Your Negative Relationship with Money Sucks

Your Negative Relationship with Money Sucks, Now What?

I don’t know about you but I can spend six hours on the phone talking to my friend about the guy I like and how I just wish he would look my way.

You wanna know what’s funny? Not once during that six-hour conversation did we talk about how our other relationship is going — you know the one we have with money? 

Why is that? Why do we not talk about it? Even with close friends?

Fear?

Embarrassment?

Denial?

Like they used to say: that’s the $64k question. Well, in 2021, that would be like saying that is the $579k question. No matter how we phrase it, the answer to that question is worth its weight in gold.

 If we can figure out why we have a negative relationship with money, think about it for a second, it would reshape our life. Who wouldn’t want to live in financial freedom for even that one split second? To experience the pure enjoyment of our dream life.

I believe there are three factors why women continue to have failed relationships with money:

Me, Myself and I

This is a hard pill to swallow. Take a big gulp of water, we will need it. Our inner value ties into our financial habits. Inner values? That’s how we view ourselves and how we assume others view us. The rub is that our suspicions of how others view us tends to be dead wrong.

 What is it about how we see ourselves that leads us to continue this bad romance with money? What does that say about us? What need do we lack within that drives us to create these habits?

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

-Maya Angelou

I knew someone who was always broke. Always. She had a habit of overbuying things that she didn’t need. When she was low on funds and had to pay a bill, she would search her apartment high and low for anything, I mean anything that she could return to the store.

One day, I decided to ask her, “why do you do that”. She gave me an odd look, one that screamed lack of self- awareness. She thought about it for a moment and then no answer. A simple shrug. That’s all I got.  “I don’t know”.

I didn’t say anything else after that. I left it alone but at that moment, my curiosity had gotten the best of me. As I got to know her, I realized her relationship with money sucked out of choice. She didn’t have to buy everything in the store and return hand selected items on a monthly. It was a want. Not a need.

It was out of habit. Something that was normal for her. A cycle that she didn’t think needed to be broken.

Keeping Up with Missus So and So

We all want to be part of a club. What our Family, Friends, Coworkers, Randoms on the streets possess caused this inner desire to seek out validation. Why is it that if our coworker buys a car, there’s an urge that we must double down and buy a flashier car?

During lunch, a coworker described her new car in detail, right down to the endless gadgets. Preached to her three minions that she never drove a car older than five years old. I sat there. Fingers crossed.

All three minions had stepped up to the mic, described their car, and shook their heads in agreeance with her. It was my turn. Not today, I said. Please, no small talk. She ignored me. Why? The tuna sandwich on wheat stuck in my mouth was my savior.

That was a close one, I thought.  I did not want to have to explain the why to a room full of coworkers. Explain what? Why I drove an older car. Should I be ashamed? The constant ads. The Insta flex all tells me that I should.  The sad fact is that had she asked me, I would have been ashamed of an older car that I cherish.

After lunch, I pulled out my phone and googled new cars. I didn’t buy anything but the temptation to do so was strong. My only saving grace, besides that wheat sandwich, was having the ability to let it go. To break free from that one moment of want.

Money Itself

How do you see your relationship with money? How we define and value money develops our habits with it. If the perception is of no value, our response could lead down a path where we lack preparedness for our future.

A strong sense of money develops reserved traits in a woman’s spending habits. This regard for what it represents opens up the potential for sustainable outcomes. Peace of mind.

The Bottom Line…

…is that other people, a vague basic understanding of money and even ourselves causes us to have this love/hate relationship with money. For some women, it is a daily struggle that has the potential to turn into a lifelong battle.

If we come to a crossroads in a relationship with someone we are dating and decide: things are just not working. I need to break it off with him.  We would do it. Like that. Snap. Why is it that we don’t give our sucky relationship with money that same consideration? 

When all is said and done, a woman’s relationship with money is a choice. A need. A unique one. Hers to own.  How we cope with that need and that choice is the journey.

Tell me:  What is your relationship with money?

Photo credits: Two, Three, Four

Thanks for checking-in,

BGMD Editorial Team

Teigh Reed is the Content Editor for BGMD. I have a passion for all things finance-related. I'm on a mission to pay forward my knowledge of money and to cheer on your accomplishments. What's on your money mind? I'm listening.

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