10 Ways to Build a Great Relationship With Your Money

  1.  Treat it like an employee.  Know where it is at all times.  Know when it comes in (and how much) and when and where it is going when it goes out.  All to often money troubles originate with poor spending tracking habits.
  2. Know it’s role.  Money’s purpose is not just instant gratification.  It is to help you create the life that you want now, later and all the stops along the way.
  3. Set reasonable goals.  Goal setting gets talked about so much people tend to tune it out but for your money to do it’s best work for you, you have to set some goals for its use.  Remember that anything is possible if you make it reasonable.    You can’t get $10,000 in a year but in five years that’s saving $167 a month.  Can’t quite get there?  Stretch it out to six or seven years.
  4. Remember a spending plan is a plan – it’s not carved on a stone tablet never to change for all eternity.  It’s what you intend do do with your money that month.  But guess what!  Shit happens.  When shit happens and you need to adjust your spending, just remember it’s a finite pot of money and if you see you’ll overspend in one category, you need to cut back in another.  It’s not a huge deal – roll on.  Make a note of what happened, learn from it.  Move on.
  5. Whatever it takes, take care of yourself.  Remember that the best things in life aren’t necessarily expensive.  Indulge in a nice tea for unwinding at the end of the day or a pack of your favorite chocolate. Nothing makes a plan harder to stick with than feeling deprived.
  6. Words matter.  I teach my clients to say “Spending Plan” not “Budget”.  Budgets conjure images of ramen and bologna diets, no life and no fun.  Budgets make you feel poor.  Having a plan is proactive and sends your psyche a message that you are in charge of your money.  Money is not in charge of you.
  7. Remember you work too hard to buy junk.  One $50 tool that lasts forever is a better bargain than six $10 tools that don’t hold up.  The cheapest isn’t always the best.  Research your purchases ahead of time rather than buying on impulse.
  8. Apps!  Apps are good.  I hate to admit that I only recently discovered Wal-Mart’s app but thanks to the Pricegrabber feature, I’ve gotten $4.50 back in just four receipts that literally took seconds to scan.  Target’s Cartwheel and Retail Me Not have saved me a bunch also.  Especially when shopping online.  Apps are also helpful for tracking the performance of your spending plan.  I’ve used Mint for many, many years but there are a lot of them.  More information on that in a future post – promise!
  9. When you look back at your favorite memories, I’ll bet none of them are connected to spending money.  They’re trips to the park with your kids (or your friends as a kid), good times with friends, memories made with family.  Remember that when you’re making your plans.  Great things do not cost money.  They take time.
  10. Speaking of time, give your time instead of your money to the organizations you’d like to support.  Volunteer at your church, your kids’ school, the local homeless shelter, animal shelter or soup kitchen.  The need is as great for willing hands as it is for working dollars.

So tell me – did I miss anything?  Is there a tip you’d share that has helped your relationship with your money?

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