December 6, 2023

Powerful questions to unlocking your money story

Your current financial position is the result of many factors. But a major influence in your financial life is your psychological relationship with money. We call this your ‘money story’.
What is a ‘money story’?
In essence, it is how you think, feel and behave with money. It is your own personal money narrative that you tell yourself. It is your money mantras you believe deep down. It is your financial philosophy that you live by.
The problem is many of us have money stories that don’t serve us. They were formed in early childhood, passed down from our parents, society, and other influential figures in our life. Regrettably, these emotive money-centred experiences, feelings, language, and beliefs stay with us, often unconsciously.
So, why is this important? Well, it is these deep-seated thoughts and feelings that silently influence our spending and savings habits, and money management throughout our life. The fact is, your financial position today is the result of your money story. It’s just the way it is.
Wealth is a state of mind, and your perception of money will be as unique as your fingerprint.
How do you re-write your money story?
Most people are completely unaware of the secret drivers that control their financial decisions, their money story. The question is, how do we become more aware of these entrenched beliefs and behaviours? Let’s find out!
The first step to change your relationship with money is to own your money story. You can do this by better understanding how it was formed and what it’s costing you. When the answers to these questions become clear, the decision to write a new money story becomes compelling.
These 7 key questions can help you unlock your money script, the broken record you tell yourself over and over again about what you really think about money.
So, get out your pen and start scribbling down answers to these questions. Dig deep, be honest, and don’t filter any of your answers. Being truly vulnerable and candid is where the gold is!
1.What was it like financially, growing up in your family? E.g. Did your parents complain about never having enough or was there an abundance of money? Did they fight over their finances, or did they never speak about it? Were you financially comfortable or did you go without?
2.What are 3 things you learned about money from your mother?
3.What are 3 things you learned about money from your father? If you didn’t have a mother/ father, what did you learn from the people who raised you?
4.What is your earliest memory about money? Think school banking, finding money in the sofa, a money box, a financial gift. Now think about the emotions you felt around this memory, were they positive or negative? What did you tell yourself about, or take away from this event or experience?
5.What emotions did your family associate with money? Were they similar for both of your parents, or were they conflicting? How do you think their behaviours have shaped your financial patterns today?
6.What do you believe about wealthy people? What evidence from your childhood do you have to support this belief?
7.Did your family or someone close to you, experience a significant financial event during your early years? A job loss, an illness causing a parent unable to work, loss of a home or business, a significant financial windfall, overwhelming debts. How did you and your family navigate this event? Describe the emotions coming up for you reflecting on this time in your life.
Reinventing your money story
So, how did it go? What did you learn about yourself and your money story?
I imagine you’ve never asked yourself these questions nor taken the time to deeply reflect on these memories.
It can be hard and if emotions like grief, anxiety, guilt, shame, sadness, or fear come up for you. I want you to know, these are all very common emotions when delving into your money story. I also want you to know, you didn’t choose your story, you inherited it from your family. None of it was your fault, but it is now your responsibility.
What financial behaviours and patterns are holding you back? What are they costing you?
With this newfound realisation and awareness, you can decide to write a new money story that sets you free from the limiting beliefs of the past.
Ready to rewrite your money story?
Hell yes! Grab that pen, get creative and get writing!
As adults, we often need to unlearn what we learned as children.
1.Can you clearly see how your childhood perceptions and beliefs about money have influenced your financial patterns and behaviours as an adult? What are the new patterns and behaviours you need to adopt instead? What do you need to learn, practice, or change to leave these behaviours?
2.What do you want your new money story to look like? How do you want to feel about money? What new thoughts about money do you need to adopt and what ones do you need to let go of?
3.Write down all the things in life you are financially grateful for. For example, it could be your ability to earn a good income, eat well, take holidays, pay your bills, or even the home you live in. Express gratitude rather than focusing on what you currently don’t have.
Money story activity:
Write in prose a new money story. This should include your thoughts, feelings, dreams and ambitions, and about money.
Include 3 goals that you would like to achieve with your new money story. E.g. To learn about, and invest in shares within 12 months, to save for a holiday once a year, to earn and save enough money to retire stress-free in 20 years.
Unfortunately, we can’t just dream ourselves into our desired financial position. It takes work, consistency, and commitment to meet a financial plan. Share your story with someone you trust and who will hold you accountable on your journey toward financial empowerment. You don’t have to go-it-alone
Financial behaviours and patterns are hard to break, as most likely, they’ve been with you for years. Awareness and education are keys to building good money habits and ultimately wealth. However, we get that understanding the world of managing money (and your emotions) can be daunting. So, what can you do? Simple. Get the support your need.
Remember, if you love your money, it will love you back.

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