❝Financial health is having a balanced, comfortable relationship with money.❞ -Ted Klontz
I'm playing pool with some close friends and some of their friends. I'm not very good at pool, so I spend most of my time talking. One of my friends' work colleagues tells me that she earned over $100,000 last year for the first time. Hitting six-figure status was very important to her. I don't make that, but I hope to soon. This six-figure status seems to be stuck in my head as a good marker of success. I live in an apartment with a friend of mine and drive a really old car. Once I start making six figures I'll have my life together - at least I hope. This becomes my goal in life; to make more than $100,000 per year. Well, I got there...and then some. The thing they don't tell you is that more money comes with more responsibility, more pressure, more demands, and ultimately less flexibility, autonomy, and freedom. Chasing money without first examining my relationship with money turned out to be the wrong choice for me. The relationship with money needs to be there first.
RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY: WHAT IT IS
If you don't know you have a relationship with money, you probably don't have a very good one. If you have a pulse, you might be wondering what in the heck it means to have a relationship with money. It makes sense to have a relationship with someONE, because, you know, we all have relationships with living beings - partners, family members, friends, colleagues, even pets and other animals. But how can we have a relationship with someTHING? It's a good question. By analogy, think about your car. It's likely that you have a car, and you have a relationship with your car. This varies by person, of course, but some of you take really good care of your car in exchange for it taking really good care of you. Some of you don't really care about it and thus don't care for it; you take it for granted. Some of you keep it immaculately clean, and to others, the cleanliness of their car isn't something that people should care about. Some of you want to know exactly how it works and know how to fix it if something goes wrong. Others wonder if they have to replace their blinker fluid or take their car in just to have antifreeze put in (which, incidentally, I'm not ashamed to admit I just did an hour before writing this paragraph). Hopefully, it's now easier to understand how you can have a relationship with an inanimate object, like a car. That should shed some light on how you can have a relationship with money. Whether you know it or not, you have a relationship with money; everybody does. Whether it's good or bad, and whether you want to or not, this relationship exists. Without exploration, many of us don't know we have a relationship with money, making our relationship with it something we can't see.