Once Upon a Time, You Met Money
Do you remember the day when you first met money? Perhaps it was when you went to the store with your parents. Or perhaps it was before entering primary school, when an adult or older sibling sat you down to learn how to use the various metal discs and paper slips to buy a meal at the school canteen. Adults never seemed to have enough of these coins and notes and it was what they suffered at work for. With other priorities in life such as catching the next episode of your favourite cartoon, you did not think much about how money would affect your life. Little did you know then, that from the time that you were born, you have already involuntarily entered an inescapable relationship with money.
Back in the days of your childhood, your relationship with money was like a series of summer flings. Money came and went. There was no need to work very hard to keep money with you, or find ways to grow your relationship with money. What for? Money always came back to you whenever it was time to get your allowance from your parents. An extra fifty cents or dollar gifted to you would brighten your entire day, much like when your crush flashed a smile at you, but you were fine without money for you had your parents to feed and clothe you. Oh the simple days of puppy love.
Some years go by and as you grew, involuntarily once again, your relationship with money got a little more serious. You started to see the nice things and experiences that money could give you. For this reason you probably started to take a little more initiative in sustaining the relationship, putting in more effort to help money grow and stay by your side. Maybe you started taking part-time jobs while studying, and maybe you started learning to save a little bit more for days when you really want that new pair of jeans.
In the blink of an eye, you have now entered adulthood. A relationship with money is starting to become more and more of a mainstay of your life. Yet it feels like the more you need money, the more it gets further out of reach. You constantly complain about money to your friends and family, about how insecure money is making you feel.
Sometimes you try to turn a blind eye and pretend that everything is going to be fine as long as you keep working. However, you know that a healthy relationship is hardly sustainable when you are putting in the bare minimum, for no one can predict when sickness or misfortune will hit them. Is your relationship with money strong enough to withstand all possible tribulations in life? Is it strong enough to give you enough capital when you need it to achieve your goals? “Heck, they never taught us this in school”, you may lament.
What are you going to do about it? Perhaps it is time to realise that just getting a paycheck every month is no longer enough to sustain a stable relationship with money. Are you willing to take steps to fortify the relationship to ensure that money will not leave you in times of poor health and adversity? Or to ensure that money can help you get what you want?
Just like how far you have come from that awkward first kiss in your romantic relations, the skills to maintaining a healthy relationship with money comes with practice and research. It is impertinent that you start this journey with a resolute belief in the benefits of prioritising a stable relationship with your finances.
It is understandable that this task can appear arduous and overwhelming, especially with the gargantuan amount of information out there relating to personal finance. One may even say that the thought of having to do it is repulsive. However, a healthy relationship with your money would reap immense benefits, just like how a healthy romantic relationship would.
There are a plethora of resources out there to aid your efforts. If it all seems overwhelming, you can start by following channels such as Wealthdojo’s Telegram channel to learn bite-sized tips in handling your relationship with money. Gradually, whenever you feel ready for more, you can reach out to our Sensei, Chengkok, with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be bold in your endeavour to become a better partner for money, for there is nothing embarrassing about wanting to become better.
Good luck, and may you find your ‘happily ever after’ with money!
Article by: Michelle Er