Five Ways to Improve Your Relationship—with Money

Much like dating, your partnership with cash & credit can be complicated. And, just like marriage, it takes effort to make your finances work. Here are five tips to help you improve your relationship with money.

Communicate Clearly

First, you need to be honest about how you handle money. Then determine where you want your relationship go. Are you happy with the way you’re spending and saving or is there room for improvement? If you need to make some changes, set quantifiable & achievable objectives. Make a plan that fits your lifestyle and doesn’t leave you frustrated, then check in periodically on your progress.

Be Honest

Once you establish a budget, stick to it. No financial plan can be completely rigid, but exceptions to your rules should happen rarely and only after careful consideration. If you’re constantly fudging the numbers and making excuses, you’re only cheating yourself.

Reward Good Behavior

If you save and never spend, your relationship with money isn’t going to be as fulfilling. Set up periodic rewards when you reach a benchmark. Treating yourself to a snack or buying a song on iTunes won’t derail your financial future, and these small rewards will encourage you to continue.

Forgive Mistakes

Don’t throw everything away if there’s a hiccup in your plans, such as accidentally going over your grocery allowance for the week. If unexpected expenses come up, which they probably will, re-evaulate and adjust as necessary. Don’t stress out over something small. You may come in under budget the following week, so it could even out. Don’t use these little mistakes as an excuse to give up.

Show Respect

If you treat money like it’s completely expendable, it will be gone sooner than you’d like. You need to realize the importance of your finances. Treat money right by saving, investing and spending wisely, and you’ll get much more in return from your relationship with it.