If your money was your friend, would it want to hang out with you?
“Make Friends with Your Money.” I said it to a client in a meeting one day and it struck me as such a great way of looking at things.
Let’s say you ran into someone that you used to be friends with as a kid. You used to really like each other, and had a lot of fun together. Over the years, you drifted apart and now you have run into that person, giving you the opportunity to get to know them and maybe be friends again.
What do you do? You might start by reintroducing yourself. You grab a coffee or a drink together and catch up. You tell your stories, and they tell theirs and you find all sorts of common ground – memories of the past and goals for the future.
You begin to spend time, getting together regularly. You do fun things together. As the relationship deepens and becomes more familiar, you disclose some things that have gone wrong or that you are embarrassed about. The trust grows and the sharing grows.
One of you even discloses a reason that your relationship drifted way back when. Some unexpressed frustration with the relationship that caused it to go sideways. Your new level of trust allows you both to understand and let it go.
By getting to know one another again, and creating trust, the opportunity to resolve old hurts and create new stories begins. You begin to spend time with your old/new friend, attending to them and sharing with them. You talk about the good and the bad so that this new, warm and happy relationship can continue to grow.
Now, imagine building that same relationship with your money. You do recognize that you were once friends with it – at least as a kid, the joy of finding a quarter on the sidewalk, or of your great aunt giving you a $5 bill. Perhaps you were friends until high school where you had a part-time job and used the money for movies and new jeans. Maybe it was until you were into a mortgage and diapers.
Somewhere along the way, you and your money drifted apart. Maybe you felt it let you down, or it wasn’t there for you when you needed it. Or, more likely, you stopped being a good friend to your money. You started to ignore it and take it for granted. You didn’t spend time with it and attend to it. Maybe you even mistreated it, and acted as if it owed you something.
Now is your chance to change that. Look up your old friend “Money” again, and rebuild your relationship. Make Friends with Your Money again. Dream about what it would look like to have a wonderful relationship with your money. Love your money and appreciate what it has already done for you. Know what your numbers are and what your life costs you. Plan out how you and your money can work together. Work with your money; match it to your goals and the life you truly want. Make Friends with Your Money.