This week's BYP Blog is a guest article from Lildonia Lawrence, a life coach, educator and yoga instructor. Lildonia produces monthly content for the BYP Network centred on wellbeing, wellness and healthy living.
Money. It makes the world go round and it’s something we all need particularly during a time of crisis such as during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are thinking about money whether we are employed, self-employed, business owners or on furlough the financial future feels somewhat uncertain for us all. This period of pause is causing us to reset and making us analyse many things in our life, one of which may be our relationship with money. We all need to interact with money and as such it’s one of the most important relationships we will ever have. Similarly, to all unions, the connection is not always straight forward, and we can have a complicated relationship with money tied up with emotions, self-esteem and family history. We all have different money personalities and figuring out where we fall is a key part of building financial stability.
Here are some common ways in which people react to money:
The Avoider: Someone who avoids money completely only thinking about it when they absolutely must. This person is at risk of over-spending, falling into debt or not preparing for the future.
The Worshipper: Someone who worships money, buying into the belief that it can create happiness. They can be at risk of ignoring other areas of their life in the pursuit of wealth.
The Status Chaser: Someone who attaches the amount of money they (and others) have to their status. In this case, their self-worth can be severely impacted during times of financial downturn.
The Thriftier: Someone who is a super saver and aware of every penny and pound. Elements of this trait may sound positive, but this person is at risk of leaving little room for fun or enjoyment.
The Guilty: Someone who relates having or spending money with guilt. This person can feel remorseful about spending money on themselves or on things that are not considered necessities.
The Secure: Someone who is thoughtful and deliberate with their money. They are comfortable spending, saving and sticking to a budget. This is where we want to be.
We may have elements of more than one personality within us and so we need to reflect on where we received our messages about finance. In my early adulthood, I had a guilty money personality. Having come from a modest background with parents who worked in the care sector I felt that desiring money was a negative thing and that helping people was paramount at all costs. This would lead to me taking on roles that were lower paid then I deserved or giving away services for free. A pivotal moment for me was having a money conversation with a status/worship personality friend who fed back to me that I was undervaluing myself and that as a helping professional I needed to put bread on my own table to best serve others. It was an interesting perspective and although I didn't adopt all the elements of that person's ethos I realised that I could make money and still be a good person.
Since then I've been able to choose the work I take on more wisely and have only accepted jobs which reflect my worth. Doing this has even extended my caring capacity because I can now afford to make more time for volunteering and community work as I'm no longer overstretched. I would recommend everyone think about their own money styles, where they came from and how they can elevate themselves towards a better level of security.
Lildonia Lawrence is a life coach, yoga instructor and sex educator working in London. She has a background in psychology and mental health and has spent many years working in the health and wellbeing industries. Her week is spent with a mixture of delivering health workshops, teaching group classes and leading coaching sessions. Alongside this, she works as a wellbeing writer for several publications. You can find out more about her work at @lildonia.lawrence