Your Relationship With Money Starts With These 7 Stages

What is your relationship with money?

The answer is that you probably never realized you had an actual “relationship” with money. You took it for granted as you worked that you either had money–or you didn’t have it. 

You might have had an inkling that you needed the dreaded “B” word (budget) in your life, but in your mind that was a technical detail.

retirement in healthcare podcast episode

Details are important, but so is having a good relationship with money!

Did you know that your relationship with money determines your ability to achieve financial independence?

And did you know that relationship may also depend on which stage you are in regarding money maturity (Hint: there are seven stages)?

These stages were pulled from contemporary psychology and world religions and can determine how your financial future plays out to a great extent!

The Childhood Phase

Have you made some terrible financial choices based on naivete?

You are not alone.

Everyone in the childhood phase has a painful relationship with money.  It’s a time of making reckless and foolhardy decisions, ones that you regret. During this time we are reactive and don’t know how to climb out of the holes that we’ve dug.

However, the beliefs that cause us the most grief are the ones that aren’t fully developed. 

Pick one: 

Are you…

  • saving for a rainy day
  • living for the moment

Although these modes of operating are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to your relationship with money, either one could lead to actions that are stingy and grasping. 

They may also lead you to make misguided decisions that will massively affect your future and finances.

Erroneous decisions will lead to feeling:

  • Fear
  • Envy
  • Shame
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Frustration

It could be easy to get mired in these negative emotions, but you are an educated professional who can reach out for a solution!

The Adult Phase 

Can these limiting beliefs (and feelings) be changed or altered over time?

What will your relationship with money be during the adult phase?

Subscribe to the Financial Residency PodcastDuring the childhood phase, your relationship with money was based on your inexperience. 

The adult phase is the playing field where you practice working through belief systems that you bought into back then but ultimately didn’t serve you. 

It’s also when you work past being merely reactive, and you learn to be thoughtful and discerning in your relationship with money.

Metamorphosis is often a painful process, but the change leads you to the adult phase.

Which is a kinder and gentler place to be!

The question is how do we get there?

Sojourn into Guided Meditation

Are emotions, or beliefs more powerful in your relationship with money?

There are multiple ways to change your belief system. The question is: which way is the most efficient?

The answer might lie in your emotional maturity. Therefore, your emotions might need to be tamed…and your beliefs will follow.

I’ve written before about how our childhood experiences affect our relationship with money. Our early experiences have an emotional impact that in turn subconsciously shapes our beliefs.

When Emotional Intelligence Is Your Best InvestmentAs we mature, we are acting on those early emotions and may not fully realize the impact they have on our relationship with money.

In short, we need to root out the negative emotions, so the positive ones have more room to grow.

I recently did a five-day training that involved us doing guided meditations. It was my first time to do meditation. I’m trying to keep up the practice, but life gets in the way. 

Meditation is used to develop emotional wisdom.

It also increases your focus, reduces stress, and anxiety. In addition, there are studies that show it strengthens your telomeres (a benefit to longevity).

There are so many good books and apps, so it should be easy to get started. The recommended amount of time is approximately 20 minutes, and sometimes more for experienced meditators.

How long does it take to see benefits from meditation?

It’s recommended that you give it at least a month or two.

You have something to gain, and nothing to lose.

It’s worth a try!

Adult Phase I: Knowledge

What do we mean by knowledge?

It’s understanding across a spectrum:

  • Understanding money mechanics 
  • Understanding financial planning
  • Self-Knowledge 
  • Investments
  • Assets

Physicians are among the smartest people on the planet. You routinely absorb tons of information and understand the complex workings of the human body and disease processes. 

However, the DIY method is time-consuming and complicated. It can be done, but it’s not always best to figure things out for yourself. 

Making the wrong connections can have debilitating financial results. The right connection is understanding the center of the financial plan is you!

Building the future that you want is the most important part of any financial plan!

Adult Phase I: Understanding

What does understanding bring to you?

It brings you a certain amount of freedom.

That’s because when you have the knowledge, and you add understanding it brings you to a point where you can start the process of healing and move forward. 

You are armed with everything you need to make forward strides with your relationship with money.

Adult Phase I: Vigor

Are you living your life plan? 

The one you dreamed about?

Are you involved wholly in your everyday existence?

Vigor is the step that is keeping us engaged in the game of life.

It happens when we understand what our true purpose is…and we are living the life we dreamed about.

Physician Wealth ServicesDon’t forfeit this important step!

It’s the fruition of all the work you’ve put in on yourself, figuring it all out, and building your dream life!

I’m passionate about what I do. 

In fact, that’s what fueled my financial planning practice. I had to understand exactly what I wanted. 

That’s how I was able to build a financial planning practice that I love. 

That’s how you became a physician. 

You couldn’t have become a physician without passion! It requires too much time and energy. Should I even mention the sleep deficit?

I want my clients to feel passionate about their entire lives and improve your relationship with money.

Quick Stop: The Feeling of Flow

Have you ever experienced flow?

You’ll know when you find it.

You’re in the right place at the right time. It’s the feeling of passion and energy. 

You’ll light up!

You’ll know.

Adult Phase I: Maturity

Has your relationship with money matured?

There are actually two stages to maturity:

  1. Vision
  2. Aloha

What does aloha mean?

It’s the passing of a blessing….

You share your blessings with other individuals (regardless of economic differences). 

It’s many of the additional activities that you (as a physician) are spend time doing, such as working toward policy or medical changes. It could be your involvement in events that benefit the community. 

It’s your way of reaching out and improving additional lives of the people around you!