What are your memories of the first time you earned money? Were you a kid and received your first allowance? Did grandma give you a few dollars for your birthday? Were you rewarded with some cash from mom or dad when you brought home a great report card from school? Maybe the first time you earned money was when you babysat your neighbor’s toddler. I remember my parents letting us keep their change from every trip to the “panaderia” (bakery) to buy fresh “pan frances” (french bread) for lunch that day. I put the change in my pocket, but my sisters would most likely trade it for a piece of candy on the spot and would not even get to see the shiny coins or feel the crispy “peso” bills in their hands. Do you remember what you did with your first dollars? Did you keep them or spend them?
I think it is fascinating to see how our relationship with money starts to get shape when we are young children. Were you the kid who loved money and kept a stash of it in a box or like me in the top drawer of my dresser? Or were you the kid who could not wait to spend your earnings in candy, a toy, or anything else advertised in front of you?
Now….come back to the present moment and answer this… Are you the person who loves money, or are you the person who loves what money can buy? Recognizing the difference between these two will truly help you understand your relationship with money.
When you love money, you take good care of it. You don’t just go around spending it without being intentional and purposeful. When you only value what money can buy, you will get rid of money as quickly as you can. This is why it’s not unusual to see examples of people around us who have lots of money, but they are still driving an old car or live in a simple house and keep a simple wardrobe. At the same time, we’ll meet people who have thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars in material things and no money in the bank.
Being in one category or the other is not necessarily better or worse unless you think it is. One way to find out would be to ask yourself, “is my relationship with money having a negative effect in my life?”
Your relationship with money is your thoughts about it. For example, if you think that “money buys you freedom,” you will create a positive feeling such as empowerment. This emotion will cause you to keep as much money in the bank as possible to make freedom possible for you. It could perhaps look like early retirement.
In contrast, you may have a thought like, “I rather keep all my money than have life experiences that cost lots of money.” This thought may cause you to feel resistance, so you’ll keep your money in the bank, but you’ll miss out on wonderful life experiences. So the same action of keeping your money in the bank could ultimately create a positive or a negative result. Notice that “empowerment” created a positive outcome, and “resistance” created a negative outcome.
The same can be said about spending money. When spending originates with the thought “money comes and goes,” you may feel “powerless.” This is the emotion fueling the spending, which may result in you living paycheck to paycheck. However, if you think “I want to invest money in myself”, you will generate a feeling of “caring” which may lead you to spend money in education or some other way that will result in adding more value to your life. Again, the same action of spending can produce two different results, and it all depends on whether the emotion fueling the action is positive or negative.
We all do things because of how we think we are going to feel. We’ll spend money or keep our money because we believe it will make us feel good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I encourage you to always feel good BEFORE you spend or keep your money. There is a big difference in this approach, and it will become evident to you when you see the effect this will have for yourself.
Is your drawer full of cash, or is your belly full of candy?
If you are someone who earns a healthy income but is living paycheck to paycheck, I can help you! Just request a free consultation with me, and I can show you what is possible. It is my passion to help people like you align with what you want out of life, so let’s get to work together!