It's Not About the Money
Before you can begin to address your money issues, Brent says it's important to identify your money personality, such as Saver, Empire Builder, Caretaker, Star, Pleasure Seeker or Guardian. The archetypes are "energies within us—ways that our unconscious core story manifests with money," he says.
Once you know your money profile, the next step is building awareness, Brent says. If, for example, you're a Pleasure Seeker, look inward at your motivations for spending, then try to resist one impulse purchase a day. As you continue to ask yourself tough questions and bring your unconscious thoughts to light, Brent says you'll start to see a shift. "If we have the courage to really keep that discipline going—that inquiry going—[your behavior] really does change on its own because we recognize that we're not getting the payoff that that 'wanting mind' is promising us," he says.
Brent says it's also important to cultivate aspects of those money personalities that are less dominant within you in order to create balance. For instance, if you're a Star—someone who uses money to attract attention and recognition—you may want to focus more on exploring your Caretaker side (who uses money for generosity and compassion) or your Saver side (who saves for her own future security). Take the money you might have spent on, say, a pair of designer jeans, and put half in a savings account and give half to charity. "Then you'll really feel the payoff," he says.