thing that you need to do is to set priorities.
Your priorities aren't always written down or formally regarded as such. Most often, you exhibit your priorities by your actions. Having Negative Priorities means putting things that may make life easier, ahead of things that make life more fulfilling. Having Positive Priorities means putting things that that make life more fulfilling, before things that just make life easier. Before you can create and stick to a financial budget, you need to create a "Priorities Budget" to determine what is most important to you.
So what are the 5 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money?
Step 1) Taking Initiative - Proceed and Be Bold!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Start now!
Step 2) Ending Materialism - Transform Your Relationship with Things
Determine what things are keeping you tied to the world and further away from living the life that you want to live? Get rid of them!
Step 3) Relieving Debt - Transform Your Relationship with Credit
As W.E.B DuBois once said, "To whom you give your money, you give your power." Your Creditors are your Masters!
Step 4) Financial Integrity - To Tell the Truth
We have to stop lying to ourselves about our relationship with money. Make changes!
Step 5) Start Budgeting - Understanding Assets vs. Liabilities
If you don't have a budget to keep track of what's coming in and what's going out, you'll never have a clear picture of what you need to do, to get where you want to go. Your budget is your compass to finding the way to your financial destination. In order to achieve your financial goals, you need to have an organized strategy for transforming your ambitions into a series of purposeful actions. Your Budget is the first tool you need to create a strategy for transforming your relationship with money.
Getting your financial house in order may free you from the fear, stress, worry and negativity that are preventing you from pursuing your dreams. Once you begin to Spend Less; Save More; Invest Smart and Create Multiple Streams of Income it will become easier to finance your aspirations. To prepare yourself to transform your relationship with money, you must first prioritize what in life is most important to you. Setting this “Priorities Budget” will empower you to invest your money into achieving your unique vision of success.