5 MIN­UTES WITH…

Strapped for CASH? The root CAUSE could be in your HEAD…

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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.

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