Let’s talk about money. Now, now, please don’t stop reading! I know money brings about an incredible amount of stress, anxiety, fear, intimidation, guilt, shame, etc., and it’s also a fairly taboo topic in our culture.
Money and finances can feel overwhelming, and many of us would rather just ignore it than face it. Can I suggest to you that for your own mental, emotional, and even physical health, that you need to educate yourself and take control of your finances? It’s okay to have negative emotions around money. In fact, those negative emotions could even be helpful in handling your money, if you know how to use them properly. One way I’ve found that’s incredibly helpful in analyzing where your negative emotions around money stem from, is to identify which money “script” you are. Here’s an amazing article to help with that: What Did Your Parents Really Teach You About Money. This article also suggests ways to improve, depending on which script you are.
Relationships and Finances
Can we be honest? Relationships and money are hard. Identifying which script you and your partner are, will also help you both have the words to talk about how you differ in your beliefs and perspectives about money. Coming to an understanding of where your partner is coming from, can greatly improve how you work together on money. Ultimately, when it comes to money and relationships though, both partners have to be on the same page about a couple things. First and foremost, any money coming into the household is “our” money, not one person’s or the other’s. Just because one partner makes less or stays home with the kids, does not mean they should have any less of a say in how you both, as a unit, use your money. Money is simply a tool and a resource, something you can combine and use together to get to your goals and dreams. Secondly, you must come to an agreement on how you’re going to spend your money. Especially in a relationship, one partner cannot call all the shots and expect the other person to follow that plan and be okay with it.
Goals and Dreams
That brings me to another point. Whether you’re rocking the single life, or are trying to manage money with a partner, it’s extremely important to assess what your most important goals and dreams are. From here, you can create a budgeting system that will be something you will actually want to follow!! Guess what else! Budgeting does not have to be scary, intimidating, or make you feel trapped. Budgeting does not mean you have no flexibility in how you spend your money. In fact, if you want to continue to follow your budget, I would suggest leaving room for flexibility. One way to do this, is to first establish how much of your income you need for bills and basic needs, either on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, depending on how you’re paid and what works for you. Beyond those bills, my suggestion is to create specific categories for things such as vacation, clothing, car repairs, gifts, Christmas, etc., and designate specific amounts that you are going to put into each of those on an ongoing basis. This alleviates much of the guilt, shame, and stress people associate with their money, especially in relationships!
To fully understand why a system like this can make such a huge difference, let me give you an example. Many people struggle with impulse shopping. This type of shopping can be simply going out to buy things because one finds it stress-relieving, or one may simply just buy things on the spot, without much intent or reason. With a system that’s going to get you to your larger goals and dreams, you will want to have restraint on random purchases, which in the long term will save you money, and also relieve a lot of guilt and “buyer’s remorse” that people tend to have after they make a impulsive purchases. An established budgeting actually gives you the freedom and flexibility to buy impulse items, but with limits and within reason. Say you decide you want to go on a shopping spree, you have specifically been setting money aside to do that! You won’t need to feel guilty, and you won’t have to get in a fight with your partner when they find out how much you went out and spent.
Evaluate Your Goals
The reason I suggest starting with evaluating your goals and dreams, is because if those are something you are really serious about obtaining, it will motivate you to stick to your budget, because financially, you know that it will get you where you want to go. When you know where all your money is going, know you’re working towards your goals and dreams, and can come to an agreeance with your partner, you will find so much freedom around your money and finances! I want this so much for every person. You will feel empowered, in control, and confident about your money, instead of ashamed, fearful, and anxious.
Knowing the freedom and empowerment you could have, are you ready to get started?? Figure out your script, talk to your partner and get on the same page, establish your goals and dreams, and get to work on that budget! Your mental, emotional, and physical health will all thank you!! Get out there and take control of your money and finances, you won’t regret it.
Written by: Dicia Horner
About the author
Dicia Horner has been in the finance realm professionally for almost 2.5 years, and ultimately got started in the field because of the stress she saw money put on her own family growing up, and wanted to be able to help others avoid that and get on a better path. She has already helped so many families find this freedom she described above, and gets up excited every day to be able to help others find relief from the negative emotions they harbor around money, and get to financial freedom! She feels incredibly blessed to have such a huge impact in people’s lives, and to be able to do it side-by-side with her incredible husband, Matt.
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