When I was in middle school I had a big time frenemy. Sure, we were besties on the surface, but the truth was we loathed each other. The only time we were genuinely nice to each other was when we were listening to Nirvana and shopping at Spencer’s- the rest of the time it was name calling and hair pulling (no joke). #Frenemiesforlife
I often wonder HOW we were able to pull off looking like best friends for so long. I mean, we really really really didn’t like each other. And then I think about the ways that shows up in my adult life and the first thing I think of is money.
Because money has a way of appearing all honky dory on the surface, like we’re skipping through the mall talking about Kurt Cobain’s luscious locks, and then BAM- the truth comes out: we really really hate money- especially in our business.
No matter how much time we spend with our finances we still can’t get that relationship to work. We go through phases of thinking our money is the best thing in the world, to giving it the silent treatment, to telling it we’re officially over and stomping away, and everything in between
So why are we SUCH frenemies with our money? Here are four reasons:
You ignore your bank account
Don’t look at your bank account? Ignore those tiny numbers on the ATM receipt? Pay with your credit card so you don’t have to see your checking balance drop?
Ignoring your bank account is a fast track to frenemy territory with your money. No one likes to be ignored, not even your money, and when you don’t pay attention to what’s going on- well then things go wrong.
Overdrafts, insufficient funds, being charged for things you’re not using, and returned client payments all can happen if you’re not paying attention to your bank account. And while it may seem like your money is “out to get you”- it’s not.
You’re just not paying enough attention.
Repair the relationship: Start looking at your bank account balance every single day. If you aren’t in the practice of doing this, it will be hard and scary. But do it anyway. The more you look at your bank account balance the more comfortable you’ll get with your finances.
You’ll feel excited when you see shifts in the numbers and understand why. Those moments of excitement create a genuine, and sustainable, connection with your money.
You do your bookkeeping when you’re tired and burned out
Imagine the most annoying person you’ve ever met. Yes, that person. Now imagine hanging out with them after a 12-hour workday and no dinner. You’re hangry, you’re exhausted, you’ve had it, and you’d rather be anywhere else.
That’s you bookkeeping when you’re tired and burned out. You inevitably lash out at your money, get fed up, and end in a huff. You blame the process, you blame the money, you blame the software- basically, you blame everything else except your own exhaustion.
Repair the relationship: Don’t do bookkeeping tired! It will only make you fight with your money more! It’s not fair to your money and it’s not fair to you, either. Why put yourself through something that is going to make you miserable?
Instead, schedule a weekly time to do your bookkeeping when you are fresh and energized. When you first start working with your finances it’s going to be more tiring than you expect, so be sure you give your best energy to your money.
You only focus on money mindset
This is akin to believing that your crush is also secretly in love with you even though you’ve never spoken. Then your BFF starts talking to your crush and suddenly they’re going steady. And you’re really really mad because you BELIEVED so much that your crush liked you.
Well…while positive mindset and money beliefs are a crucial part of your money relationship they have to be followed up by action. Your BFF talked to your crush. They took action. They also probably had a positive mindset about it, but they used that mindset as a catalyst to action.
Repair the relationship: Continue doing your money mindset work AND think of ways that work can lead to action. For example, if you’re working on believing that you are living in a state of abundance- what’s one action you can take to make it true?
How about raising your rate $5 or returning that thing you never opened so you have more money to play with? Both of these actions reinforce the mindset work but also gets you a hot date for prom.
You’re not willing to learn the skills
One of the things I was so jealous of with my middle school frenemy was how good she was at PE. I was NOT good at sports, so every time my frenemy ran those laps like a champ I boiled inside.
But the truth was, I wasn’t willing to get better at running laps or doing pull ups. I just wanted to magically be that person without putting in the time and energy of doing the work. And the same applies to your finances.
If you’re jealous of other people’s money management skills- ask yourself, are you actively trying to get better at yours? Are you willing to put the time and energy into learning the skills you need? Or, are you satisfied just being angry with your money?
Repair the relationship: Make a list of your knowledge gaps, which are just the areas of your business finances that you’re unclear about or stuck with. Just the act of getting clarity about what you don’t know will help to dissipate some of the resentment you are feeling towards your money.
It’s not that you’re “bad” or your money is “bad”- it’s just that you have a few areas you need to learn more about!
Then search for answers. Take a day to Google all of your money questions and get clarity so you can move forward with your snazzy new money skills.
What can you do TODAY to stop being frenemies with your money?