Friday, 13 October 2017 10:02

Can You Change the Way You Behave with Money?

I have always saved money. Even as a kid, I wanted to save what I could and watch the pounds add up in my savings account. But I was also influenced by the way my parents dealt with money. I saw the results of what it was like to have money worries and issues, and I resolved never to experience the same.

While that was a good thing, it also meant I ended up going too far in the opposite direction. I have no issue treating other people, but I cannot bring myself to spend money on me. Even if I am given a gift card for my birthday, for example, I can’t just go and spend it. There is a part of me that assesses what I might spend it on, and whether that is worth the money. That is also good in a way, as it means I rarely waste money. But it also means I have trouble treating myself. I am not a materialistic person, so that probably feeds into it as well, but it did get me thinking about how we grow up and develop an attitude to money. Moreover, it got me thinking about how that attitude can stick with us for life.

So, can you change how you are with money? If you are dreadful at sticking to a budget, for example, can you do something about that? Can you make changes that will stick?

It takes a while to form a new habit, so nothing is going to happen overnight. But you can begin to understand where your attitudes towards money come from. Knowing the source can help you figure out why you do certain things, and avoid doing others. You then need to focus on how you could benefit from making changes.

For instance, if you have trouble saving money, and you are too quick to spend it, try saving just a token amount each week. I say weekly, because doing it monthly doesn’t give you time to build up a habit. Even if you get paid monthly, you can focus on putting away a set amount each week. Sometimes, developing a new habit makes more sense than the amount involved. For instance, if you really struggle to save, make a point of saving a pound each week. It might look silly transferring a pound from your regular account to your savings account, but the process is identical to the one you would complete if you saved £100. Get that new habit in place and then up the amount.

Finding solutions for your challenges with money can be done in many ways. The more you understand about this, the easier it will be to change the way you behave with and around money. It takes time, and for me, I sometimes struggle even today to treat myself occasionally. But I am better than I was, and you could be as well if you look at new ways to handle money.

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