Are you concerned about money? was the question asked at a recent workshop I attended. Just about every hand in the room went up. Whether we're younger or older, single or married, professionals or stay at home moms, money is a source of anxiety for most if not all of us.
It isn't surprising, given the complex relationship we have with money. We all grew up with messages from our parents that continue with us into our adult lives, from a penny saved is a penny earned to you only live once. Yet most of us never actually discuss money with our family and friends, often leading to conflict and misunderstanding.
Couples often talk about kids, careers and religion before entering into a long term relationship, but rarely discuss their money beliefs. This can lead to fights and an inability to agree on healthy financial habits. When money is causing major relationship issues, working with a financial therapist can be helpful.
Money can create difficult emotions, including envy and shame. According to financial therapist Bari Tessler, start by acknowledging the uncomfortable feelings, recognizing that you are not the only one who feels this way. She then suggests talking about it, which can help lessen the shame and tension.
Perhaps we can also embrace the tension. Stress is a sign that you are committed and care, that you are connected to others, and that you need to change. It can be the sign that you need to start working with a financial planner, to help you better understand your money story and be more intentional about your financial life.