You don’t hand over your wallet when you’re applying for a job and don’t bring a credit score to a first date. Our personal finance is not a reflection of our personal identity (more words on that topic here), but when the two get tangled, neither our self worth nor net worth can grow!

The newest addition to our summer reading stack is a book all about improving our personal finance savvy – not just to save money, but to feel empowered by the role it plays in our lives. Written by Certified Integrative Coach, Nancy Levin, Worthy offers practical advice that ditches the jargon for emotional language we can actually relate to. Grab a copy here, and check below for ten bite-sized takeaways to start chewing on today…

When we hold the purse strings in our lives, we’re empowered to make the financial decisions we want to make. Certainly, if we’re in a relationship with joint finances, we may consult with our partner before making a big purchase. But that’s very different from having to ask permission. If our self-worth is strong, we’re not in alignment with having to ask for anyone else’s consent to spend money. In fact, with a keen sense of worthiness, we won’t allow anyone else to be in complete control of our money – even a financial advisor or planner.

When we relinquish our financial volition, on the other hand, we give ourselves some dangerous permissions. First, we don’t have to make difficult decisions – or any decisions around money. Second, we don’t have to make the mistakes, because the responsibility is on someone else. Finally, we don’t have to educate ourselves about financial issues. What all of this means is that if things go wrong, we can point the finger at the person in control. We don’t have to confront our feelings of not deserving. It also means we don’t have to grow up. Let’s face it: Being a grown-up is scary. But we give up a lot in exchange for handing over the purse strings. We put ourselves in the position of playing the role of victim, at the mercy of someone else’s decision-making.

Few people have a clear, balanced relationship with money. Most of us have a person or beliefs controlling our finances in one way or another. If you continue with these steps, however, you’ll be one of the lucky ones. You’ll learn to see your own destructive patterns at play. You’ll start making conscious decisions to change them. The point is to let your purse strings be run by the adult part of you, today, from as clear and free a place as you can muster.

Here are the 10 actions you can take today to make a dramatic change in your habits and behaviors around money that will positively boost your self-worth and grow your net worth:

10 Finance Habits To Change Now

Pay promptly

Open your bills and pay them as soon as they come in.

Balance your checking

Balance your checkbook/online checking every month.

Pay it off

Pay off your credit card balances each month.

Pay down debt

Pay down your debt a certain amount every week or month.

Get a 'Me' account

Open a “Me” account and make a commitment to add a specific amount to it each week or month.

Track spending

Keep track of what you spend every day and how you spend it.

Think long term

Identify ways to devote more money to your long-term desires and less money on what will only bring you short-lived gratification.

No credit

Make a commitment not to use your credit cards or bank overdraft – except true emergency. (Make a list of what constitutes an emergency, and be strict, so that you don’t stray.)

No shopping therapy

Make a commitment to no longer shop as a way of avoiding your feelings.

No excuses

Give up your excuses for spending money on things that aren’t important.

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