How many times have you thought that if you just had more money you could solve all your problems? How often do you connect money to happiness? How long do you wait before taking a look at your accounts, terrified of the numbers you may find, of which you have not the faintest idea?
It's time to stop stressing and start having a more zen relationship with your money: find out how, thanks to these simple tips.
1. Think of money as a means and not an end
You have always seen money as the ultimate goal to strive for, since for you it equals the purest idea of happiness. Think about it, what can really make you happy is:
- an idea of tranquility and serenity, motivated by not having economic problems
- some things that money can allow you to achieve, such as the house of your dreams in which to live with your family or a car that improves your quality of life and allows you, living outside the city, to spend more time with the people you love.
Start thinking of money as a means to achieve your goals, not an end! After all, unless you want to be like Scrooge McDuck and start swimming in a tub full of money, what matters is the moment when the money leaves you to give you something else in return.
Do this: set goals that help you associate money with achieving your goals.
For example: what will the first £/€ 100 set aside correspond to? What about the next 200, 300 and so on? Associate each milestone with a given object or experience that you can buy with that given amount of money, and then see from time to time what to give yourself!
2. Start talking about money
How can you achieve a more peaceful relationship with an aspect of your life that you refuse to talk about, or even to examine? As you can read from the words of coach Silvia Lanfranchi, one of the first steps to work on is to
listen to phrases in your head that no longer belong to you.
Without even realising it, since you do not compare yourself with anyone, you are full of limiting and negative thoughts and beliefs related to the fact that you do not understand anything, that it is not really a field for you.
Do this: choose a friend who you consider to be at the same level of knowledge (and fears) as you. You do not need the fear of being looked down upon by those who are experienced and unwelcoming: establish together a total level of confidence and openness and talk about all the doubts that you consider the most foolish and of which you have always been ashamed of. You have just taken the first step to change things, by taking a weight off your shoulders and talking about it with someone else: now it can only get better!
3. Get informed
As you can read in this article, there is a direct link between developing a good financial culture and the ability to cope with moments of crisis and difficulty.
So: the lower your financial literacy is, the higher the likelihood of running into financial problems in difficult times.
If you don't know the basic terminology and the main tools, how can you choose the investment that will help you sleep more peacefully?
Do this: there are several sites that start from the basics and that are made on purpose to remove the most common doubts concerning money, savings and investments. You can start by studying the Financial Education section of Oval Blog, that's what we're here for!
4. Get organised, like in any other area of your life
It is often thought that achieving objectives in a given field is only a matter of knowledge and is totally unrelated to having the right tools: this couldn't be wrong!
You can't think of increasing your financial peace of mind without going through the tools that allow you to save time and effort: instead of continuing to put your savings in a piggy bank, why not take a look at the Goals and the Oval Smart Rules that allow you to achieve your goals with flexibility, thanks to the rules you can give yourself?
Do this: start with a list of your goals for your money.
Warning: you have to really think about what you want, clearing your mind of what you think you need to achieve.
Right now, it is more important for you to be able to buy the mixer that will allow you to cook more, which is the thing that makes you the happiest person in the world, and couldn't you care less about saving money for a car?
Well! You have found your first goal.
Now quantify it: what is the range of savings achieved at which you can start taking this expense into consideration?
And again: what is your biggest blocker in being able to set aside savings?
Maybe you prefer to save 10 euros every week, or on the contrary the "bad cop" method works for you. In that case, you can activate the Fitness Rule! The important thing is to know what you want and how you want to get it.
5. Set your own rules
How could you think about having your money and consequently your expenses under control, if you do not establish your own personal routine about it? Let's talk about having days and times that are initially dedicated to getting familiar with your income and expenses, understanding how much is coming in and out each month.
Awareness is the first step in making decisions - after some time you will begin to take the first steps forward and notice the areas you could optimise.
Do this: block a half day every two weeks in your diary in which to take a look at your expenses, with the aim of arriving, when you are more comfortable, to drawing up your first budget. The important thing is that you consider this a binding appointment as it would be the one taken with another person: never postpone it thinking it is unimportant!
6. Try to understand what triggers your fears
We all take action in response to certain incitements, with consoling actions: maybe we can't bear to have a fight with our partner or a discussion with our boss.
Maybe we just can't manage the sadness and fear that overwhelm us in the face of change: whether it is a colleague who is leaving or a change of house, nothing throws us into greater despair.
Pay attention: your moments of sadness or fear could correspond to those in which you have less control, and you throw yourself without even noticing into the craziest shopping spree.
Do this: the first thing is to know yourself from this point of view: what are the events that trigger you and make you easy prey to uncontrolled spending?
Once you have established this, look for a source of motivation that can hold you back the moment this happens.
Do you need a friend to call when the urge to buy compulsively? Do you know you have to throw away all the food delivery flyers nearby to avoid giving in to temptations? Choose what suits you and decide beforehand what you will do, so as not to be taken by irrationality.
7. Don't be ashamed to ask for help
Maybe you did your best, you worked on your financial education and blocked a day on your agenda to be more aware of your accounts. Yet you continue to make a huge effort and you just can't see the light.
Do this: never be ashamed to ask for help when you are in trouble! Whether it's an expert in the sector to whom you can delegate your investments - always after having acquired the basic knowledge to understand what you are giving the OK to - to the Ovalers Community or to your nerd friend with black belt of savings and investments, the important this is to do it immediately: the road can only be downhill.
Establish the boundaries within which you want to be helped to unlock the situation, and then continue on your own feet!
8. Cut the link with the help that has always been given to you
You cannot achieve autonomy, which equates to serenity, in the financial field if you can constantly count on external help.
Whether it is your parents who are always ready to give you money to stop your financial disasters or a brother or sister who is all too willing to help you, there is only one path: stop asking for their contribution.
Do this: Talk to them with an open heart, explaining that you would like to learn to be more autonomous. It doesn't mean being left in the middle of the road if you've done everything to improve and it went wrong for once, but to stop counting on extra income.
From now on, first of all try to be independent and stop asking for money: take on your responsibilities and see how your control over expenses will change in return.
And now, choose your first Zen advice to put into practice and run to conquer your financial peace of mind!