Money talks: what's it saying about you?

Header image for the article Money talks: what's it saying about you? Credit: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

1. Money and emotions

A top UK executive business coach, Hulya Gunay believes that money and emotions affect one another more than we previously thought. She emphasized that the younger we start handling our own finances and not leaving it to someone else, the more confident we will be in participating in and building our financial environment.

But in order to do this, Gunay said we must learn to be comfortable and capable of talking honestly about our finances.

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“It’s still perceived as very bad to talk about money and I think this needs to change,” said Gunay. Is it a coincidence that until recently, talking about our emotions also carried the same stigma?

Discussing money, Gunay said the topic is unfortunately still taboo, evoking uncomfortable feelings.

“Our associations we have towards money come from our backgrounds, culture, upbringing and society, and they mostly aren’t healthy,” she said. “We must be conscious that there is a lot of shame, anxiety and fear associated with money and it can be used as a means of control, just look at Britney Spears.”

2. First steps to financial well‑being

Karen Martinez, Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) Finance Coordinator wished the one thing every student would do is start planning.

“Having a plan for your money is the first thing to do in the present to build a better future,” said Martinez. “Young people think that having nice shoes, clothes and cars is sexy, but in reality, what is more appealing is not looking stressed when the time comes and you are not able to afford those things because you have the mentality that what you earn you can go and spend.”

As you become more financially depleted, you become emotionally tapped out as well. Martinez’s mother worked for a bank, so her financial education started young, which enabled her to form healthy habits in this area of her life. Martinez also understands that this is not the case for other students, which is what inspired her to step into the position of FSU Finance Coordinator. Martinez encouraged fellow students to be curious and excited about what you can do with your money.

“Small adjustments have huge impacts in the future.”

So, a good first step for your financial plan is to book an appointment with Martinez and form one together. Martinez’s face literally lights up when discussing helping students be fiscally responsible, emphasizing it’s empowering and fun when you take responsibility and realize what you can do with your money.

3. Money: Friend or foe?

If money was a person in your life, what kind of person would they be? Would they be a good friend? An enemy? Someone you can rely on or someone you have to try to impress? You and your money have a relationship and it’s one you will be locked into for the rest of your life. So, start treating it like someone you love and want to be around. Gunay shared a Japanese term called “oregato money,” a practice where you thank your money, love your money and enjoy the idea of it.

4. Tasty tips from the pros

Gunay and Martinez both agreed that the number one thing to do is have a plan.  

“Having a simple plan can help you to avoid a lot of stress in your life and help you achieve your dreams,” said Martinez. For example, there are cash only diets, dummy accounts where you can watch how stocks and investing can grow your money.

“Whatever approach you take, be consistent and know your numbers,” said Gunay. “When it comes to money, knowledge is power. If you don’t know where you are you can’t go [anywhere]. There is a saying: the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, and the second-best time is now.” So much for money not growing on trees.

Martinez brought up another fun suggestion.

“If you save even twice a week the money you spend on Starbucks coffee and invest in Starbucks stocks the return actually will start paying for all the coffee you drink.”

5. I AM MONEY

We can’t talk money without the association of stress or avoiding stress. Financial education must be included in our schools at a young age so we can produce well balanced and secure adults. A relaxed state of being should not be a luxury. There is a saying in martial arts that says, “if you can’t relax you have no power.” Making decisions and choices in life from a place of power, not anxiety, will cultivate a healthy environment not only for you but the people you love and care about.

“I never tell my clients not to spend, it’s about having a plan and sticking with it,” said Gunay.

Make friends with your money, and it will be a powerful tool in bringing out the best parts of who you are.