It's Time For DTR With Your Money
Most of us, including myself, put a very high value on relationships we have in our life. For me, the ultimate relationship that I've formed, and feel secure in, is the one that I have following Jesus. Right below that is the relationship I have with my wife of 25 years. Both of us in that 25-year period have felt very secure because of the vows and promises we made to one another.
Relationships are built upon trust, and love, and being confident in one another. The overwhelming majority of us have friends and coworkers that depend on us to do what we say we're going to do.
All of those relationships though, are connected by a relationship that very few of us have defined.
Many of us have gotten nervous when it’s time to have the "Define the Relationship" talk. But for the most part, that talk is needed in order for both parties to understand who they are and what their parameters are in the relationship.
Ironically, as high of a value as we put on all our relationships, they are all affected by one relationship that we really don't take the time to define.
The relationship we have with our money.
That relationship is so key because it affects literally every other relationship that we have in our lives.
If money is tight (ever had too much month left at the end of the money?), we start to stress. If we have debt that we are struggling to pay back, it causes friction in and amongst most of the relationships that we value.
Why have most of us skipped the DTR talk with the money that comes into our checking account every month?
Possibly the biggest reason stems from the fact that many of us never learned to do that. Financial independence isn’t taught in school. Many parents aren’t prepared to teach their children how to manage their money.
The fact that money isn’t tangible anymore makes easy to accrue a mountain of debt and never really see the cash that you’re going into debt for.
Credit cards coming into play have also affected the way we manage the money we get in this digital society. It's literally zeros and ones that show up in an app on our phone.
For some of you, it's literally zeros and ones in your checking account.
To escape the cycle of a toxic relationship with money, you need to sit down and have a DTR...with your money.
Name every dollar that you receive, and say, "This is where I'm going to put those dollars in my life. It's going to go to rent. It's going to go to the power bill. It's going to go to eating out. It's going to go to travel. It's going to go to my car."
Develop a plan. (Not a budget! Budgets do NOT work. Don’t @ me) A plan to do one of three things with your money:
or give it away
If you REALLY want to see the physical manifestation of this, instead of filling out a spreadsheet or looking at your bank account online, pull out some Monopoly Money. Count out your take home pay. Now start dividing up your bills that you have to pay. Look at the physical paper bills that you have left over. Go on… I dare ya.
Once you define those dollars you have the freedom to understand how you can then live your life. It goes back to why having a DTR, a define the relationship talk, is so critical. It should give you the security of knowing who and what you are.
I'm not saying to let money define you. I'm saying don't let money define you. Once you have money come into your account, create a plan to save it, spend it, or give it away.
Lily Comba gives some great advice when it comes to having a healthy relationship with money.
Go on weekly Money Dates for one month.
Open up all of your bank accounts, including savings accounts. Then ask yourself:
Where did your money go the last week? Sort into the categories you established before.
Are you on track with your savings goals?
What are you most proud of?
At the end of the first month, evaluate your spending. How has your relationship changed with your finances? How do you perceive yourself when it comes to money? The more time you spend with your money, the more confidence you cultivate.
If you are looking for someone to sit down with you and have a more in-depth conversation about practical ways you can DTR with your money, I would love to have a further conversation. No strings attached. As long as there is good food/coffee/beer involved.