How to be better with money

Do you find it difficult to manage your money? Some people find it hard to save and others don’t know how to spend. But whatever your circumstances, you can learn how to make friends with money by following these seven steps


How to be better with money

1. Write down your dreams for the future

Create a ‘life board’ using pictures from magazines. Put them together as a collage representing the ideal lifestyle you would like to lead. Don’t worry about how a lack of money could prevent you from getting there. When you can visualise your financial future as wealthy and successful, your mind becomes free and open to more possibilities.

2. Feel inspired rather than obliged

Stop seeing money as a boring chore. Instead think of it as the key to your personal freedom: the opportunity to change yourself, your life and the world. ‘This will help you to make more positive decisions about our priorities, commit to your goals and be successful in the long run,’ says Suzy Greaves, life coach and founder of The Big Leap Coaching Company.

3. Don’t feel anxious about being wealthy

‘In order to be comfortable with money you need to reach a state where you feel safe about attracting money, and that won’t happen when you feel afraid,’ says clinical hypnotherapist Georgia Foster. Replace negative thoughts such as ‘I’ll always be in debt’ or ‘I just can’t save’ with positive affirmations. You can reprogramme your mind with just five minutes of quiet time each day: for three weeks, say to yourself every day, 'Good things are going to happen' or 'I welcome money into my life'.

4. Be aware of your unconscious money beliefs

‘Money is often linked to strong emotions and you can address those by examining what they are and where they come from,’ says life coach and therapist Becky Wright of New Leaf. ‘Start by thinking about what your assumptions about money are and then think about how true those assumptions really are. You may find yourself saying, 'Well, it’s only money.' Think about how you might change this phrase so that you place a value on the money you earn, and on yourself.’

5. Balance out what you want now with what you want in the future

‘Rather than saying, “cutting back” or “going without”, which suggest you are depriving yourself, think of it as giving a gift to your future self,’ says financial life planner Simonne Gnessen of Wise Monkey Financial Coaching. Instead of using the word ‘debt’, set an inspirational goal to be in the black in a year’s time. Call it your ‘financial-freedom day’ and write a date on your calendar to achieve it.

6. Be a detective and uncover your hidden money issues Money issues come from childhood and they may control your attitude to saving and spending money. Financial life planner Tina Weeks of Serenity Financial Planning suggests trying to reveal and deal with issues by asking yourself three questions:

  • Describe how your life would be different from now if you were financially secure and had enough money to do whatever you want;
  • If you only had five to 10 years left to live, how would you conduct your life and spend your money?
  • If you only had one day left to live, what would you miss being or doing?

7. Create small saving habits rather than grand schemes

Over the years we form many money habits. And we need to replace the bad habits with good ones, changing one at a time. Small achievable goals can be quick wins and will build your confidence. Persist in establishing a routine because it takes three weeks to form a habit. According to Leo Babauta, author of The Power Of Less and blogger at Zen Habits, you can do that by using small trigger-habits: ‘For example, if you want to track spending, write your expenses down every time you check your email – that’s something already in your routine. If you repeat this trigger-habit sequence over and over, using positive reinforcement, the habit will form,’ he says.

More inspiration:

Read Happiness comes from giving, not buying or having by Dr Steve Taylor on LifeLabs


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