5 MINUTES WITH…
Strapped for CASH? The root CAUSE could be in your HEAD…
financial therapist Amanda Clayman gives her best advice on how to get on top of your money
Our physical wellbeing is routinely looked after by doctors, nutritionists and personal trainers, but who’s taking care of our financial wellness? This was the question that pulled Amanda Clayman out of debt and onto a new career path in the emerging field of financial therapy, where she’s been exploring the cognitive and emotional issues underpinning our relationships with money for the past 12 years.
“It’s a much more holistic way of looking at how money contributes to our wellbeing,” says Amanda. “I feel very strongly that, because money is interwoven into all of the various aspects of our lives, it’s often pointing us towards where we need to grow.”
Want to get wiser on your wealth health? Amanda shares this advice…
WE USE MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.
Looking at [the direction of our] cash flow is always the foundation of financial wellness, because that’s truly where we can see, experience and understand the kinds of decisions that we’re making around money that reflect what’s important to us. What are your financial values? We use money in an intuitive way to manage our needs, and we need to have a healthy respect for how we’re doing that, unconsciously. Then we can bring in a more conscious practice later on.
THINK OF MONEY MINDFULNESS AS A PRACTICE.
That’s the best thing we can do. And it’s not something we can ever be done with. So we need to engage money and engage our financial lives in regular, manageable chunks of time and effort. It’s like how you can’t just go to the gym for one day, and then you’re fit. You need to do it consistently.
THE LESS PREDICTABLE YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE,
the more you need to pay attention to it. This can be very stressful for some people, like freelancers or entrepreneurs, when they’re managing so many moving parts. We have to balance the benefit of paying attention to what’s going on with whatever the cost is in terms of emotional wear-and-tear.
SCHEDULING TIME LIMITS CAN BE HELPFUL.
Have a regular start time when you’re going to work on a financial task, and also put an end time on it – whether that’s a half hour, or an hour, maybe once a week. That gives you a sense of control over what you’re doing, and you’ll also have a higher chance of paying close attention and making better decisions, versus sitting at your computer for hours feeling like you want to cry.
IT’S REALLY ABOUT RETRAINING YOUR THOUGHTS.
When we’re working on financial wellness, it’s not just about getting a different financial or behavioural outcome, it’s really also about retraining our brains to be able to think about money in a much more mindful, purposeful, self-aware and present way on a daily basis.