4 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Finances and Make It Last
Let’s face it. We love money, but we hate the subject of finances. The awkwardness of talking about it, the pressure of having enough to live like a real adult, the stress of how it affects different parts of life; we’d rather avoid it altogether and just wrap ourselves in a blanket like a burrito.
While personal finance may seem like the most uncertain and confusing thing anyone has to deal with – isn’t starting out with a partner just the same way? You barely know each other and feelings of doubt, unease, worry, and maybe even fear hound you. Then, with time and effort, you eventually become more comfortable with each other.
The way you nurture a relationship with a significant other doesn’t have to be too different from the way you should and MUST handle your finances. Sure, it’s no eros, philia or agape, but it still requires hard work and dedication.
To make it simple and put the metaphor into perspective, here are four steps that follow the usual romantic formula, which can help you learn how to love your finances and develop an enduring, working relationship with it.
1. Value yourself
Because you are your most valuable asset, it’s important to really know yourself first – what do you want to achieve and what are you willing to do to get them. Take stock of your strengths and your weaknesses, what you’re good at and what you can improve on, what skills you can leverage on and what burdens (e.g. debt) you can move on from. These things determine your present and future ability to earn and, likewise, your capacity to spend.
2. Double up
Now that you know where you stand, you’re coming into this as a whole person – as you should be before partnering up. It’s time to get yourself out there, outside the comfort of your 9 to 5, and diversify. That’s not merely finding other baskets to put your eggs in, but also creating new income streams. These can be in the form of investments, a service or a product offering, or a passion project.
3. Check in
How are you? Is there anything you need? What can I do? These are all very familiar questions that express care and concern. And these are also the same feelings that will keep you in tune with the state of your finances. Keep a close eye on money that’s coming in and how it's going out. They must be aligned with your priorities. (Hint: What you spend most on should reflect what matters most to you)
4. Learn and adjust
It’s always going to be eventful. There will always be new dreams to chase and new challenges to face. And with a formed habit of checking in on your personal finances, you know when to loosen and tighten that belt, when to make bigger sacrifices, and when to just chill.
Now, rinse, lather, repeat. Of course this isn't a one time deal. It’s a lifelong process, but it doesn’t have to be a tiring one. The most important part is to pay attention. It'll start you off on the right foot, help you take down the wall of misunderstanding, and power through. Just like what every other relationship needs to endure. And if that gets tough, remember, you always have this community of Sheroes to bounce off frustrations and work on new ideas with.
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