Four Practices to Heal Your Relationship With Money
Money has a lot of power in our society, but having more money doesn’t change your relationship to it. It’s your relationship that ultimately defines your satisfaction around money.
First, write down everything you spend your money on. Tracking each penny gives you a sense of where your money goes, what your priorities are, and what your weaknesses are. It’s not about changing anything, it’s just about developing mindfulness.
Second, save 10% of your income, from whatever source. Get a separate savings account at your bank for this purpose. The idea is to “Pay Yourself First”. This means putting savings ahead of any other thing you spend your money on. This practice helps you develop discipline and frames managing your money as a long-term commitment.
Third, always keep a “buffer”. That means never letting your account reach $0. The buffer can be any amount you choose, but each month you will balance your account to that amount. So if your buffer was $1000, you would be at $1000 at the beginning of the month and at the end. Any extra you would put into savings, and any shortfall you would take out of savings. That will give you a sense of living within your means. If you constantly have a shortfall you would know that you need to look at your spending or at your income.
Last, write down all your conscious and unconscious beliefs about money, and where you got them from. Write down how your parents and any other figures you looked up to used money. And write down your financial history – how you have used money and what it has meant to you in your life.
Any of these practices will begin to shift how you relate to the flow of energy and resources we call money.