When it comes to paying off your student loan debt quickly or just taking control of your relationship with money, one of the most important questions I had to ask myself was this: what is my relationship with money?
On my pursuit to help you take control of your own relationship with money, I hope that you can understand that this is an imperative question you need to answer to not only acquire more money, but having the ability to take control of your money. What’s your relationship with money? Was money talked about in your household?
Part of what I’ve learned from coaching a lot of my clients is that money is not always a topic that’s talked about, especially in the black community. Sometimes it is, and in those cases, I see a direct correlation with those people having a competitive advantage in terms of their success with not only managing money, but acquiring it and having the confidence to have a great relationship with it. Environment is so key, and the environment you grow up in can directly influence you because of the fact that whatever you tune into is what you turn into. Additionally, whatever trains you is what entertains you, so it’s important to get in the right environment for your financial success if it wasn’t given to you growing up.
I think one’s relationship with money is a question that needs to be answered before you even think about paying back your student loan debt. Let’s even take student loan debt out of the question, let’s say you’re debt free. You still must answer this question to have the best relationship with money you can possibly have. You might be in your ego and think that you have the best relationship with money without answering this question. Let me humble you by saying you can always improve, no matter who you are, so listen, and let me expand on my own relationship with money.
To me, money is a tool. It’s literally just that. Money is useless until you use it, so I encourage you to adopt the same philosophy if you haven’t already. Money symbolizes energy and is a tool. In my household, money wasn’t talked about too much. I do want to give my parents credit still though. I grew up in a Nigerian household where my relationship with money was established on the basis of mindset.
Whenever my family and I were in a situation where some people would label themselves “broke,” I was programmed to say, “we’re very rich right now.” I didn’t understand the impact of it at the time, but as I reflect on the diction my parents instilled in me, I realize that they’re to credit for my positive relationship with money. My relationship with money wasn’t always positive, though. At a certain point, I clutched my money like it was my last, and I think that’s important to note as we emphasize that I paid off $32,000 in student loan debt in one year.
Before I took control of my relationship with money, I clutched my money like it was my last, as if I held my hand in a fist. Hold your hand in a fist right now. That’s the display of someone with a lack mindset, clutching their money like it’s their last. They’re choking the last of their money and no additional money can come in.
It wasn’t until I changed my perspective and thought in abundance that I was able to acquire more money and use it to invest in myself. People that have this relationship with money have their hand open. Open your hand from a closed fist to where you can see your palm. That means money flows out, but at the same time because your hand is open, money is allowed to flow in as well. This is abundance. If you haven’t grasped this concept with your relationship with money, I encourage you to aspire to having a relationship with money as one of abundance. Someone else having money doesn’t stop your flow of money. To me, money is like water. Water can kill you, but it can also replenish you. And money is no different.
When you establish this relationship with money where you operate in abundance, you don’t chase money. You understand that money comes to you easily, frequently and abundantly. When you’re chasing something, it runs away from you, so understand that. When you establish your relationship with money, you want to personify money. You want to control your money like it’s your child. If you don’t have any children, you want to take control of it like how you would take control of your child. Your child wouldn’t order you around and discipline you, so you want to operate in this mindset and establishing a positive relationship with money will be easier. So many people hate money and I get it, but use money. Use it like it is. It’s literally a tool. If you have money sitting in your account not working for you, it’s losing its value. In summary, for the sake of your financial success with paying off your student loans or any money goal you aim to achieve: please establish your relationship with money so that you can acquire and use it to your benefit!