relationshipsMoney touches every aspect of our lives. Although relationships aren’t about money, our relationships often affect our finances, and vice versa. We want to be conscious of these connections when making a financial plan.

This is another three-column exercise. At the top of a sheet of paper, write the following headings: “The Bad,” “The Good,” “The Better.”

In “The Bad” column, list recent instances when money proved problematic in a close relationship. Be as specific and honest as possible. What caused the conflict? Was it a question of how much you spent? How little you had? What you chose to do with your money? Disappointing results?

“The Good” column is a lot more fun and will hopefully be longer. List recent instances when money benefited a close relationship. Why was it helpful? How did you use it? Did you buy something? Do something? Give it away?

In “The Better” column, brainstorm ideas about how money can better serve your relationships. List ways you can start mindfully using your money to support the conditions that will foster happiness in your closest relationships today and in the future.

Once you’re finished, test drive a few of the “Better” ideas with the significant people in your life. Remember to slow down the frames and enjoy the ride.