Don't worry—this isn't another article telling you to make a budget and stick to it.
You're probably not going to make a budget and if you do, you won't stick to it. At least not for long. And I get it; budgets take all the fun out of money, just like counting calories takes all the fun out of eating.
We just want to live and enjoy our avocado toast and venti Starbucks coffee without feeling like that's the reason we can't afford a house. That's not the reason. The reason you can't afford a house is way more complex than that... but that's another story.
None of the advice I'm going to be sharing with you today is going to mess with however you choose to spend and reward yourself, because you deserve to reward yourself.
Instead, I want you to start thinking about your relationship with money. Is it happy and excited? Does it make you smile? Or is it shrouded in shame and guilt?
I want you to start loving money and respecting the role it plays in your life. Money makes the world go around, for better or worse, and we are part of a system that revolves around it. Instead of fighting it or resenting it, I say embrace it—and these simple tweaks will help you get there.
1. Be nice to your money
Money has value, even if it's a dirty nickel you feel slightly embarrassed to use. It all matters, it all adds up and you worked hard for it.
So don't leave your money at the bottom of your purse or gym bag, in the crusty compartment in the center console of your car or in random pockets. Put it in your purse and your wallet. It all counts. You don't need to sing to it or write poems about it, just don't disrespect it.
2. Change your money vibe
Listen to money podcasts, watch money movies, read articles about money. Information is power.
You don't need to follow the advice of the 20-something multimillionaire property investor who turned a teenage lawn mowing business into a lucrative empire; just be inspired by them. Read and listen and learn. Make it fun.
Money is interesting, and tales of how people have earned it, saved it, spent it, tripled it and lost it are too.
3. Change your 'money aura' to yellow
A yellow aura means friendly and sunny, and that's what I want you to manifest when you think of money.
Replace the shame and guilt you sometimes feel when you realize you're living from pay day to pay day, like you're a 'pretend grownup' instead of a real one. What you are is a real grownup, who is living in a country where everything is expensive, and you are doing your best.
4. Make one money change each month
Just like detox diets are doomed to end or fail, so are elaborate changes to how you manage your money. Instead of promising to overhaul your wicked ways as pay day approaches, think of making one small change.
That could be paying all of your bills for the month before spending a cent on anything else, or tucking $50 away in your work drawer to use that week before your pay is due.
In this podcast from our sister site Mamamia, I Don't Know How She Does It, an incredible mom talks about how she pulled her family out of poverty.
Or, maybe you open a savings account and set up an automatic payment of $10-$20 into it every two weeks or month.
Slowly, gently, with each of these points in mind, you'll find yourself drifting towards the kind of positive frame of mind you will need in order to make bigger changes in the future, should you so choose.
The thing most people forget, regardless of their life stage, is that they are in control of how they save and spend. Money has no power beyond what you do with it, so spend, save, invest and enjoy.