Published by Kerry Meath-Sinkin
In Ayurveda it is believed that everyone has a unique body type that influences how they relate to everything in life. From this perspective I like to examine different aspects of how we relate to money and our finances, as I think there are some valuable tools we can incorporate. While there are many different topics we can explore around money, in this blog we are going to focus on spending plans. Similar to a budget, a personal spending plan helps outline where income is earned and spent.
The question is can your body type influence your ideal type of spending plan? I believe it can. I thought it would be helpful to share examples from my life that illustrate how these body influence our relationship to spending plans.
Personally, I fit into the body type that has predominantly fire/water qualities. The way this manifests for me is through my intense drive, desire to reach goals, and love for planning upcoming events in my life. Not surprisingly this same drive, and planning mind heavily influences the way I relate to finances and my spending plan. I have an easy time managing a budget, looking at spreadsheets, and tracking my spending. I can also become hot headed or overly critical of myself and others if something doesn’t go according to plan. Sometimes I start to feel constricted or controlling around money, which causes me to become too tight with my money even when I don’t need to be.
My husband has more of an earthy body type, he doesn’t love having a strict daily routine or a concrete plan set out before him, in fact he rails against planning. He also strongly dislike budgets, they make him feel confined.
So if you understand your current tendencies, can it help you approach the situation differently or find a healthy approach to your spending? As I said earlier, I believe it can. If you haven’t taken my body quiz, I recommend starting there. Remember that everyone is a combination of all three, so don’t get concerned if two body types fit.
From there you can begin to understand more about your personal body type, and how this may influence your relationship to money and spending plans. Below I list the three different body types, and how those may manifest for you.
Tips for Body Type 1: Air/Ether
Signs of Imbalance – Anxiety, a feeling of being scattered or feeling ungrounded
Challenges – It is often very difficult to stick with a plan or routine.
How to Approach a Spending Plan – Because it can be difficult to stick to a plan, this type of person wants to be particularly good about automating everything! On top of the obvious things like bill pay, this would include automatic payroll deposits, automatic IRA contributions, automatic HSA contributions, automatic transfers into emergency accounts, and even automatic contributions to a dream account. It might also be important to take some deep breaths, or do some short meditations if thinking about money is difficult or brings up lots of emotions.
Tips for Body Type 2: Fire/Water
Signs of Imbalance – Being overly critical of yourself and others
Challenges – While developing a spending plan or budgets might be easy for this body type, it is also easy to become constricted or tight.
How to Approach a Spending Plan – For this type of person it can be really helpful to relax and release the critical voice by developing a system that allows one to have a plan, but also provides for flexibility. Equally important with this type of imbalance is to approach your spending plan with ease, acceptance, and to make space for play and fun.
Tips for Body Type 3: Earth/Water
Signs of Imbalance – Lethargy and the inability to make things happen.
Challenges – There can also be too much attachment to older personal possessions, thoughts or emotions.
How to Approach a Spending Plan – Often when we have too much air and ether we are overwhelmed at the thought of organizing our finances or creating a plan. I mentioned the importance of automation to help those with too much air and ether by giving structure to their spending plan. A similar approach can be very helpful for an earth and water body type, this is because there is very little effort required to maintain this type of system. However, because it can often be overwhelming to start, this type of person may want to be particularly good about asking for some help to get started. Another type of plan that can be helpful for those who have a difficult time spending money is the “envelope plan.” With an envelope plan you allocate money for certain categories like eating out, shopping, rent etc. You can do this figuratively through tools like mint, excel, or the M Guidance portal we use with clients.
In going back to my person example, I find that my husband and I can be good balancing forces. If I go into a place of constriction, or being “too” planned he can remind me to play or relax. At the same time I can sometimes give him the kick in the pants to put a plan together and set up a plan to help him do that. You can apply the same principles in your life by yourself or with other people who provide a helpful counterbalance. If you are a more earthy person, is there someone in your life who can help hold you accountable to a plan? Or if you tend to get overly critical, is there someone in your life who can help you relax and let go?
Good luck, and coming from someone who can become too much of a planner, enjoy!!
Kerry Meath-Sinkin is a registered investment advisor and financial planner based in Minneapolis. She graduated with honors from Brown, and works with clients not only in the Twin Cities, but nationwide. Kerry believes in a holistic approach to finance. She works with her clients to develop a practical plan with their finances, while also working on their inner relationship with money. Together, these aspects allow clients to feel healthy, abundant, and free. Kerry also has a passion for healthy living, is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, and public health educator. Click here to learn more about Kerry.