Developing a Healthy Relationship with Money

Develop a healthy relationship with money! Finances can cause a lot of stress, right? Especially if like me, you love spending money. My therapist says a healthy relationship with money is about feeling in control and empowered by your finances, rather than stressed or anxious. It involves both practical strategies and a shift in mindset. So, welcome to trickle-down therapy: where I relay the wisdom she’s imparted to me, so we can both benefit. Let’s dive in.


A lot of developing a healthy relationship with money is about mindset, the way you think about money and how it fits into your life.


It’s important to be self-aware with money. How do you think and talk about money? Do you think things like “I deserve a special treat” end up costing you R300 every time you leave the house? Or even “I hate being so broke!” This is an indication that you don’t have a healthy relationship with money and rely on it for gratification. Do you feel guilt and shame when you think about money? Understanding your emotional triggers can help you make more conscious choices. For example, if all your friends spend frivolously, you’ll likely adopt similar habits, as you become who you spend a lot of time with. Surround yourself with people who have healthy financial habits.


Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful for your salary and the safety it provides. A good habit to develop is to list 3 things you feel grateful for every day. For example:

  • I enjoyed my morning coffee today.
  • I’m grateful I have a warm and safe place to stay.
  • I’m grateful my family/partner loves me. 

This can help you avoid spending to fill any potholes in your psyche.


Setting reachable goals can help you spend money with purpose. It’s important to be intentional about how you manage your finances. Having financial goals, big or small, gives your money purpose and motivates you to save and plan. Start by setting small goals, ones you can meet easily, to motivate you to keep on with the bigger ones. An example of a gaol is that you might want to save for an emergency fund.


Being mindful of money through habits can truly influence your relationship with money. Think of things like budgeting, saving, smart spending, and debt management.


Try to track your money and see where it slinks away every month. You could try to make a spreadsheet to manage this.

Example budget.

Smart spending

Differentiate between what you need and toilet paper. You need toilet paper, but you want that cabernet. You should try to prioritise experiences over material things, too. Take a breath before making purchases, especially larger ones. Ask yourself if it aligns with your budget and goals. Also, sometimes waiting for a bigger purchase can help curb impulse buying and allow for better deals. Tip: wait for that bag to go on sale before you buy it or buy it second-hand.

Debt management

Develop a plan to pay down high-interest debt. There are different debt repayment strategies you can explore, such as the snowball or avalanche method.

Now that you know how to develop a healthy relationship with money, it’s time to implement these best practices. Try budgeting, creating goals, and surrounding yourself with people who are mindful with money. If you need help with managing your finances, talk to one of our Cape Town Legal Consultants. We’d be delighted to help you.