Back in 2008 a woman in her mid 50’s came to my office for an initial meeting to discuss her personal finances. She had rescheduled at least three times. About half way into our meeting I asked her, “So, how was it for you gathering your information to come see me?” Her response displayed such vulnerability and courage I’ll always remember it. She said, “I’m am so embarrassed! I’m so disorganized! I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I should be more together. I’m ashamed that I don’t have more saved.”
Whether you earn a little or a lot of money you can find yourself having similar feelings.
There are plenty of mistakes and regrets about money but my focus here is to look toward the positive. It is so easy to get stuck in the “problem” whether it is not saving enough, making poor investment choices, not planning for the future, etc. You may notice that in all of these issues money may be the subject, but our underlying feelings about it are the heart of the matter. We can benefit from knowing ourselves better and focusing on how we want things to be.
A few years back I wrote, “I can’t help thinking that if I’d spent as much time exploring how I felt about my money as I have trying to earn it, I’d be a much happier person today.” That was back in June of 2013. I’ve been doing my own “money work” for at least the last seven or eight years. I am much happier now. The transformation occurred because I devoted the time and energy to understanding my relationship to money.
Yes, we all have a relationship to money. Experience leads me to believe that many people are unaware of it. I certainly wasn’t. And I thought I was “pretty good with money!” It took the loss of my job to throw me into a tailspin and force me to face my fears about money. What sorts of things trigger you emotionally about money?
For all of you who find yourselves less knowledgeable, lacking confidence and wanting to feel more in charge of your financial lives I invite you to start exploring your relationship to money.
What does money mean to you? Why do you spend or save the way you do? What was your experience of money growing up?
As you do this work, you too will begin to feel better. You’ll begin to see the interest in your money take on a life of its own. You’ll be more curious, wanting to satisfy the hunger to know more and to feel in charge of your own life.
There is now a lot of helpful information on the subject of money. I love to write about the subject of money and love to read what others have done as well. I invite you to peruse a reading list of my favorite books on the psychology of, or our relationship to money.
In the months ahead I’ll be sharing more articles on this subject and including some of the insights and transformation I’ve had over the years. It has been a fascinating journey toward confidence, ease and happiness with money and I hope you join me.