Three Steps to a Better Relationship with Money

Women yearn to have a juicy, satisfying relationship with money.

We want intimacy, yet often shy away from talking about finances. What surprises me, after facilitating thousands of women over the last decade to transform their financial suffering, is what a complex and often painful relationship everyone has with money. Improving your posture and attitude toward money can amplify your happiness, family, business, community, and, of course, your bank accounts.

Ladies, are you thankful for the pleasure that money provides?

Start with gratitude for the people and things you already have. Appreciating people and things builds patterns of connection and trust, and it strengthens belief that our friendly universe always provides. This exercise creates new neural pathways of sufficiency, that feeling of appreciation for what already is.

Most women want to get more comfortable with their finances, according to Dr. Kate Levinson, a renowned psychotherapist in the field of money and women and author of Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money. Kate says in this interview that the three most common struggles women have with money are:

  1. feeling vulnerable: a pervasive lack of security and fear of becoming a bag lady;

  2. being visible: doubt in their capacities;

  3. talking about money: verbal inhibition because of cultural taboos.

What can you do?

Be resilient, be visible, and talk about money.

Be Resilient

When unexpected events shake you up, you can focus on gratitude to shift your mental activity. This is an asset-based approach—as you think about what’s already valuable in your life, your mental activity shifts to a more creative part of the brain. Transform your fear with curiosity and become more creative and adaptable.

Developing trust begins with self-appreciation.

Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life, recommends the practice of gratitude, sufficiency, generosity, keeping our word, and the constant commitment to give and receive love in every interaction. In an interview for the “Money-Wise Women” podcast, Lynne said, “Let go of the chase, and pay attention to what you already have. Be grateful and share what you already have. That is the source of true prosperity. It’s the principle of sufficiency—if you let go of what you don’t need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you do have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands. What you appreciate, appreciates.” In other words, what you acknowledge and respect gains value for you.

Be Visible

Our attention is our greatest currency, so invest it wisely. The new year is a natural time to clarify your purpose, vision, and mission. I know it can be uncomfortable to look within, yet introspection is essential to shifting our mindset, beliefs, and behaviors. When we avoid honest self-reflection, we increase suffering. When we rush from one distraction to another, we are disconnected from our innate brilliance.

Your unique contributions to the world create a legacy of true wealth for generations to come. Effective leaders break through social boundaries and abandon ambivalence about visibility. An emerging collaborative economy is founded on individual transparency and generosity that powers collective progress. Trust yourself, because you know what to share and how.

Talk about Money

An intimate partner knows you better than anyone, but not when it comes to money. Over 80% of spouses admit to hiding purchases from each other. Shame and guilt shut people down and cause disconnection. Revealing and being vulnerable is key to intimacy and financial improvement. Opening up about money can be very liberating.

Try discussing this with a loved one: What was my mother’s and/or father’s role concerning finances? What did I learn from them? Describe a financial trauma and/or success I experienced.

Spice up your love life with money in the new year. When we build compassion and empathy through heartfelt conversations, we naturally develop true wealth. Treat money as a valued relationship by taking time to appreciate it and discuss it. Profound shifts happen through these simple practices.

Listen to the “Money-Wise Women” podcast for insights into how biology, neuroscience, and economics influence our relationship with money. Receive practical advice on how to talk about, manage, and invest your money wisely. Go to Find Your Money Voice for free training to improve your communication skills and talk about money more easily.


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Crystal Arnold is the founder of Money-Morphosis and the Money-Wise Women podcast. Since graduating from Southern Oregon University in 2007 with a degree in international economics, she has designed and facilitated workshops, community events, and discussion panels about money. She has inspired thousands of people to have a healthier relationship with money. Her written work has appeared in journals, magazines, and in the book called Reinhabiting the Village: CoCreating Our Future. She is currently Director of Education at the Post Growth Institute and lives in Oregon with her husband and two children.