What Is Your Money Story?

Money…..my oh my!  It is such a big topic and a good one for me, I must say.

I have had so many conversations around money this past week.  Some with my readers, some with my friends, some with family.

What I have learned is that each of us has a completely different relationship with money.  Each of us values money differently, and each of us chooses to spend our money differently.

But what I loved the most is within each of these conversations I learned their money story and it taught me something about myself, something about my own money story.

My client Rhonda used to have a difficult relationship with money and has since turned it into a great relationship.  She owns a home, she has maximized her employer retirement savings, she has a college fund for each of her 5 grandchildren, and she has enough money to do what she wants.  Could she have more, of course, but she is pleasant and happy with what she has.  

Before this conversation I felt it was too late to truly change my relationship with money but I learned that it is never too late, it just takes focus and commitment.

My friend Kris had little money when she was young and she has since provided herself with a beautiful home, which is something she’s always wanted.  She takes impeccable care of her home and garden and makes it a space she totally loves. She has money for others things as well but spends most of it on her home because it is the most important thing to her.  And she is so happy doing that.

Before this conversation I didn’t completely accept that you must make sacrifices in order to have what you truly desire. My husband and I want the same thing, we want to purchase a home we can design and care for. But we haven’t been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make that happen. That must change.

My mom was a survivor when it came to money. My dad was totally irresponsible with money. She couldn’t fully depend on him so she had to go out and make a living to support us. My dad was a nice guy, he worked, and he was smart but he was terrible with money. She bought multiple homes, supported us through college, and retired comfortably even though she had little stability when we were growing up.

Before this conversation I didn’t realize where my money stories originated.  Now I know. I would ultimately love to help my husband support our family as an entrepreneur.  I have always wanted to own my own successful business but my stories are limiting me. The “I will do what it takes” story isn’t helping me. It is time to change my story.

Can you believe that having a conversation around a topic will actually teach you something about it?!?  I say that jokingly but I don’t think we realize how much conversations will help.  It may seem like you have to solve your own problems, it may seem scary to ask questions, it may seem vulnerable to open up about your struggles, and it is. But those tools, asking questions and telling your story will open you up in ways you never imagined possible, they will help you develop a better relationship with yourself.

Eckhart Tolle once said, if you want to learn about something ask questions and then keep asking questions. That is exactly what I got out of this week when it came to money. I asked, I was open, and I received.

These are my takeaways this week:

1.  Learn your own money story, what is it?  How did you relate to money as a young child, as a teenager, as a young adult, a mother, a wife.  How do you relate to money now. Write down your story at each stage of your life.

2. Ask questions.  Ask questions, be open, and receive.  Look for people in your life that are living the way you want to live, doing the things you want to do.  Ask them how they got there.

3.  Learn about your partner’s money story.  Ask your partner.  Your understanding of their story is pertinent to building a life together.

4.  Learn about your mom’s and/or dad’s money story.  Ask your parents.  Your understanding of their money story is pertinent to understanding yours.

Comment below, let me know which action item resonates with you the most and why?