Much of our anxiety stems from the fact that we just don’t know what's going on with our money Click To Tweet

Have you ever interrogated your feelings toward money? How would you define your relationship with it; comfortable, in control, dysfunctional? Even with solid financial advice, some people still feel a level of anxiety around their finances.

Sadly the topic of money is still viewed by some as ‘the last taboo’, and as a result, many of the attitudes we have towards it go unexplored. As budding #MotherlandMoguls, building a healthy mindset around money should be a priority. Here are a few tips to help you to make peace with your bank balance and develop a healthy money mindset.

Determine your ‘money personality’

A useful place to start is to try and understand how you instinctively relate to it. Similar to taking a regular personality test, this will help you to understand some of your predispositions toward money. You can find a whole bunch of free ‘money personality’ tests here.

Keep good records, make good plans

Recognizing your financial patterns and setting financial goals is the key to building a healthy relationship with your money. Much of our anxiety stems from the fact that we truly just don’t know what is going on with our money.

Sound daunting? Don’t worry, we are here to simplify the struggle. Finance guru and friend of SLA Samke Ndlovu Ngwenya put together this worksheet to help you think through your goals, and keep track of your money.

While you are doing this, take a look back at money mistakes, or successes you have made and look out for patterns and lessons.

Figure out your conditioning

We all have a certain level of conditioning around money which is proven to affect how we relate to it. This conditioning can be positive, for example, you sincerely believe you deserve to make money, and that you are able to do so. It can also be negative and limiting, for example, thinking about money with fear or scarcity. This conditioning is the filter through which you interact with your money.

Money coach Lynette Khalfani-Cox says, “You have to ask: what falsehoods and ideas am I believing that are actually sabotaging my efforts, or keeping me from fulfilling my potential?” Work to change these ideas. You could even try out money affirmations if that’s your thing.

To help you out with all the serious introspection you are about to do, I caught up with two savvy business women. They gave me some insight into how a successful entrepreneur relates to their money.


Money means the ability to uplift - Carol Bouwer Click To Tweet

Carol Bouwer is the Founder and CEO of Carol Bouwer (CB) Productions. This pioneering businesswoman is a committed champion of women and her company PB Productions is behind The Mbokodo Awards which celebrate the work of South African women, as well as The African Odyssey experience.

What does money mean to you?

For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to be part of shaping our community for the future- money means the ability to uplift. Materially and psychologically- beyond being able to help you in having the opportunity to create employment and empower others, it gives you the ability to inspire others to see that by applying the same discipline perhaps what results could be possible. Money can never be the goal but what it allows you to do is the goal.

Is there a specific event/lesson that has shaped how you relate to your money?

Losing it young. Some of the mistakes I made with money as a youngster have been the greatest gifts in my financial life. The lessons are etched in my mind that they could never be repeated. My big thing with this as in everything in life- don’t lose sleep and lose the lesson- lose the former and gain the latter at all times!

What do you wish you knew about money when you received your first salary/ pay cheque?

Budgeting! I had a whole list of needs and wants but lacked the wisdom to differentiate between the two. To this day I remain grateful for being raised by an “interfering mom”… many of the mistakes I could have made did not happen thanks to her wise interventions.

What habit have you formed, or what trait do you possess, that you believe helps you with your finances?

Sobriety and respect. This applies to finances and many other aspects of life. It is easy to be impulsive but the most important trait one requires is that of respecting the work that goes into building one’s wealth.

Being mindful of the energy you put into making every cent is what makes you more discerning about the choices you make when parting with it. Mindless spending is sometimes unavoidable in our youth but in this day if I am not mindful of what I am spending my money on then I don’t deserve a cent of it.

If I'm not mindful of what I'm spending my money on, I don't deserve a cent of it- Carol Bouwer Click To Tweet

Where do you go to get sound financial advice?

I could tell you to get a financial adviser or acquire financial planning services but I am not one to say that. My answer is, go internal. You inherently know what to do. You had the wisdom to acquire it, trust in your wisdom to grow it.

Read and study the markets. Even when you go to your broker, ensure you are not solely an audience but participate. This is even more important for times when there are losses. It allows you to feel you made empowered and informed choices rather than blaming those to whom you hand your money over.


Be honest with yourself and those who need your financial support - Nicolette Mashile Click To Tweet

Nicolette Mashile is a social entrepreneur, property investor and broadcast media personality who is passionate about people advancement and development. You may recognize her from her popular Financial Literacy Vlog and talks. She is a communicator by profession having studied Communications.

Is there a specific event/lesson that has shaped how you relate to your money?

Yes, buying my first property I didn’t know that an Offer To Purchase was legally binding. As a result, I signed for a property well out of my means. I had to fight the bank to retract a home loan of over 30 years which had been approved.

The loan had been generated through a Bond Originator, who misrepresented my expenses and understated them. I ended up with paying over thousands in lawyer fees. I eventually settled the issue at the cost of the money I had saved as a deposit. That day I learnt that it is very expensive to be financially illiterate.

What habit have you formed, or what trait do you possess, that you believe helps you with your finances?

Honesty, discipline and I have let go of FOMO. I used to what everything, what to go everywhere because I convinced myself that I could afford it. But I was refusing to be honest with myself whereby finances were concerned.

What is a small action/habit/idea that people can take up, which you believe could totally change our relationship with money?

Paying themselves first. Negotiating their salaries and knowing how much they actually need so that they can save 30% of their salaries. Most people negotiate just a little bit more than what they are currently getting forgetting the value of money changes over each year.

Do you have any advice on how to avoid over-committing yourself financially to family and friends?

Honesty, be honest with yourself and those who need your financial support. Then budget for them at all times, what you allocate to them you must stick with and not budge. Save for emergencies because its Murphy’s law, once you save an amount that is accessible there will always be a situation that rises to the occasion that needs that money

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