What’s a money story? And why should you pay attention to it?
“I can’t earn enough to reach my financial dreams and goals”
“Spending money on myself is selfish”
“I’ll never get rid of my debt”
Do any of these comments sound familiar?
Money can bring a variety of feelings to the surface
And everyone’s feelings towards money are different. But why do we end up feeling the way we do about money?
And how do our feelings affect our finances?
Can we change our attitude towards money?
Today, I thought I’d discuss:
- What is a money story and how does it affect your finances?
- How to identify your money story
- Changing your mindset so you can change your money story
What is a money story? And how does it affect your finances?
Your money story began during your early childhood. It’s passed down to you by your parents, even if money wasn’t openly discussed in your living room.
As children, we observe what adults in our lives do. We hear different conversations and comments. We observed how our parents handled financial situations. And we all remember specific experiences, especially if such experiences were uncomfortable.
So this is how our money stories begin and it’s also why they’re often generational. But how does it affect your finances?
When we think about money, we’re not simply seeing it as a tool to reach our dreams or goals. It’s linked to our emotions.
Think about it. How do you feel when there’s little money in your account? Or when your credit card is declined? This is often linked to embarrassment or anxiety. What about when you make a big purchase? That makes some people feel guilty.
My money story didn’t start well. I grew up in housing commission. So, you can imagine that my family wasn’t exactly rich. The result? I ended up with debt to my eyeballs and kept fielding calls from debt collectors.
Why did this happen to me? Because the story I picked up living in housing commission was a story of lack. A lack of money was an issue in my family. And childhood me would’ve thought “if we had more money, these difficulties would go away”.
How do you identify your money story?
Before you change your money story, you need to identify the money story that formed when you were a child. And once you’ve done this, you can understand your current thoughts, feelings and decisions about money.
Some questions you can ask yourself to identify your money story include:
- What’s your earliest memory about money?
- Do you remember your parents talking, commenting or fighting about money? If so, what exactly do you remember?
- What was the feeling around spending money when you grew up?
- Were there any significant financial events when you were growing up? This could be a job redundancy, a divorce, a huge debt or perhaps a windfall
- As a child, did you feel like you had more or less money than your childhood friends? And how has that influenced your thoughts around money?
- Do you know anything about your parents’ financial circumstances when they were kids? And how has that influenced your money story?
- Do you have feelings of guilt about money?
- Do you feel deserving of money?
- Do you feel like financial success is attainable? Why or why not?
Once you’ve got a better idea about your money story, you can see how it affects your current mindset around your finances. And then you can begin to create your new money mindset.
How to start changing your money mindset
Have a think about what you want your new money mindset to look like. And then dig deeper! How does your new money story play out in your life? Will you then be earning your ideal income? Will you be paying your bills on time? Save more or invest? How will your new money story make you feel?
Want to know how my money story ended? I quickly got tired of the debt collectors, so I got help. And I got educated. I’ve now got investment properties, a share portfolio and a very healthy superannuation balance. And I also enjoy regular holidays.
If I can change my money story, so can you. Keen to learn what it’s like having a financial planner help you change your money story? Feel free to book in a 15-minute chat and let us help you.
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Important information: This information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular financial needs, circumstances and objectives. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it is not guaranteed. You should obtain professional advice before acting on the information contained in this publication.