How to Improve Your Relationship with Money

Guest Post: Leah Hadley Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Master Analyst in Financial Forensics, Mediator

How is your relationship with money? Have you ever stopped to think about what you believe about money and how that could be impacting your relationship with it? I often find that clients don’t even recognize the way their beliefs about money are impacting their ability to achieve financial success. Oprah Winfrey once said, “You become what you believe – not what you wish or want but what you truly believe. Wherever you are in life, look at your beliefs. They put you there.”

Common limiting beliefs about money

 What does money mean to you? 

What does money mean to you? 

As I work with clients on attracting abundance and achieving financial success, there is no shortage of limiting beliefs when it comes to money. Here are some of the common ones:

  • I’m not good with money.
  • Money is a limited resource. 
  • Money is the root of all evil.
  • I’m not enough (could be I’m not smart enough or I’m not pretty enough or a host of other adjectives).
  • I have to work hard for money.
  • More money means more problems.

Beliefs about money are formed by some of our earliest money memories.

I am fortunate that many of my early money memories are positive ones. For example, I remember when we were children, my best friend and I would do extra chores around her house or mine for a little money. We would get paid $0.50 or if it was a big job, maybe $1. We would then ride our bikes up to a small drug store (that has since closed) and we would buy candy that cost $0.05 or $0.10. At $0.05 or $0.10 a piece, we were able to buy quite a bit of candy. It felt like we were living in Willy Wonka's factory. When I think of how I felt at that time, I would use words like happy, independent, free, and proud (of our hard work). As a result, those are feelings I associate with money.

Through my work, I have heard from many others who did not have positive experiences with money early on. I often hear that individuals connect money with shame as they remember experiences when they were embarrassed not to be able to have what their friends had or do what their friends were doing because of a lack of money. Others share that they really did not have an awareness of money in their early years as it was not a subject discussed in their families. 

What are your earliest money memories?

Regardless of whether they are positive, neutral or negative, it is helpful to be aware of how your early money memories might be impacting your financial decisions today. This is also a major challenge that arises with couples, as frequently husbands and wives are raised with different beliefs and values regarding money. It does not mean that one is right or wrong but you may find that identifying the deeper issue is helpful to limiting and/or solving financial disagreements.

I encourage you to make a list of your earliest money memories. This is a great journaling activity. Review your list and consider how these memories are impacting your relationship with money today. Identify how each of these early money memories make you feel. Do your current beliefs about money support a healthy flow of abundance or could they be limiting the flow of money into your life?

Eliminating negative beliefs about money

One powerful tool to help release negative beliefs about money is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), also sometimes known as tapping. EFT combines what we know of acupressure and the body's flow of energy, which has been used for thousands of years, and modern psychology or talk therapy. EFT is simple enough to do on your own as part of your daily self-care practice. Often, people choose to use EFT with a practitioner or in a group program at first until they feel confident doing it on their own. For a brief introduction to EFT, visit www.eftwithleah.com.

Positive money mindset beliefs

One of the things we do when using EFT is replace limiting beliefs with those that support a more positive outcome. If there are beliefs that limit our ability to attract abundance, then it’s helpful to know what positive beliefs can support our ability to attract abundance.

Examples of how you can turn limiting beliefs around:

  1. “Money is a limited resource.” / “There is enough money for everyone who is open to receiving it.”
  2. “More money means more problems.” / “More money means more opportunities.”
  3. “I have to work hard to earn more money.” / “I easily create value and am paid accordingly.”
  4. “Money is the root of all evil.” / “Money is a resource that allows me to have a greater positive impact on the world.”

Anchoring New Beliefs

A daily EFT practice can be an awesome way to reinforce your new more positive beliefs. However, even with the best of intentions, sometimes our old thought patterns can be stubborn and it's easy to slip back. Consider anchoring your new beliefs with visual reminders. For example, you can write your new beliefs about money and place them in key spaces such as next to your bed or on your bathroom mirror. Remember that you have had many years to reinforce your old limiting belief. Be patient with yourself as you replace that with a more positive belief about money. Before you know it, your relationship with money will be much improved.

Leah Hadley is President of Great Lakes Divorce Financial Solutions. You can reach her by clicking this link