Money is driven by markets and math, right? It’s left-brained, rational, unemotional: everything many people are not. This is a common view of economics and investing, that it’s out of reach and unapproachable for most folks—those that aren’t math geniuses or who don’t follow the financial news and the swings of the stock market. But we all need to engage with the economic system, building the resources needed to fund our lives. My goal is to meet my clients where they are and make money approachable for everybody.

One way I can help with that is by looking at the beliefs, feelings, and habits you have around money. We all have a relationship with money that goes beyond its use as a resource. Are you a saver, a spender, or somewhere in-between? Do you manage your bills with no sweat, or do bank statements make you feel panicked or overwhelmed? For many people, money is more than a resource, it’s a source of great emotion: high hopes, great uncertainty, and sometimes even paralyzing fears.

In my last post, Key Principles: My Investing Philosophy I discussed some key principles around investing. These financial insights can really help guide your financial planning—and ensure a smoother, more satisfying financial life. But there’s another component that’s also essential: your money story. This story encompasses your emotional response to money, which is often based on the beliefs around money you were raised with, along with the examples that were set for you.

For many, decisions around money and spending are emotional, not analytical—and it’s hard to separate your early lessons about having “enough” from the decisions that drive your money habits now and in the future. After all, I can preach the gospel of staying the course during market downturns, but if you have a fear-based scarcity mindset around money, that might be very difficult when the market makes big swings.

Or what if your approach to money is to avoid it? Thinking such as: the money will take care of itself, you don’t need a long-term plan, that your company stock will always go up, that you’re just too busy to focus on your future security, can be equally problematic. After all, nothing stays the same indefinitely: jobs change or go away, companies downsize, stocks go down as well as up, and your interests and needs change too. As you build wealth, you also need a plan to protect and grow that wealth, so you have resources to fund your life for the long-term, through all its ups and downs.

Feelings about money come from early childhood experiences, the examples of those you’ve been closest to, the many messages you’ve gotten about money and security throughout your life. Money doesn’t just represent your net worth—it can also tap into your self-worth. I’m not a psychologist, but I can help you identify areas where saving, spending, and investing are not aligned with your long-term goals so you’re better able to make a plan and execute on it, no matter what’s going on in your personal life or the broader markets.

My goal is to provide a supportive environment where we can dig deep into your relationship to money, so we have a clear view of your tendencies and can create a workable plan that makes it easy to follow through and stay the course when the markets swing (it’s what markets do, after all!).

Let’s talk about what building and protecting financial security means to you.

About the author: After a successful career in high-tech, Sheila McGinn followed her passion and became a fee-only Financial Planner, where she helps clients navigate complex financial decisions and reach their financial goals.

Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. For advice specific to your situation, consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Brightview Financial Solutions, LLC, and all rights are reserved.