“As soon as we become aware of money, we develop beliefs about it, beliefs we cling to, sometimes for the rest of our lives, often at the cost of our souls.”
– George Kinder
What’s costing you more: what you do with your money or what you believe about your money?
For many people, the beginning of financial planning involves the creation and maintenance of a budget. A budget is a practical and helpful tool for understanding and having a say in what we do with our money, but it doesn’t really answer many questions about how we feel about our money. The challenge with only working with the numbers and not the beliefs and emotions is that any budget exercise that doesn’t follow on from a deeper introspective conversation is arduous to sustain.
As Kinder also says, We have gotten stuck thinking of money as about counting, about numbers, something abstract done by banks and accountants. The truth is, money is a much larger topic—it involves our whole human nature.
We need to address beliefs that we’ve held onto from our earliest experiences with money. Just like a budget can help us change what we do with our money, a lifestyle financial planning conversation can help us change how we feel about our money.
In a 2011 interview, Kinder said that human growth has to mirror the growth of our relationship with money, because money enables so much of our lives. If we agree that money is this personal, then perhaps we need to stop focussing on the practicalities of our financial situation and start to look at the conversations that we’re having with the people we trust about our money. Not only will this help us identify and change how we feel about money, but it will also help our family know that they too can change how they feel about money.
Working with a trusted financial advisor assists you with these conversations and increases your financial wellbeing. Research shows that people who have worked with an advisor for 15 years have up to three times higher returns on their investments.
One of the main reasons for this is because people who choose to work with a financial planner, coach or advisor are intentional about ensuring their financial wellbeing. The money beliefs we adopt as children can leave us feeling guilty, anxious or unworthy regardless of how much money we make. As experts learn more about imposter syndrome and other self-sabotaging behaviours and biases, we can see how much they impact every area of our lives.
The sooner we can see that wealth is more than just the money in our account and that being healthy is more than just what we see on the surface, we can begin to change the way we think, feel and behave.