It wasn’t until I met my husband — well really until we started sharing finances — that I learned (from him!) how to manage money well.
I spent what I had, didn’t really save, and didn’t tackle my debt proactively. I also wasn’t sharing enough with charities or able to take adventurous vacations like I wanted to.
I said all the right things, “I want to be debt free. I need to save more for retirement. I want a larger savings account.” Blah. Blah. Blah.
But frankly I never took action.
I can’t tell you the number of nights I stayed up worrying about money. Yuck.
Based on the staggering statistics, you probably have your own reaction to money stress too.
My husband is great with money, yet very frugal. So we had a lot to learn from each other.
Money is a touchy subject for so many so I know I’m not alone here. No matter how much or little we have, we all need to reconcile how much we spend with how much we make and how to manage it with our life partners (if applicable for you right now).
Enough is enough.
The most important part of our money story is figuring out what our “enough” definition is. Several clients have told me that they can’t work toward their dreams because they’re busy running errands (i.e. buying things at Target and running around town looking for the best deal on toilet paper). Or they can’t switch to a more meaningful career (presuming a lower salary) because their mortgage or car payment is too high.
If your money-spending and debt habits are keeping you from truly living the life you want to live, it’s time to re-evaluate.
I also have clients who recognize that once they have a meaningful career, they’ll reduce their spending because they’ll be fulfilled. They recognize their shopping, dining out, and excess spending are just distractions.
Your situation may not be as extreme, but the reality is we can all have a healthier relationship with money so that it can be a resource that fuels your life. And not the thing keeping us tied to a career or life we hate.
Find money wellness through these 6 questions.
Print these questions and take 20 minutes to honestly answer them.
- What are the specific categories where my money is going? (Mint.com is a great tool to track this.)
- Where am I spending money mindlessly and on unimportant things? (Unimportant = doesn’t contribute to my long-term happiness)
- After an impulse purchase, or spending outside of my budget, what do I notice about myself?
- What help do I need in controlling my spending? (Pete the Planner has several programs that might be helpful for you here.)
- Am I satisfied with my level of charitable giving? What steps do I need to take to donate in a way that is more in line with my true priorities?
For the next 2 weeks, I’ll post more questions to help you discover your own wellness levels. Sign up for my blog directly, to be sure to receive your list of coaching questions in each area (plus a bonus weekly planning cheat sheet). Don’t forget to share it with others on Facebook or Twitter who may need some support in one or more of these wellness areas.
- Defining wellness (beyond being able to walk up a flight of stairs without losing your breath)
- Career wellness
- Social wellness
Next week we’ll cover how our physical health can make us well.