With Melissa Meagher –
It is never just about the money! Issues and struggles around money are always symptomatic of underlying limiting beliefs around our self-worth and how we value ourselves.
Bold opening statement I know. But the more I work with people, especially women, the more I know this to be true. The stories we tell ourselves may present in many ways, shapes and forms but rest assured they are always lurking just below the surface.
The biggest challenges people face when managing their money are fundamentally tied up in their own identity; fear of not being all over it and in control and of losing face with their peers. The crazy part about this is that many people are in the same boat. Over my 20 years (plus!) in the finance industry, if I had a dollar for every-time I had a conversation about this…well let’s just say I would be very comfortable.
Women have a tendency to shy away from anything to do with money and relinquish control and ownership of their situation. I frequently hear expressions like “I have never been good with numbers”. Where did that come from? Who told you that?
It is time to own your power, not your story and the following focus areas will get you started on your own money adventure!
The most important aspect of managing your personal finances is to know your numbers. The best map in the world is no good if you don’t know where you are!
For you to have choice in your life around where and what you spend your money on, you first need to understand what makes up your money pot. The ‘pot’ includes everything that comes in and everything that goes out. Getting an accurate picture of what is going on with your money helps you gain clarity, awareness and efficiency.
That all sounds simple… right?
Many women and couples I speak to are not sure even where to start and feel completely overwhelmed with a high degree of embarrassment (and even shame) thrown in to the mix. No wonder so many of us are happy to stay in our comfort zone (or so we think!) and hope our current money situation will miraculously just sort itself out. By the way hope is not a strategy (nor is lotto!) – I have tried and tested it several times and it doesn’t work!
No one taught us this stuff when we were young, but it seems like society assumes we should know all about it! Even more so if you are good at what you do. In addition, talking about money is still considered a taboo subject in many circles, were you told, “It is not polite to talk money”.
And how do we define power, success and status? You guessed it… MONEY!
TALKING MONEY TIP
» GET TO KNOW YOUR MONEY POT, TRACK YOUR LIFESTYLE SPENDING ON A DAILY BASIS FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS.
There is nothing like starting your own business to shine a big spotlight on how you value self-worth – you can’t hide behind a title or salary, especially if you are in a service industry because you are your product! And since your relationship with money can be a symptom of how you value yourself, this can have a major impact on the success of your business, and not in a good way – take it from someone who knows!
Consider the following:
How was money spoken about when you were growing up (if at all)?
How do you feel when you think about money?
How would you describe your current relationship with money?
These questions all form part of your Money Story and it is vitally important to understand the impact your relationship with money has on your motivations and behaviour – every… single…day.
It is essential that you understand how your money story shows up in your business and may be holding you back. An example could be getting caught up with needing to have all the bright and shiny things for your business to be a success – there is a need to have some fundamentals in place to get started in your business BUT the silver bullet you are seeking lies within you!
TALKING MONEY TIP
» MAKE SURE YOU SET UP A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT AND KEEP YOUR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS EXPENSES COMPLETELY SEPARATE.
Imagine if you had two people with completely different money stories and you told them that they had to combine all their money, make financial decisions together, agree on them and be 100% invested and on board with it all? Sounds crazy right? But that is what we ask couples to do every time they enter a new relationship and things start to get serious.
Now I am not saying for one minute that this is not important, and couples should not be invested in the process, but this is the fundamental reason most couples say, “that the only thing we fight about is money!”
It is important that couples understand each other’s Money Story and what that brings into every conversation they have around money, every perception and filter that is both spoken and unspoken. I have lost track of the number of times I have witnessed something being said from a place of love and support that was perceived as an attack and anything but support, with neither party really understanding what had happened. They just felt like there was a disconnect and a feeling of not being heard.
Couples need to ensure that they make time to discuss their money and family finances on a regular basis, maintain very open lines of communication, and check in with each other around what is going on for them.
TALKING MONEY TIP
» IN RELATIONSHIPS, EACH PERSON GETS A POCKET MONEY ACCOUNT THAT HAS A ‘NO QUESTIONS ASKED’ POLICY.