One Simple Way to Improve your Relationship with Money

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.  There are two items that I particularly love.  Cucumbers and sweet cherries.  I seriously could eat my weight in both of these.

While I haven’t been able to find a source for really good cucumbers here in FL, I have been enjoying a LOT of sweet cherries.  If you’ve never eaten them, you really should give them a try.

This summer in particular I have been eating and loving an outrageous amount of them.  This led me to thinking about how we have access to an abundance of things while they are in season.  If we want to enjoy them for longer than their harvest seasons, then we have to preserve them in some way.

I remember growing up my mom would grow a huge garden.  She enjoyed it tremendously, but she also used it to save food costs.  She would can and freeze everything so that we’d have the abundance through the winter and spring until it was time to start harvesting again.  She would:

  • Freeze corn on the cob and cut some off the cobs and freeze that too.
  • Can green beans, mountains and mountains of green beans (another favorite).
  • Can tomatoes, make salsa and tomato sauce too.
  • Puree peppers and freeze them in ice cube trays then a big bag for soups and sauces.
  • Make apple butter, can apples, peaches and other fruit.
  • Freeze blackberries, black raspberries and strawberries.

The list went on and on.  We always had a fully stocked pantry and freezer.  Full of items that she grew, picked and preserved.

As I was thinking about this, I realized that this is exactly what we need to do with money.  We need to “preserve” some for when the growing season ends.  This is one of the cornerstones to having a good money mindset and relationship with money.

We all have times when money is more abundant than others.  What we do during those times makes a huge difference in our financial stability.  But the truth is, our mindset about money is going to drive those decisions we make during the abundant as well as the more scarce times in our money journey.

Multiple studies show that Americans don’t have enough money saved.  You can see a couple of them here and here.

Now, I’m not here to tell you how much money you should have in savings, how much you should be saving every month or even how much an average person needs.  I leave that to the statisticians.  My work is centered around how you are thinking and feeling about money (i.e. mindset).  My work is helping you trust yourself and money so that you have a relationship that sustains during good times and bad.

What I do know is that practicing savings has been and always will be one of the most important keys to my relationship with money.

There have been times when I was saving huge sums every month.  Utilizing my retirement account as well as a separate investment account as vehicles for savings.  

There have also been times when I didn’t save at all in an “active” way, meaning I wasn’t intent on growing what I had saved.  Those were times when I maintained a specific level of savings on purpose.  Curbing my spending so that I didn’t fall below the level I wanted to.

There have also been times when I actively spent money in savings.  In fact, I spent it by choice, knowing that I was depleting something I had worked years to accrue.

All of these are acceptable phases in a savings journey when you’ve built that relationship with money where you trust it and it trusts you.

Now you might be saying, Sherry there is no way that money trusts you.  But I disagree.  Having a healthy relationship with anything or anyone goes both ways.  So, if you want a good relationship with money, you have to accept that it does go both ways.  You have to trust yourself, but you also have to trust money.  Trust is a two way street and if you can trust money, then by all means it can trust you.

When you have an active savings practice, you build trust in yourself and money.  When you handle your money with respect and consideration, it develops a trust in you.  

Look at it this way, if you want money to show up for you when you need it, you have to show up for the money you already have.  You have to respect it, thank it and trust it.  Just like you would a friend or family member that you are building a relationship with.

Savings is one of those ways that you can develop that two way street of trust with money.  When money is abundantly flowing to you, save some.  Every week or every month or even every quarter.  Just start saving.  Here are a few ways this improves your money mindset and relationship with money.

1 — Being consistent with savings shows you what you truly are capable of. If you can see yourself saving a little bit every month, then you can start to see yourself saving a lot every month. You start to believe that you are in the drivers seat when it comes to money.

2 — Counting your savings leads to more trust. Seeing what you’ve saved will help you build trust in yourself which is key to having trust in the money that you have saved. Trust that you will have enough when you need it and your ability to save more when you use it.

3 — Spending your savings leads to feelings of gratitude. As I always say, gratitude can fix just about anything. And when you have money available to spend on a want or need, you can practice that gratitude muscle by thanking yourself and money for fulfilling that desire or need.

Are you gobbling up all the cherries, enjoying them in the moment but refusing to preserve some for the long, cold winter?  

Are you in a time of abundance with money?  If so, is it time to reevaluate your savings game?

Sherry Parks, CPA, is a Money Mindset Coach who helps women escape feeling trapped by their finances.  She is passionate about helping women change mindset, emotions and actions regarding money, so that they learn to keep what they have and generate more.  

Check out her 5 Steps to a Better Money Story workbook or join her women-only Facebook group Lives in Balance.