Most people have an unhealthy relationship with the same thing… money! That’s right, whether you are old or young, male or female and regardless of what part of the world you’re from there’s a pretty good chance that you or someone you know has a dysfunctional relationship with money and it’s interfering with your financial freedom. Too be honest, I’m not sure that I know a single person who hasn’t struggled with this at some point in their lives.
There are many types of dysfunctional relationships with money. But regardless of the type of issues you have you need to resolve them. You will never have financial freedom if you don’t! And, the cost of having a poor relationship with money is high! Not just financially but also to your health, your family and even the environment!
There are 6 common types of dysfunctional relationships with money that are holding us back.
- Money makes you feel greedy and dirty.
- Love of money is a sin.
- Anxiety and fear
- Control & Power
- Money is unladylike
Understanding what your hang up is with money is the key to overcoming it and making better choices so that you can have financial freedom!
1. Greedy & Dirty
Does your desire to have money make you feel greedy and dirty? Do you feel like a bad person just for talking about this? Are you reading this article late at night, all alone and planning to delete it from your history like porn? If you are thinking yes! Yes! YES! You might have a greedy dirty relationship with money!
We All Need Money (or conch shells)
Let me just assure you… everyone wants and needs money. It’s all fine and well and good to dream of a Utopian world where we don’t need it but that just isn’t reality. And, let me share this… trading conch shells or bartering doesn’t eliminate the concept of money. It simply places the value on something else. Whether it’s a paper dollar or a shell you’re going to need them to survive and have the life you want.
What Being Greedy Really Looks Like
Now, here’s the shocking thing… regardless of how much money you have you aren’t greedy for wanting more! You are greedy if you want to forcefully or manipulatively take it from someone else or if you’re willing to do unethical, illegal or immoral things to get it. And all of that is also true regardless of how little money you have!
2. Love of Money
So… this is a very common hang up and VERY misrepresented. People often believe that people who have money suffer from love of money and that is a SIN. Like a big time all caps SIN! The Bible actually says it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into Heaven. It is one of the few things in Christianity (apart from being unsaved) that has such a high likelihood of keeping you out of Heaven.
How Much Do You Love Your Stuff
Now mind you… this is taken WAY out of context. They eye of a needle isn’t a sewing needle it’s a narrow passage in the dessert. In order for a camel to get through you have to unload everything on it and leave it behind. Will a rich man leave his worldly belongings behind? Not being willing to leave them, not loving God more than them will prevent him from getting into Heaven. Guess what though… I know plenty of people who aren’t rich but would be unwilling to leave their belongings behind.
Love of money is referring more to materialism than money. How much do you prioritize the things you have or the things you want? What will you do to get them? How much does it limit your life not to have these things? Regardless of your financial status, you can struggle with love of money.
Money Isn’t Everything
Money should provide us with the opportunity to fulfill our purpose. We shouldn’t worry about it all of the time. Preoccupying your mind with acquiring money over all other things is by definition love of money. Whether you’re fully engaged in it or working to avoid it this is a dysfunctional relationship with money. It shouldn’t be at the top of your thoughts and priorities list at all!
UGH!!! This is such a big issue in today’s culture! We all need to pump the breaks and stop trying to keep up with the Insta celebrities and influencers! Getting into debt, destroying your credit and going broke are no joke! Not being able to pay your utility bills or put food on the table because of your tech, car or wardrobe is insane. If you have this problem you need a budget, accountability and maybe counseling. Don’t underestimate how big an issue this is!
Consumerism Is A Destructive Addiction
Oftentimes when people overspend they are filling a hole in their lives or covering deep insecurities. It is very similar to any other addiction whether that be to drugs, alcohol, food or gambling! You have to get off the merry go round. It will destroy your life if you don’t stop! Using material goods to fill your soul is a never ending proposition! You will never feel better. You are a slave to your materialism and consumerism. This is dangerous! Not just to you but also to your family and the environment! Consumerism is literally destroying the planet along with people’s lives!
4. Money Anxiety
Does the thought of spending money make your skin crawl? Do you live in constant fear that you won’t have enough? Is this your every thought? Having anxiety like this is very limiting to your life and dangerous to your health!
Where Is Your Money Anxiety Rooted
I get it, you need money to live and pay your bills. We all do! Living paycheck to paycheck is extremely stressful. Not being able to pay your bills is frightening. People all over the world live in abject poverty that we can’t begin to imagine! If you are reading this you aren’t one of these people. This means your anxiety about money is probably rooted more in pride, stubbornness or past trauma than anything.
The Anxiety Isn’t Helping
I have lived on a shoestring budget, choosing between groceries and lights and it is no fun! It is extremely anxiety provoking! I had to do a lot of things I didn’t want to do to get through those difficult times. Stress and worry didn’t help me at all! It just kept me in the situation longer. It distracted me and burdened my mind. Understanding that I had to let go of the fear and anxiety so I could see clearly changed everything!
5. Money as a Means of Control
A lot of people think that money is a means of control & power! Both people who have it and people who don’t, believe this. This couldn’t be the further from the truth. Money does not inherently give you control or power. It may give you access or opportunity but you have to utilize it.
What Can’t Be Bought
Not everything is for sale. Everything you want can’t be bought. You can’t by love, health or happiness. Further, having money may actually take away from these. So, you can’t control everything in your life with money!
Don’t Play The Money / Control Game
Also, having money doesn’t give a person control over the other people in their lives. That is unless they choose to give up their control. Both the person who has the money and the person who doesn’t have to play into this. Choose not to play!
6. Money is Unladylike
Propagating the ideas that money endows power and control and that money is unladylike is how women were systemically historically oppressed. This is the one, two punch that has been keeping women in their place forever!
Take Responsibility For Your Own Money
Here’s the truth! We can earn our own money, balance our own checkbooks, and create our own destiny! And we are! Don’t buy into the narrative that you shouldn’t earn or manage your own money. You don’t need a man to get the bills paid or to live an abundant life!
Ditch Being Ladylike… Be a Grown Woman
Taking control of your finances and supporting other women (& minorities) who are doing the same is one of the MOST grown woman things you will ever do! Who cares that much about being ladylike anyway? Choose where you spend your money, support others who are like minded! Vote with your dollars! Contribute to charities you believe in! Take advantage of financial incentive programs, small business loans etc for women! Get out there and make it happen for yourself!
Stop Worrying About What Men Think
Oh… and by the way… real men appreciate women who are smarter than them and more successful than them! They know that they don’t have anything to prove! Find a man who wants to be your partner not your dictator!
How to Improve Your Relationship with Money
1. Get to the Bottom of it
If you have an unhealthy relationship with money it didn’t come out of thin air! So, where did it come from?
When you read the descriptions above I’m sure that one or more of them resonated with you. Figure out which ones and think about why. You likely saw something in your past that gave you this idea. Somewhere along the way it was pounded into you and reinforced over and over again. That’s not even surprising! People as a whole have a dysfunctional relationship with the world and it’s resources, money included. You’ve been watching examples of this for your entire life.
Tease out the thoughts in your mind that are holding you back when it comes to money!
2. Choose to Change Your Mind
Now… change your mind! Think about what’s real. What could be real? What’s true!
Money Is A Tool
What’s true is that money is a tool. It is no better or worse than any other tool. Having it or not having it says nothing about you as a person. It doesn’t make you good or bad. It doesn’t make you greedy, dirty or selfish. If you love money you are wrong and it doesn’t matter if you have it or not. Remind yourself of all of the things you love and value more than money and more than the things you can buy. Acknowledge the fact that having the ability to keep this in mind is what frees you from love of money (not a lack of money). And remind yourself of the opportunities money can provide. This tool can allow you the freedom and opportunity to put your best self and your gifts out into the world to help others! There is nothing wrong with that!
Fill The Hole
Fill the hole that leads you to overspending… like fill it for real! Let go of your irrational fears and worries about money! Stop trying to control people with money and stop giving up your power to get it! Choose to feel or be financially independent so that you don’t need to give up control. Know that you can be financially responsible! Be thoughtful about when and where you spend your money. Challenge and uproot traditional gender roles regarding money. Even if you live them in other ways this can be done. Reconsider the value of your contribution regardless of it’s income generation.
Change your mind. Create different thoughts surrounding money! Ask yourself questions about your beliefs and actions surrounding money and challenge those beliefs. Make them fit what will serve you, your family and the world!
Oftentimes our relationship issues with money are deep rooted and tangled into other areas of our lives. It can be imperative to hire a life coach or therapist to get to the bottom of our money dysfunction. If you aren’t making the progress you would like or you feel like you’ve hit a dead end, get help! Letting your money issues go on will only make the mess bigger. Get to work getting to the bottom of it immediately!
Being open to receiving money and money making and saving ideas can be life altering! In order to do this you must focus your attention on what you already have. You have to have unabashed gratitude. If you find yourself feeling guilty or anxious then you need to go back and work on steps 1 and 2!
4. Create a Budget
For real! Create a budget! Make your budget real and obtainable. There are tons of tools and apps to help you create a budget. Regardless of how much money you have you need one! Even if you see a deficit on it you still need it! This will help prompt ideas about how to make ends meet and it will give you a realistic opportunity to be financially responsible.
Become A Saver
Here’s an interesting thing to know about budgets. They aren’t really about the amount of money you have. They are about how you spend it. As a general rule, people over or under spend by the same percentage of income they have. This means that a person who overspends will actually be in more debt if they make more money! This is important to know and get a handle on. Financial responsibility will always come before financial freedom. It’s important that if you are an over spender this is brought in line before your income increases. Become a saver! Budget below your means!
5. Re-evaluate and Stick to Your Budget
Budgets need to be reviewed, re-evaluated and changed from time to time. It’s important to be attentive to errors or changes in your circumstances. We often underestimate the amount we spend on certain things when we are making out budgets. You may need to make some tough changes and adjustments to your budget to make sure that you stay on a saving path! Follow up and make sure that your budget is true. If you do this weekly you should have a solid plan within 4 – 6 weeks.
Once you’ve finalized your budget stick to it!
6. Build Your Life
Build the other aspects of your life. Pay attention to the many blessings that are provided to you and stop being preoccupied with money! Once you have a plan and a healthier relationship with it you can let it go! And, to live a healthy life you must!
Moving forward without so much focus on the all mighty dollar makes us open to new thoughts, ideas and information. It’s very similar to finding your keys. While you are stressed and preoccupied, searching everywhere you can’t find them but when you settle down and stop looking you notice them in the most obvious place.
Settle your mind and spirit when it comes to money. It will come, either the money or the knowledge. Regardless of how much you have there will be peace. You’ll finally have a healthy relationship with money and have achieved financial freedom!
Help others find freedom from financial stress so they can live their best lives, share this post! And don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think!
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