We all have a unique money story. In honor of write your own story day, we’re giving you the tips you need to re-write your money story and take control of your financial future.
What is a money story?
Your money story is made up of the thoughts, patterns, behaviors, and circumstances in which you grew up. It is influenced by your parents and/or guardians relationship to money and to each other about money. How you understood and experienced tensions and feelings around money likely impacted your relationship to money and finance today.
Sometimes, we inherit money habits. For example, if one parent was extremely restrictive with money and spending, you might inherit a scarcity mindset and be more reluctant to spend money, even on things that would make your life easier. On the other hand, if you have memories of an overly restrictive parent, you might go the opposite direction and spend freely and run the risk of mindless, over spending as a way to fight back against the story or circumstances of your childhood.
Even in similar circumstances, money stories evolve differently. Don’t believe me? Try doing this exercise with your siblings and compare your results.
Why do I need to know my own money story?
It might seem like a cliché, but you can’t get to where you’re going unless you know where you’re starting. The earliest chapters are written for us automatically. They evolve from our circumstances and our automatic reactions to those circumstances without any intention on our part.
Life is not meant to be lived on auto-pilot. If you want to live your best, rich life, you need to be pro-active in re-writing the next chapter of your money story. This means setting goals and making a plan to achieving those goals. It also means, understanding where you’re coming from and whether you’re carrying past behaviors, limiting beliefs, and negative patterns that are undermining your ability to design and finance your best, rich life.
Okay, let’s do this.
Great, we’re going to start with a journal exercise. Grab a pen and paper and answer the following questions:
- How did your parents / people that raised you feel about money? Answer for each parent – did they talk about money? If so, how? Did they talk to each other about money? How did those conversations go?
- Were you aware of any positive / negative / neutral association with money in your house growing up? Was there any conflict between your parents or yourself and your parents around money growing up?
- What is your earliest money memory? Think about a time you remember understanding that money had – this could be studying the value of coins at school, earning money from the tooth fairy, finding money in the couch cushions, donating to a money box or charity, or not being able to buy something you wanted, etc. What are the emotions that come up for you – are they positive / negative / neutral?
- How is your relationship with money now? What impact does your money story have on your relationship to money today?
- What is one money-mindset related goal that you would like to work on? This could be anything from practicing more gratitude for the resources you have, developing a more positive mindset about your future, being more generous, letting go of a scarcity mindset, etc. Choose one thing and write it down?
- What are some patterns, beliefs, feelings, and real life circumstances that are impacting your ability to achieve this goal? What can you do to affirm yourself and your desire to reach that goal? Are there any specific patterns or beliefs you need to let go of?
- 🎉 Congratulate yourself 🎉
Most people never take the time to imagine what their best, rich life could be. You’re on a journey to take control of your financial future in a healthy, intentional way. That is no small feat.
Return to this journal entry when you need a reminder that financial freedom is not a destination. You are on your way and we are honored to be a part of your journey.