Financial stress is an almost universal human condition. Perhaps it should be added to the list of things in our lives that are certain: Death, taxes and stressing about money. We live in the most abundant time in human history, so why too is financial stress so abundant? Is it because we don’t understand how much is enough? Is it because financial management has become too complex? Is it because we live in an instant gratification consumer culture and our good for nothing generation is leading our world to certain doom? Your grandfather might think so, but so did his grandfather and every other grandfather since the beginning of time.
If someone is in a situation where they don’t know where their next meal is going to come from or where they are going to spend the night, the source of their financial stress is obvious. But why too is seemingly everyone else also experiencing it? We all roll our eyes when we hear about yet another highly paid athlete or entertainer filing for bankruptcy: “How could you blow all that money? That would never happen to me.”
So, how should we define financial success? Is it the money we make? Is it the money we have? Is it the car we drive, the house we live in, the lifestyle we live? Maybe not. By those criteria, people who burn through their money would have, at least at one time, been labeled financially successful. As a 10 year veteran of the financial services industry, I have seen the full gamut of financial situations, from people just starting out, to the ultra affluent and everyone in-between. Everyone had a different relationship with their money that was as unique as their individual financial situation. The individuals who had a healthy, confident, and peaceful relationship with their money seemed to avoid the financial stress that plagues the rest of us. From the very humble to the very wealthy, I saw people from every possible situation enjoy very healthy relationships with their money. These people exuded financial success and it had little or nothing to do with the size of their paycheck.
Well, there you have it, meaningful financial success comes from our relationship with our money, and not the amount we have. Piece of cake, case closed, next topic; we all just need to improve our relationship with our money. Simple right? Unfortunately, our relationship with our money is about as complex as our relationships with people. There are volumes of books, countless websites and endless advice available on how to improve our interpersonal relationships and yet we still experience a divorce rate somewhere around 50%.
How do we ever hope to improve our relationship with our money? Like any other relationship, a successful relationship with our money starts with understanding and respect. You have to understand how to run your financial life so you can make confident decisions. Then, you have to respect the impact of those decisions on your overall financial picture. This seems daunting as it involves commitment, discipline and a whole lot of learning.
We created Money Carta as a tool to help people rapidly improve their relationship with their money. So think of us as your counselor for your relationship with your money… Only free and with a higher success rate! Our goal was to take the otherwise dull and intimidating subject of personal finances and make it interactive and easy. By understanding exactly where you are and how you can improve, you will have the confidence to make smart financial decisions. The positive impact of those decisions will lead you down a path of meaningful financial success.
Having lots of money doesn’t automatically improve your relationship with it. In fact, as we have seen, it can complicate it. At the end of the day, if you have a healthy relationship with your money, your wealth will inevitably grow overtime. You don’t have the power to control the economy, the stock market, this week’s lottery numbers or any other outside force that can affect your wealth. But you do have the power to improve your relationship with you money, and that is by far and away the most important factor in meaningful financial success.