3 Good Financial Habits {Financial Friday$}

When the word “money” comes up, how do you feel? Do you feel anxious? Do you feel like you’re lying to yourself? Or, do you feel like you could do better, but it’s not so bad? If you’re anything like most people you’re feelings about money and your financial situation fluctuates depending on how close pay day is and how far away bills are. If you are, this post is for you. It’s about 3 good habits you can start integrating into your life to have a better relationship with money so you can start living again.

Healthy habit 1: Pull your head from the sand.

This may sound harsh, but it’s not an easy thing to do. You can do this.

Let me share with you something personal from my childhood as an example. As you might know from the January newsletter, I had a rough immigrant’s life. As early as I can remember until the time when I was nearly through my teens my parents struggled with finances. We scraped together everything to survive. We often didn’t have a roof over our heads, but we stayed with friends and other immigrants. We often didn’t have food, but somehow we would scrape together enough to stop starving. And through it all, my mother and father made sure us kids were educated as much as they could.

One of the things they never hid from any of us kids was how tough it was to survive. They never hid money issues. They also didn’t make it out to be some traumatic struggle — because it isn’t. You simply learn to make do with what you have.

So, whatever your money issues are, stop hiding from them.

When you stop hiding from your problems, you can start to take them on. So, your first good habit to work on is to make peace with yourself and whatever issues you might have.

Give yourself permission to look then cringe, sigh, scream in frustration, reach for a chocolate bar, the running shoes, or whatever. Just look. Look at everything and take it all in. Make note of where you stand everyday. That’s right, this is something you need to remind yourself of every. single. day.

Healthy habit 2: Change your mindset.

Instead of saying you’re not good with money, change your tune. Learning about finances, whether for personal or business is something we learn; it’s not something we’re born with. And it’s very similar to learning your native language: your first lessons about money come from your parents.

[icon name=”icon-bookmark”]Remember: You are not your parents.

However, you are your own person, and the lessons you teach yourself now will benefit you for the rest of your life. Own up to your problems. They are yours, and no one elses. Take a look at your bank accounts everyday and say:

That’s right, you got it.

Healthy habit 3: Change your relationship with money.

This one is a hard one for a lot of people. I hear a lot of excuses as an accountant and bookkeeper about why people don’t take care of their finances. Here are a few:

  • Rich people are evil.
  • To get rich I have to stab people in the back.
  • It’s not spiritual to have money.
  • That goes against everything I believe in.

The list goes on, but these ideas are common from people who don’t know what money and finances really are.

Money is an exchange and a statement of things that you value. When you hand over your money/debit card/credit card, you are saying, “I value this more than the time it took me to make that money.” You can give your money to a charity, a boutique, a big box store like Target, or any other number of things.

Think of money as a standard for bartering. You can trade items, such as an old sweater for your neighbours freshly grown tomatoes. You can trade skills, like cooking in exchange for someone’s fix it skills. Money is what you trade when you don’t have anything of value to give them that they want. That is all money is.

[icon name=”icon-bookmark”]Remember: Money is the way we trade goods and services, nothing more.

 Take away:

No matter what your past or present is with money, you don’t have to stay in the same rut. Simply pull your head from the sand by paying attention to where you are, then change your mindset about what you can do about it. With this, you can change your relationship with money and make the most of what you have — however much or little that is.

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