3: Analyze Your Circumstances

Give Yourself Permission

First and foremost, the path to financial well-being starts by giving yourself permission to want the things and the lifestyle you want. Negative associations with “being greedy” can keep us from actually achieving what we want. But the only person standing in your way here is you.

Start by giving yourself permission to:

  1. Take care of your financial well-being. Knowing how you truly feel about your financial goals and progress toward reaching them is key. If you are happy with where you are, it shouldn’t matter what others think of your choices.
  2. Set your financial goals as priority over other people’s goals. Look out for yourself and what is important to your financial well-being.
  3. Say no to requests that don’t align to your values and financial priorities. Many people, organizations and media messages try to influence your decisions. With clarity, you are the best decision maker about what is necessary for your future.
  4. Change your mind. If your circumstances change or you have a new idea, you always can adjust your goals.

When you align what you want and what you need to be financially secure with your values, you are taking care of you. Setting your goals for your future lifestyle in alignment with your values gives you permission to set higher priority for your needs over others’ needs. Then, once you have a good foundation, you can look outward to help others from a position of strength.

Reflect on Your Relationships and Money

a scale weighing a heart and dollar signThink about when you were a young child

  • Did financial matters get discussed in your family?
  • Were you ever told that something cost too much or was too expensive?
  • How did you feel about your family’s financial standing as a child?

What about now, in your current life / relationships?

  • Do you have input on financial matters?
  • Do you hide spending or savings from your significant other?
  • Are your values represented in the financial decisions that are made for your family?
  • How do you feel about how money is used in your current relationship?

These are very personal questions and these can be tough issues to discuss with a significant other. But money matters affect many decisions in our lives. You are more likely to feel confident and satisfied with your finances if you feel your voice is represented in money decisions that affect you.

See Simple Steps to Raising a Money-Smart Child for tips on how to include children in these conversations and create an open and constructive dialogue about family money decisions.

Lindsey and TroyLearn from Lindsey and Troy

Lindsey and Troy were engaged with a relationship based on trust and honesty — that is until Troy discovered that Lindsey was in debt and had overdrawn their bank account. Despite the financial secrets, they were able to overcome the troubles and now look forward to financial stability with some decisions made jointly and others made using separate accounts. Read their story here.

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