Stand­ing in the mega gym shoe store, my 11-year old points to the lat­est pair of Nikes.  She’s look­ing at style and I’m look­ing at price.  Stick­er shock sets in, $150 for a pair of ten­nis shoes that no doubt she would out­grow in 6 months.  She gives me that look of that says, “Buy me this cool stuff so my friends will look up to me.”   All the while my stom­ach is churn­ing and I find myself say­ing, “But I wouldn’t spend $150 on a pair of ten­nis shoes for myself!”  

As in any rela­tion­ship, a healthy rela­tion­ship with mon­ey requires bound­aries.  Some­times the bound­aries are over small things, like the cost of a pair of shoes and some­times they are much big­ger. 

Like when your 27 year old who decides to for­go health insur­ance?  Your 27 year old “child” may feel ready to live with the con­se­quences of being unin­sured, but are you? 

What if your spouse cash­es in “his” retire­ment for a new car?  Since you are plan­ning to retire togeth­er, part of your retire­ment income just walked out the door too.  How is that work­ing for you?

Often we aren’t aware of our bound­aries until they are crossed.  That leaves us unpre­pared and uncom­fort­able in mak­ing a choice.  Do we choose to take care of our­selves? Or do we choose to take care of the oth­er?

We’ll be hap­pi­er in our per­son­al rela­tion­ships and in our mon­ey rela­tion­ships if we take the time to dis­cov­er the edges where we need bound­aries before we get that sick feel­ing in our gut.

Here are some great ques­tions to help you dis­cov­er your edges:

  • Who are the peo­ple in your life that you would care for if they could not care for them­selves?
  • What caus­es you wor­ry and frus­tra­tion over mon­ey?
  • In the trade off of mon­ey for today and mon­ey for tomor­row, are you and your spouse/partner on the same page?  Are you work­ing on the same goals? Are you row­ing the boat in the same direc­tion?
  • When it comes to your chil­dren, are you wor­ried about how to pay for their edu­ca­tion?
  • How are you and your spouse/partner man­ag­ing debt?   Do you have clear agree­ments in when and why you use debt?
  • What is your spend­ing plan or bud­get?  What do you want it to be?  Are you and your part­ner in agree­ment as to your pri­or­i­ties? 
  • Are there mon­ey choic­es that make your stom­ach turn?

Once you know where your bound­aries are, the next step is to man­age them.   Per­haps you need to buy health insur­ance for your 27 year old for your own peace of mind.   Maybe you need a clear and direct con­ver­sa­tion with your spouse about fund­ing your retire­ment or the use of cred­it. Or maybe you need to be clear with your younger chil­dren that the lat­est toys, elec­tron­ics and clothes con­sume resources that could fund high­er edu­ca­tion and what this real­ly means.

If you have nev­er done it before, it will feel awk­ward when you first begin tak­ing care of your mon­ey bound­aries.  As you do, you’ll feel bet­ter about your­self and clear­er about your choic­es.   As you mod­el healthy mon­ey bound­aries, those around you will learn and grow too. 

As your wealth advo­cate, if we can help you with this or any oth­er wealth con­cern, please call or email us.  We want to hear from you.