As Christmas is to December and Halloween is to October, for many people February is all about St. Valentine’s Day. A day of love when we make an effort to show that “special someone” how much they mean to us, shower them with gifts and reaffirm our love (whilst ignoring that the same bunch of flowers would be 50% cheaper at most other times of the year).
Of course, not everyone subscribes to this view. There are many who see St. Valentine’s Day as unnecessary because they show their love, commitment, consideration, and affection throughout the year. These people simply do not see a need for a special day to say, “I love you”.
Whichever side of the “St. Valentine’s fence” you sit, we are not here to judge but we do believe that relationships need attention and nurturing to bring out the best in them, and our relationship with money should not be treated any differently.
Like affairs of the heart, our relationship with money is a hugely personal and complex affair. Some people find dealing with money easy. It is the equivalent of their soul mate. They live in perfect harmony with money, it seldom causes them stress, they know what works for them, they can talk about money and they seem to just understand it. At the same time, there are those whose relationship with money is not such a bed of roses. Nothing is planned, money matters get ignored or forgotten, they bury their head in the sand about the difficulties in their relationship with money and, ultimately, they are beset with disappointment, heartache, and tears.
It may not come as a surprise to learn that, as with emotional relationships, experts believe that our relationship with money is generally formed in our formative years when we are influenced by our parents. However, it is not simply a case of whether our parents had enough money or not. It is how money and financial matters were dealt with, if money was discussed, whether it was a source of conflict and anxiety and whether money was seen as a useful friend or a necessary evil.
Consequently, as we grow up, unless we are fortunate enough to receive financial education along the way, it is likely our relationship with money will reflect our experiences as children. If our parents had a good relationship with money, we are more likely to be the same. If money was a source of conflict or stress, it is likely our relationship with money will also be difficult. And, with our thoughts and feelings often controlling our actions, if money causes us stress and anxiety, we are more likely to find dealing with money difficult, which increases our stress, and so on – a vicious circle, if ever there was one.
With financial stress recognised as the biggest cause of absence in the workplace, and money troubles the most common reason for divorce, a poor relationship with money can clearly impact our professional and personal relationships too.
Fortunately, it is possible to build and nurture a good relationship with money.
Devoting time to creating your financial filing system, understanding your budget, prioritising payments to better manage debt and knowing how to maximise income are just a few of the things that can be done to form a relationship that will stand the test of time.
By providing employees with financial education to give them the tools and knowledge to develop a better relationship with money, this can make them healthier and happier in the process – something Cupid would surely agree with.
If you would like to find out more about the workplace financial education courses provided by Better with Money, get in touch