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What do you Think About Money ?

Wherever you are on your money journey, it’s important to know where we’ve come from and what’s shaped you –practically and emotionally around money. This awareness could be the difference between having a modest financial position to creating significant wealth, or for some individuals, constantly struggling with their finances and worrying about not being financially secure, to creating a sound financial future.

“What are the common emotions I experience around money?
What did you Iearn about money growing up? Am I holding on to my past money mistakes? What is my money psychology?”

Wherever you are on your money journey, it’s important to know where we’ve come from and what’s shaped you –practically and emotionally around money. This awareness could be the difference between having a modest financial position to creating significant wealth, or for some individuals, constantly struggling with their finances and worrying about not being financially secure,to creating a sound financial future.

The downtime afforded by the COVID crisis might be a good time to ask yourself these and other questions surrounding your relationship with money, your emotions & consciousness.  If you’re not where you want to be financially, it’s most likely to be caused by your beliefs around money.

 

Most people are unaware of the unconscious beliefs they hold about money. These beliefs are formed in the early years of our life, however unless they are uncovered and examined, stay with us our entire life, guiding our financial decision-making.

When you believe something, your brain operates on automatic pilot, filtering any input from the environment and searching for references to validate your beliefs, regardless of what it is.  We distort, delete and generalise – based on our beliefs.

With this knowledge, we effectively have two choices– keep bumbling through, or for some of us who have healthy money beliefs, doing quite nicely;or face it head on and learn everything you can about yourself and your challenges and strengths around money.  If you’re in a relationship, it may be that one of you has sound and healthy beliefs and the other has challenging beliefs. Understanding the dynamics at play for both of you can be extremely beneficial to both your relationship and your financial results.

A simple exercise you could start with is to close your eyes, relax,clear your mind and take a deep breath in, then out, then answer these questions:

 

Money is ….

Rich people are …..

If I were financially successful, my family would ……

 

Twenty individuals could answer these three questions with twenty different responses, although typically I tend to see a few common themes.  You see, Money has no meaning other than the meaning we give it.  This meaning is created and hard-wired into us based on defining moments in our life between the ages of four and 12.

Take for example a client who in her 40’s has always and believed she doesn’t trust her self with money so it’s better someone else (currently her husband) manage her money.  Her money story evolved when she was 7 years old, her brother and parents went shopping.  For the first time, her mother gave her $50 to look after until they got to the department store.  She felt so responsible and grown up, putting the money in her tracksuit pocket.  When they completed the shopping and went to the counter to pay for the items, she reached into her pocket to discover the money wasn’t there. Somehow it had fallen out and been lost.  The shame and embarrassment she felt during this incident was deep.  This was the moment she told herself, she can’t be trusted with money and that anyone but her should be responsible for money.  Her parents reinforced this by telling her that in the future, her brother would hold the money and not her anymore.

 

Whilst a very simple event, it had significant and long-lasting consequences for this woman. She strongly believed – she was not worthy of having money, she could not be trusted to look after money, other people are better at holding on to money than her. These beliefs she created at 7 years old have been holding her back,financially, for over three decades.

 

With this awareness, and working with a Money Coach to shift her beliefs, explore her inner-world and learn both emotional and practical strategies she has developed financial confidence and competence allowing her to now have a healthy relationship with money. This has resulted in her ability to earn, save and grow more money than she ever thought possible.

 

We all had defining moments in our childhood which create a frame or lens through which we see and experience our life.  What we need to be financially successful has always been there, we just need to reconnect with ourselves to discover it.

 

The next step is to bridge the gap between where and who you are today and where and who you want to be in the future. Consider what attributes you need to have to be where you want to be in 1 0 years’ time.  Plan out what actions and steps you need to take with your money to have the financial results you are wanting.  These things may include tracking your spending to ensure you are meeting savings goals, restructuring debt and maximising repayments, learning or increasing your financial literacy to enable you to confidently invest in growth assets, work with professionals to create and implement a financial plan.

 

The entire spectrum of emotions that we experience in life, are no different when dealing with our money and finances.  Taking the time to discover the cause of these emotions could be the most valuable and financially rewarding, exercise you ever undertake.

Warmest,

Karen Eley is a financial coach with more than 20 years’ experience as a financial adviser. Through her business, Women Talking Finance, she helps women to be confident and knowledgeable about all things finance. Karen translates complex financial concepts into simple digestible ideas.

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