How Do You Really Feel About Money?

How we feel about money-whether fearful and constricted or open and generous-greatly affects how we approach our financial lives. Use this exercise to identify your money attitudes and develop a positive approach toward your financial life.

Circle the words that best describe your feelings about money and finances at the moment. Circle as many as apply to you. I feel…

Column A  Column B
Secure Helpless
Self-confident Powerless
In control Poor
Loved Guilty
Respected Worthless
Empowered Worried
Independent Dependent
In harmony Inhibited
Peaceful Restricted
Satisfied Defenseless
Flexible Depressed
Successful Limited
Wealthy Out of control
Capable Lonely
Fulfilled Overworked

The more answers you circled in Column A, the more positive you feel about your financial situation.

The attributes in Column A are your strengths that you can use to conquer the negative feelings in Column B.

The more answers you circled in Column B, the more work you need to do to improve your feelings about your financial life.

Here’s how you can work on the feelings you circled in Column B by using the strengths you circled in Column A.

Take a piece of blank paper. For each of the emotions that you listed from Column B, write at least five possible solutions to the problem, from the simple to the sublime, beginning with “I CAN…”

Focus on the strengths you identified in Column A as you devise your solutions.

For example, if you circled “Dependent” in Column B, because you don’t have a job, some of the solutions could be:

  • I CAN…talk to my spouse about my feelings.

  • I CAN…call a community college to inquire about getting training to improve my job skills.

  • I CAN…talk to my friends about trading off services in carpooling the kids, babysitting, etc.

  • I CAN…develop a plan to find a job.

  • I CAN…take one small step each day to help myself achieve independence.

As you research and develop new ideas about finances, add as many statements as you can to your “I CAN” list. Choose the best ideas as a personalized list of small steps to get you on the road to financial security.

As you progress through the “I Cans” you’ve listed, you will be able to utilize these strengths to build a positive financial future.

Excerpted from the bestselling book, It’s More Than Money — It’s Your Life by Candace Bahr, CEA, CDFA and Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP

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