How to Make A Money Decision

written by Bari Tessler April 10, 2012
How to Make A Money Decision

It’s a funny thing: I make my living helping people heal their relationship with money.

And today, I’d like to address the elephant in the room of financial therapy and financial healing:

How in the world do you reconcile the confusion about spending money on your relationship with money?

And in a bigger sense, how do we approach our money decisions, of any kind?

Knowing when you to invest, risk, say “Yes!” . . . and when to hang back and go without, in service of your deepest needs and wants?

Tricky territory!

How DO you make a really great money decision?

I’ve broken the process up into 4 main areas that need your attention:

  1. The numbers
  2. The Timing
  3. The Values
  4. The Intention

#1: The numbers.

Often our unconsciousness around the numbers themselves is the first roadblock, keeping you paralyzed in your money decision.

You don’t know how much you can afford. For lots of good reasons, you’re terrified to look at your numbers and you really don’t know how much you have, owe, or spend. Here’s a post I wrote on this topic.

Believe it or not, I see this pattern across the spectrum of income and socioeconomic status.

It’s an interesting paradox: of course the numbers matter, but when it comes to our experience of “enoughness”, they are often irrelevant.

Some people might be on the edge of meeting their basic needs, and bringing in very little money – but still make it work to invest in something important to them (more on the “important” part later . . .)

Others may have more than enough money to meet their wants and needs (through a nice income, inheritance, or other) but still feel enormous pressure when making their financial decisions.

What’s your relationship with your numbers?

#2: The timing.

Is the timing right? Is this a spontaneous money decision, or have you wanted this for a long time? Neither is right or wrong, but getting clear is important context for your decision.

For example, if you’re on the fence about receiving my support, consider:

  • Have you been consciously or secretly looking for this type of support for years?
  • Do you wish you had this support years ago?
  • Did your desire for this support seem to come out of nowhere?
  • Are you in a big money initiation? A big transition like divorce, death, birth, or others can often catapult us into this work.
  • On the other hand, have you been feeling a quiet rumbling of your money relationship hurting your self esteem or relationships, whispering in your ear – and now is the time to attend to those messages?

How does this offering intersect with the unique timing of your money story?

#3: The Values.
(This is the big one!)

Consider this: If someone were to look through your bank accounts, would they know who you are and what’s most important to you, based on where you choose to put your money?

When making a financial decision, the MOST important questions to answer are:

Is this valuable to me? If so, how valuable? Am I willing to spend my dollars to reflect this value?

We all have certain values that are very easy to spend on, and other values that we say are important to us, but that we have a very hard time expressing with our dollars.

Which values of yours are easy for you to express with your dollars, and which are difficult?

Do you easily spend on your value of travel? Great food? Top notch technology? On the flip side, do you have a very difficult time spending on . . . gasp . . . your own self-care? Where are YOU on your priority list? Do your actions and dollars reflect this?

Sometimes you can’t grasp the value of something, and therefore struggle to make the decision. My work often falls into this category, as it can be difficult to quantify, justify, or wrap your mind around for some people.

Sometimes we have to dig deep to ascertain the value of our potential investment.

In my work, for example, the healings that occur are monstrous, but often subtle at first. Sometimes our external world changes drastically and quickly as well. And sometimes the first chunks of work happen deep inside of us to make way for external change.

To help you clarify the value you place on this kind of support, here are some of the benefits (tangible & intangible) you can expect from my program.

  • Peace of mind, clarity, and compassion in your money relationship
  • Deeper understanding and acceptance of the phases (the peaks and valleys) in money and in life
  • Productive, loving + fun money conversations with your partner (yes, we know you will be moving mountains when you do this)
  • A transformed relationship with money, with ripple effects into all areas of your life
  • Money healing & forgiveness . . . in droves
  • An implemented, clear, and manageable tracking system that fits your life
  • A crafted Money self-care practice for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly living
  • A new found willingness to look at your numbers, learn from them, and make important changes
  • A new level of awareness + savviness with your Saving, Earning, Spending and Giving habits
  • Learning to live on a value-infused budget (aka: map of intention)
  • An increased inner sense of value, self-worth, and self-confidence in yourself
  • A more mature & adult relationship with money (you define this!)
  • A foundational money education that is essential for life, biz and all of your relationships
  • Clarity on how to create your money support team: your bookkeeper, accountant and financial planner
  • Additional tools to add more meaning + fun + creativity with your relationship to money
  • . . . and more . . . .

Once you hash out the value of any money decision, here’s the next step:

Take a deep breath. Do a body check in. And answer this question for yourself:

What are those things worth to you, right now? What would be the pay off of receiving these benefits for you?

And, what is the true cost of going on without them?

Once you are clear on how valuable something is or isn’t to you, the choice is almost made for you. Follow your values.

#4: The Intentions

Is this a self-loving decision? Are you ready to receive the value of this investment?

A lot of people bash themselves about this. We lay down our money, and then let it rot. Ouch.

We buy a fancy grill because we envision quality time with our family & friends, amazing food, and more time outdoors. And then . . . we never use it.

Or, we sign up for a personal growth program, and miss the calls and ignore the homework. Eek.

The key here is the spirit with which you invest, and your readiness to receive.

Are you prepared to gently, lovingly hold yourself accountable for receiving the value of this investment?

Are you loving yourself through this financial decision? Are you empowered? Are you trusting?

If the answers are “yes”, you will likely have a very powerful return on investment, both internally and externally.

From this place, you can make time and make space to enjoy your investment. You’re investing not only your money, but your mind, your heart, your time, your consciousness as well.

Now THAT is a powerful investment, and a solid money decision.

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