How do you FEEL about money, honey? This is a FEELING question, not a DOLLAR AMOUNT QUESTION.

The answer should give you some insight about your dominant emotion round money.

Maybe you feel uneasy. Worried. Happy. Joyful. Secure. Unsafe. Elated. Maybe all of those things at different times.

Here’s the thing: we never want money for money.

Truth.

We want money for the feeling state we think it will bring.

Because here’s the thing. Money itself is just a socially convenient form of energy exchange. A guy (or gal!) uses his energy and time to fix our car; we exchange that energy in the form of dollar bills. We go to work, and give time and energy to a job; we take fair exchange in the form of dollars in the bank on a monthly basis.

We give money so much emotional power. All it comes down to is that it’s a social convenient way of exchanging energy between humans. Nevertheless – we give it the power to make us feel Safe. Elated. Broken. Fearful. Joyous.

 

All we want when we want more money is how that money will make us feel.

 

We want more money to overpay the mortgage because it WILL MAKE US FEEL SECURE.

We want money to buy those fabulous shoes because IT WILL MAKE US FEEL ATTRACTIVE.

We want the money to buy a couple of lattes and a muffin to share with a friend because IT WILL MAKE US FEEL CONNECTED.

It’s NEVER about the money itself. It’s ALWAYS about how you think that thing or experience the money will get you will make you FEEL.

That’s what we are really after.

So when you are setting some money goals – for maximum satisfaction – think about the way you want that purchase to make you feel. And – if you are saving or on a budget – and let’s face it who isn’t? – check out the Westpac #CashNav App for handy ways to help you do that super easily on your phone – because the thing you want that you think you can’t afford, well… maybe you can. Just take it back to the feeling state you are trying to create.

Say you want to go to Europe on a family holiday to feel connected and relaxed and have an awesome adventure. But you can’t afford it right now.

Don’t be sad.

Have adventures close to homeRealise that what you are really seeking is feeling connected + relaxed + adventure. Then be creative with your money – what can you put into your life that DOES fit with the budget that would make you feel those things? Maybe a family weekend camping somewhere brand new in this beautiful country of ours hits connected + relaxed + adventure, but without finance pressure.

Or maybe you can get that feeling of connected + fun + adventure by signing up for a boot camp or a trail run series. We can take our emotional power back from money anytime we choose by defining the emotional state we are trying to create and then looking at ways that work for us and the money situation we have.

Westpac’s new #CashNav app makes it super easy to track the flow of your money at a glance as it’s on your phone and it’s an instant update of the flow of your money. It automatically breaks down how much is being spent on eating out, entertainment, utilities and so on, and tells you if you spend above or below average so you can see if you are on track for the month. It makes it really easy to budget and monitor the progress towards (or away from!) the goal you have in mind.

Money is a happiness enabler for sure. But it only has the power we give to it. If you start thinking of the emotional state you are seeking first and build that into your budgeting plans it’s a shortcut to feeling good about money faster than you imagined.

Money can make us feel almost anything… Uneasy. Worried. Happy. Joyful. Secure. Unsafe. Abundant. Hopeful. Excited.

But when we let the dollars define our emotions it can be really disempowering as we are at the mercy of the numbers. It’s a far more empowering way to live to decide what we want to feel FIRST – and then create our expectations and budget around that.

If you want to feel RELAXED about your money – what do you need to prioritise and how could you budget to feel that way?

If you want to feel SECURE about money –what do you need to prioritise and how could you budget to feel that way?

If you want to feel JOYFUL about your money –what do you need to prioritise and how could you budget to feel that way?

If you put the horse before the cart, you get to decide how you feel about your money, not the other way round.
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This was the last article in the 4 part “All About The Money, Honey” series brought to you courtesy of my friends at Westpac (check out their new #CashNav app for smart budgeting on your phone). All tools, tricks, tips and opinions, as ever, are 100% my own. Thank you so much for all the feedback on the series, I am so happy you found it useful and it got you thinking. I will definitely be writing more about the relationship between happiness and money in future!

You can read the other articles in the series right here.

Week 1 – “All About The Money, Honey!” Money Series
Week 2 – Looking Money In The Eye. Getting honest about your REAL money habits.
Week 3 – Why your Diet is like your Money Habits – and how to overcome self-sabotage
Week 4 – If you think you can’t afford it, how to get what you want without breaking the bank