It is not uncommon these days for couples to craft their own wedding or commitment vows. If you’ve ever had the privilege of attending some of these handcrafted unions, you are most likely struck with how unique each set of vows is.
Well, it’s the same when it comes to money. We all have committed to a certain relationship to money, whether or not we are aware of it. And just like our fingerprints, all of our money vows are unique. My relationship and commitment to money is mine alone, and will not look like anyone else’s.
I want to share an exercise I do with my financial therapy and money coaching clients to help them get very clear about what they want their relationship with money to look like. At times I will ask them to compose “commitment vows.” Meaning, what are they willing to commit to in their relationship with money, and what do they expect from money in exchange?
This exercise helps them actively craft a commitment to money that is not based on old messaging or unconscious belief systems. Rather, these are vows with money that are conscious and truly aligned with one’s own values and aspirations.
Looking at traditional wedding vows, below are some of the things typically promised at these ceremonies:
- to cherish, honor and respect
- to stay together in both good and bad times
- to be faithful
- to be together forever (“until death do us part” is definitely the case when it comes to mo-ney!)
So let’s take some of these examples and apply them to a relationship with money.
What would it mean “to cherish, honor and respect” your money? Spending it wisely? Investing it safely? Take a look inside your wallet. Is it the wallet of someone who is respecting her money?
Do you stay on top of your financial life in both good times and bad? That might mean dealing with a period of unemployment, a recession, a stock market tumble, etc. Is your money relationship adaptive and resilient? What can you do to make it more so?
Are you staying financially faithful to your money? Are you “cheating” with credit cards or other forms of unsecured debt?
There is no denying that you and money are together “until death do you part.” If you think about it, it is actually is one of the longest relationships in our lives. Doesn’t it make sense to make sure it’s a fulfilling one?
Now let’s turn the tables. What do you want in exchange from your money?
- A secure retirement?
- A salary increase?
- The comfort of a fully loaded emergency fund?
- That tropical vacation you’ve been dreaming about?
- A Japanese hot tub in your backyard? (Okay, that’s on my wish list)
All these things and more can be yours. Remember, this is a partnership. Show up for money and it will show up for you!
Financially Smitten Call to Action for YOU today:
Use this simple four-step guide to craft your commitment vows with money:
- Take some quite time and simply write down the words that come to mind when you think of any loving, commitment relationship. How can you translate that to a loving, committed relationship with money? Think about what actions and behaviors will keep your relationship strong.
- Write out your vows. Keep it short, no more than two paragraphs.
- Only promise actions (not feelings) … the things you will actually do. And, what you want money to do.
- Read your commitment aloud to someone. There is a reason weddings take place before a community of people. There is power in stating our intentions aloud and having them witnessed by another.