In Part One of this article, I talked about some of the very real, and very serious, problems that I had when it came to talking about money in my own relationship. I also gave you the ground rules that my husband and I agreed to use so that we could talk start about money in a transparent, non-judgmental, and open environment.
Here in Part Two, I’d like to tell you about seven techniques that you can use in your own relationship to talk about money, financial goals, spending, and saving for that rainy day in a peaceful, loving, and productive way.
Action Step 1: Start with What’s Working
Start with an easy discussion about what is currently working in your financial life – individually and together. Strive to find the common ground. Most financial discussions come about when something isn’t working, and that turns into blaming and arguing. So start with something positive. Ask your partner what they feel is important financially. By gaining a better perspective on their values, you not only gain a more intimate understanding of who they are, but you can honor those values when you communicate. These may not be the same values that you have – it’s important to realize that that’s okay! So long as you are both heard, respected, and validated, acceptance doesn’t have to equal agreement, but it does help you approach the conversation with deeper compassion and unconditional love. The main objective here is re-learning how to communicate with your partner by realizing that you’re on the same team. This involves some letting-go of control and ego – and believe me, that’s always a good thing!
Action Step 2: Become an Assertive Communicator
Seek to become an assertive communicator. Share your thoughts and feelings respectfully, and listen to your partner with the same respect. As I’ve pointed out before, you don’t have to agree on everything. But you both need to feel heard and validated. It’s one of the best ways to build an intimate bond of trust.
And speaking of trust – a word here about lying about money and secret spending. If this is you, you already know it. And intuitively, you know that it needs to stop. You will relieve yourself of so much guilt if you reveal your secrets and simply move forward into a new mode of thinking and a new goal of acting financially responsible. And if you have a spending problem, an addiction to buying – please get help, my friend. It is a real disease, and you are not at fault.
Action Step 3: Foster Healthy, Positive Financial Communication
Money issues have to be solved if you’re going to have a happy and balanced relationship. Solving those issues means talking about them in detail, and letting go of ego and judgment while you’re in that space (and hopefully, in your entire relationship).
Action Step 4: Focus on Forward Progress
It can be very, very easy to feel defensive and attacked when we discuss spending and finances. Know that this comes more from inside you (internal guilt) than it does from outside of you (your other). Temper your reactivity, and at a separate time when you are alone, examine it to find its roots. That’s a subject for a different post!
In retrospect, I can tell you these arguments were completely irrational. We were both working hard and making ends meet. Whenever I checked the online banking statements, the money was there. But I never felt abundant. I truly believed that I would die alone and penniless. (The alone outcome scared me far less than being penniless.) It was a story to which I was so attached that through the force of my energy I was bending our reality to almost insure that our finances were a house of cards ready to collapse at any moment. And my staunch unwillingness to meet my husband in a place of mutual respect where we could talk about these deep values was eating away at our intimacy.
You see, when couples fight about money, their respective positions deeply reflect their core values. And as time goes on, this polarization becomes caustic and like a strong acid, it eats away at the very foundation of the relationship. The unwillingness to appreciate and sympathetically discuss your conflicting attitudes and beliefs eventually creates all kinds of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. If the arguing persists, one day you will find yourself believing that you’re better off alone than constantly fighting over money.
It took time and introspection, but when I could finally articulate what money represented (safety, security, self-esteem, protection, and ultimately freedom and independence) which translated into me being a SAVER (or as he saw it, a miser); and he could identify all that it represented to him (feelings of competence, power, control, happiness and a celebration of hard work) which translated into him being a SPENDER (or as I saw it a spendthrift). we began to gain a greater appreciation for why we were so conflicted. That compassion and deeper understanding created the foundation for learning how to have the tough discussions in a mutually respectful manner and eventually building a strong financial future together.
Why Couples Have Problems Communicating About Finances
Our opinions and values regarding wealth, abundance, and worthiness almost always stem from our upbringing. That’s why so many couples have issues talking about money. Some of us had lots of direction growing up when it came to money management. And some of us watched our parents struggle with not having enough money to buy sufficient food or clothing. Then there are those who witnessed non-stop conflict between their parents over money, a constant source of strife, screaming and suffering. We bring these emotional artifacts of those experiences into our present attitudes about money.
As adults, we can choose to recognize those artifacts, and we can recognize what’s healthy and productive, and what’s not. We can courageously learn to replace those old artifacts with an increasingly positive mindset where wealth – and worthiness – are concerned. Opening ourselves up to our partner to reveal and release the negative while nurturing the positive is a wonderful experience.
The holiday season is upon us, which means holiday spiced coffees, the excitement of spending time with family and friends and the beginning of that yearly holiday spending spree. From holiday travel plans (those flights aren’t going to pay for themselves) to Secret Santa’s to making sure there are enough gifts under your own tree, this season brings so much joy – and so much stress; especially for those prone to charge now and pay – and stress – later.
Ok, can I just say how much I LOVE what today means? Not sure if its everywhere in the world but it is an important day in the USA and Canada.
I’m not sure who made it official but it’s the day of the year where charities call out to us to help their causes.
There are so many charities that depend solely on our donations to survive and to make a difference in the world. Today is that day when we really can make a difference.
I am reminded time and time again that it is critical that no matter what is happening in our lives, we need to adapt. None of us our given our life’s roadmap to follow. Life can be messy, confusing, and not what you expected. See, that’s the whole challenge. We expect. We attach ourselves to outcomes that aren’t necessarily in our best interest, or on our soul’s path.
I hear and read things that tell us to:
- Do what’s most expansive.
- Get in the flow of your life.
- Detach from outcomes.
My mission is to help financially heal the world. I help people to remove the shame blame and judgment from money. People become numb to sliding a credit card. They know that financially they've done things wrong, and they want solutions.
We as human beings do not take our emotions out of our money decisions. The only way to build wealth is from the inside out.
Why do we not do things that make us feel good? It’s that old adage, “Misery loves company” and we get trapped in living a life that we never thought we’d be living. I have found so many times that we stay stuck because financially we’ve pigeon-holed ourselves into lifestyles, marriages, family expectations, and all those “stable jobs” we think we have.
This week, a good friend of mine reminded me that the world we live in is a world of mastering lessons, not to fix the world or yourself. Interestingly enough, we all come from a place that we are going to fix this and fix that when in reality, it’s actually just about the lessons to be learned.
Having hung out with people of all statures, I realize that the only different between people with money and without is their mindset. It is actually fascinating to me, to hang out with really rich people, vs. not-so-rich people in the same day. The difference is quite stark. There is no distinguishing between the two.
Why do we give away our personal power over to money? So many of us in this world are trapped by our lifestyles and the debt we chose to take on. All this does is keep us in a cycle that is never ending, a cycle that completely disempowers us from the greatness that we are and came here to be.
The holiday season is about giving and receiving. Most of us lean to one side or another. I have been a huge giver my whole life, a blessing and a curse at times. One of my greatest challenges was learning to receive. You can only grow in life if you create a beautiful dance of giving and receiving.
I believe that you can truly do great things. I know that you can have the life that you want financially, professionally and personally; all you have to do is put in the work. And that’s what I devote this space to: helping you understand your power and working on harnessing it to live your authentic life. But there’s another side to it that few discuss yet everyone experiences to some level. It’s the part of success that drains you and makes you question everything. And today, I want to talk about that.
It’s time to raise our energetic, financial vibration!!! I want you all right now to download the song, “I’m Worth It” by Djsleazy and listen to it often. I realize you may not be a pop music fan, but my 3 year old daughter this week, MaryKate, is walking around the house blasting this song, wiggling her little hips dancing and singing “I’m worth it. Yeah, I’m worth it.” I understand this song could have a couple messages, but the fact that my 3 year old is internalizing that she is “Worth It” will go for miles during her lifetime.
For years, I’ve watched while we, particularly women, choose to put others needs in front of our own. When in the inside we are starving for our lives to be different than what we’ve created. Depending on your stage of life it could be different, but usually when we are starting in our 40s we start to see it differently, but by the time we’re in our 50s, we’ve had enough.
I watch as we chip away at what our soul is screaming for us to do and we still choose to do other things despite being called to another path. We get trapped by the rat race of our lives which results in stuffing down our emotions. Those stuffed down emotions either work themselves out by feeling the feelings or we act them out through our health or our wealth. We start being put on medications from our doctors, and we grieve what we know our financial lives could have been if you had made different choices
I know it is hard to change gears, particularly as the years go by, but let me tell you how I jumped off the ledge and I am soaring because of it. In life, if we don’t choose to follow our soul’s path, your soul will choose it for you. Mine did. The other day, my husband said to me, “Julie, I love when you’re like this!” I was a bit confused as to what he was referring to so I inquired. “Billy, what are you talking about?” He said, “Every time you get to this point where you’re taking all this risk, hiring and training new advisors, getting a new book published, hiring a new business consultant, traveling to conferences, doing more corporate financial wellness seminars, spending tons of money on infrastructure, and you’re really stressed about it because you are fearful that you’ve made the right choices, you’re about to pop.” He went on to tell me that he has seen me do this about four other times since he met me 17 years ago. I never saw it before, but here I am again, jumping off the ledge because I know the work I am supposed to do in the world, and I’m taking that leap of faith and just getting it done.
We all have experiences and conditioning that has shaped us during our lives. If you added them all up the result is the “you” of today. “You” today, is only a fraction of who you really are, join me in breaking the dams we’ve created so we can rebuild ourselves from our core. From the inside out!
Ready, Set, Go…..
This past week has consisted of a range of emotions. I’ve been that woman that has conquered it all. I pushed through the standards set by many of those in my life, past and present, I’ve done it all. On so many levels, I don’t feel that way. Yes, I’ve accomplished a lot, graduated college, undergrad and graduate, from two of the best universities in this country, I’ve married a wonderful man, I’ve had four healthy children who are thriving, etc. But still, something felt of
Who’s got them? My guess is most of us. They come and go over time, sometimes with more intensity and sometimes less. Why? This comes from our past conditions in the families and communities we grew up in. We learned emotional response systems from those we started our lives with and continue to attract those that reinforce those belief systems. We’re more stuck in our daily groves, with the appearance, that it is harder and harder to change the more time flies by. I’m here to tell you, anything can happen, no matter what age you are, how many failures you’ve had or how many people are counting against you. All you need is the real you to show up…and to recognize why these patterns keep persisting in our lives.
Think of it like this, years ago, I was watching TV. I was watching a cooking show. Not one with a huge celebrity chef cooking, but a show that brought in everyday people to share their family favorite recipes that had been passed down for generations. This young woman, in her early 20s, was picked and she was so excited to share her great grandmothers baked ham recipe. As she prepared the food live on tv she was very methodical going through things step by step. The host that day asked her, “Why are you cutting both ends off the ham before you put it in the oven?” The young woman responded, “I’m not sure, that’s just how we’ve always done it in our family.”
As she continued preparing the ham to go into the oven, the host was still perplexed as to why she cut off the two ends of the ham, and then tossed them into the garbage. The host challenged the young woman. She said, “Can we call your mom why you cut off the edges and throw them away?” Of course, the young woman agreed. They called mom and she said, I’m not really sure, let’s call grandma. “Grandma, can you tell me why we always cut off the ends of the baked ham when we do our family recipe?” Grandma stated, “I don’t know, that’s just how my mother taught me.” Her great grandmother was still alive and the host asked if it would be ok to make this third phone call to great grandmother to solve the mystery
We all want freedom. The United Kingdom last month showed the world they would rather their freedom then give into the establishment despite the fear of the unknown of what this will truly mean to them. But why is it, in so many cases, we don’t choose our own personal freedom? Intellectually we do, but in our hearts, we don’t. Why? Because we haven’t forgiven ourselves for our past choices and we’re trapped on the hamster wheel of life.
Through the years, I have found that I was either looking for or even sometimes, starving for something outside of myself. I was searching time and time again without getting internal, sustainable satisfaction. I kept thinking and feeling that if I just got to the goal of moving downtown, buying that new car, buy the new condo or starting my own company and being successful at it, that all would be so much better Over the past few years while living my life in the present moment more, I’ve found this couldn’t be farther from the truth.