Given that February is traditionally the month of love and serves as a time to foster relationships with those near and dear; this is the perfect time to look at how to boost your relationship with money. Let’s face it, this is often a relationship characterised by stress and based on a begrudging acknowledgement of its role in our lives but perhaps the simple answer to improving this essential bond, is the same as with most – put a little love into the equation!

To get you started here are some Top Tips to set you on the path to a revitalised relationship with your finances:

  • Pay attention! When someone you love walks into a room your face invariably lights up and your heart beats a little faster. When money matters come to the fore don’t shy away. Even if you have a lot on your plate (what’s new?!) stop for five minutes and pay attention to what needs to happen to address an error or take things to the next level.
  • Make time for it – Just as you’d schedule a date night, schedule time for your money each month. Go through what you earned, what you owe and where your finances stand. Remember! You ‘respect what you inspect’, so make a conscious choice to prioritise it.
  • Celebrate the good! When you feel like you’ve achieved a money milestone acknowledge your accomplishment and allow yourself a moment of recognition.
  • Give yourself a break – No one is perfect all of the time, so when you make a mistake with your money or you find yourself earning less than you would like, remember that this is one blip in a relationship that will last a lifetime. Learn from it and much like you’d treat a loved one who makes a mistake, forgive yourself and move on.
  • Maintain a sense of humour – People who laugh at themselves are much more pleasant to be around. The characteristics of self-awareness and the willingness to not take oneself too seriously, are a killer combo, so adopt that attitude with money because it doesn’t have to be super serious and in fact; it’s better when it’s not.
  • Respect it – You don’t take the presence or opinion of someone you love for granted and if you do, that’s certainly not the recipe for the successful, long-term relationship you want. Your money is always trying to tell you something, so listen up and be aware of what’s needed.
  • Don’t manipulate it or try power plays – With the people or things you love, you don’t think about the balance of power and if you love someone, you’d never want them to do something because you manipulated them into doing it. If you’re in a power struggle with someone for money, it won’t work. Eliminate the power play and money is much more likely to flow.
  • Don’t blame it for your bad mood – Money is never the reason you’re in bad mood. Rather, it’s your perception of the situation that causes you fear and pain. When you think, money is the cause of your unhappiness, step back and try to understand how your thinking got you to this place. You can’t heal your emotional life with intellectual thought but you can start to understand your triggers.

All these approaches should be underpinned by the important realisation that you must love your finances through thick and thin. Remember! When the going gets tough, always remember that love is a choice and not only an emotion but also a behaviour. The good news is, the sooner you start this more positive approach things may well improve beyond your wildest expectations.

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