What’s Your Relationship with “George”?

Life coach Christine Hassler recommends thinking about money as if it's a person.

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As I interviewed creativity experts for my story this week on right-brain ways to manage money, I realized that I’m far from being the only person who prefers sketching with colored pencils to typing numbers into a spreadsheet. And it turns out there are a lot of money management strategies that incorporate an artistic element, which can make it easier to get organized and ultimately to make better financial choices. Some of my favorite ideas highlighted in the article include creating a video of money goals, drawing progress on piece of paper, and making spreadsheets more palatable by color-coding them.

[In Pictures: 10 Ways to Start Earning Extra Money Now]

One of the experts I interviewed, life coach Christine Hassler, suggests thinking about money as if it’s a person. “How’s your relationship with George?” she asks, referring to President George Washington’s face on the one dollar bill. In her book, 20 Something, 20 Everything, she encourages readers to first examine their history with money.

“If you don’t excavate what they believe and their sense of worth, they are unable to progress,” she explains. That history includes one’s financial situation growing up and patterns of spending. “Do you take George for granted?” she asks.

Here are more questions that Hassler recommends asking, adapted from one of the exercises in 20 Something, 20 Everything:

Which of the following statements best describes your thoughts about and interactions with George?

  • I am a bit obsessive about him.

  • I am rather oblivious to George.

  • George plays a significant role in my life.

  • I keep George on a short leash.

  • I am a bit confused by George; I don’t really understand anything about him.

  • I want a lot more of George.

    Hassler also recommends throwing a “money party” featuring monopoly and green food along with a discussion of budgeting, spending patterns, and financial goals. “Ask each guest to bring at least one financial tip, piece of advice or resource,” she suggests.

    Here’s one that Hassler would share: Save at least $10 a week. She says, “Young people always say, ‘I don’t have any money.’ But people feel they can save $10. Twenty dollars seems like too much and $5 is not enough.”

    Do you have any creative money tips of your own to share?

    Twitter: @alphaconsumer