Guest post by Debbie Warrener of Catalysing Change Agents.
On Friday 23 June I led a workshop on Exploring your Relationship with Money at the Hub Islington. Participants valued the time to explore aspects of their relationship with money they don’t often consider.
I believe that exploring our relationship with money pays off – if you’ll excuse the pun – albeit perhaps not as quickly as we might like. To start this process here are my current top five tips to improving your relationship with money!
Tip 1: Get curious!
We all have complex beliefs about money. Shining a NON judgemental light on your beliefs gives you more space to choose…
Start this process by answering the following questions – in a NON judgemental simply curious manner!:
- What beliefs about money were prevalent when you grew up?
- Which of these beliefs do you still hold? Which serve you and which don’t?
- Complete the following sentence without thinking too much. What do you notice? In particular, what contradictions do you notice?
When I think about money I . . . .
Tip 2: Notice ‘unconscious’ spending
Money is ubiquitous – as are ways to spend it. We often spend without thinking and then wonder where our money has gone. Getting curious about ‘unconscious’ spending frees up space for a relationship with money more aligned with what you really want.
Once again this is a JUDGEMENT FREE process – it’s fine for you to keep spending money in whatever way you choose – you’re just exploring!
Get curious with these questions:
- What things do you frequently spend your money on leaving you with something you don’t really want or need?
- What need were you trying to fulfil by spending your money in this way?
- What could better fulfil this need?
For example you may buy magazines you don’t really read to boost your self esteem. A better way of meeting this need could be to call a friend next time you find yourself hovering at the newsagents.
Tip 3: Track your money!
This is key to becoming more aware around money – and to shifting to a relationship that serves you and your goals better. And I know – I thought it was boring and ‘I can’t do that!’ as well! However – I urge you to try it out for a week or month. I myself have been surprised at how powerful it is.
Simply take a small notebook and log everything you spend your money on and all the money coming in. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less. And see what you learn!
Tip 4: Break the taboo!
Money is not talked about very much. In fact it’s easier to talk about sex than money with our friends! This taboo makes it more difficult to fundamentally shift your relationship with money on your own – and that breaking the taboo is a powerful step towards change. One way to do this is to take the plunge and start discussing these issues. Share these tips and what you are learning and set up support structures to explore these issues together. It may open up whole new areas of authenticity and support in your relationships!
Another way is to work with others who are interested in exploring this issue. I will be running more short workshops in September as well as starting a closed group programme for those who want to go deeper with this work. In my view group work over a period of time is the best way to really shift your relationship with money to one where you, rather than your fears and confusion, are in charge. Sign up here for my newsletter for details of forthcoming courses and workshops.
Tip 5: Learn from the experts
Top books on this topic that offer practical steps and insights around exploring your relationship with money are: The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth and Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin. The course I will be running in September will draw on some of the steps they outline so if you get the books and would like to join a group supporting each other to take this work further do join the group in September!
I’d love to hear what you think of these tips and any top tips you have including book recommendations. For further information on my wider work as a facilitator, coach, consultant and artist visit my website at: www.catalysingchangeagents.com