In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook a crucial aspect that impacts our well-being to the core. Our relationship with money.
As I stepped into 2024, I found myself pondering ways to enhance my wellness and overall quality of life (as we all do at this time of year!) and I kept coming back to one thing — financial wellness.
So what is Financial Wellness? Financial Wellness to me goes way beyond just the physical aspect of money. It’s more about the relationship I have with money. It’s about the way money makes me think, feel and act. So while there’s always a big focus on improving your financial position, there isn’t much being said about the deeper relationship we have with money.
While it’s crucial to be aware of your financial situation, digging deeper and taking the time to explore your attitude towards money and how it impacts your relationships, your well-being, work performance and even your sleep will lead to profound improvements in your life.
Being an accountant I always knew ‘what’ I needed to do with my money though for some reason, I would always get derailed. I’ve spent countless hours doing our family’s budget, trying to understand where I was going wrong and why I always felt like we were never getting ahead. This caused a huge amount of unnecessary stress and pressure all because I thought ‘I should know better’.
It wasn’t until I connected the dots and realized that everything for me is emotional. Every decision I make, every action I take is connected to an emotion. So all the money stories I’d been telling myself for years like ‘I can’t afford that’, ‘I should be grateful for what we have’, ‘I don’t deserve any more’ were impacting my relationship with money and therefore my overall quality of life.
Women are great at connecting emotion to everything which is why we struggle to let go of things. I’ve come to realize that when I’m caught up in the emotion, I just can’t open myself up to hearing things differently — no matter how hard or try or how much I want things to change. Of course this then means that I stayed in the never ending downward spiral of fear, stress and feeling out of control when it came to money.
So to change the relationship I have with money I focused on making financial wellness a priority. The financial self care I now practice include:
* Automating as many things as I can (I’m busy and sometimes I forget things so automating my bills and savings takes away the stress of missing things).
* I’m making sure I pay my bills on time.
* I’m tracking my expenses so I know where our money is going.
* I’ve set realistic financial goals for this year as well as some stretch goals to grow our family’s wealth.
* I’ve forgiven past Erin because she did the best she could at the time.
* I’m focusing on doing the things that make me feel good because when I look after every part of me, everything feels better.
And probably the most important thing I’ve done to improve my financial wellness has been to increase my awareness of the stories I’m telling myself. When I catch myself saying unkind or untrue things, I stop and reframe them. I AM good with money. I DO deserve good things. I CAN do this. I AM doing it.
Opportunities open up everywhere when you’re confident. So while it may seem almost impossible to improve your financial situation, focusing on the things you can control like improving your financial wellness and self confidence, you’ll give yourself a great foundation to creating a life which feels aligned, joyful and purposeful.
Because as they say, money makes the world go round! But if you were to go round without dragging along all of the old, negative and harmful money stories you have, I bet your world would be a much happier and fulfilling place.
I know mine is!
Meet Our Contributor — Erin Davis
Erin Davis is Financial Wellness Coach and Corporate Trailblazer. For more than 27 years as an accountant, Erin excelled in the male-dominated corporate world. Despite her success, she struggled with self-doubt and unrealistic expectations imposed on herself. Balancing motherhood, work, and countless other responsibilities, Erin underwent a personal transformation and reshaped her career. Now, she inspires women to embrace change, achieve inner calm and develop financial confidence.