How does your brain process topics relating to money?
Think about bills. Think about home ownership. We each have preconceived ideas about what these mean, how we might deal with them, and how we feel about them. You didn’t have to think too hard to start making those associations, did you? Our brains create schemas to quickly determine the most likely threats and benefits of situations we’re faced with. These schemas are based on habitual actions, experiences, and lessons learned over time. Our past informs our minds on how to deal with the present. The same goes for how we deal with money.
We deal with money based on our experience with money in the past.
This is what we like to call a Money Story. A Money Story is a personal account of the role money has played across your life, from when you were very young, to now. Thinking deeply about your Money Story will help you determine how you approach finances today. Do the bills cause a monthly panic attack? Does thinking about debt make your heart stop? Do you buy things you know you can’t afford? Maybe discussing money problems with coworkers or friends seems completely out of the question. All these responses stem from your highly individualized past experiences with money, however, the good news is, your money story is not set in stone.
At the Financial Psychology Center we can help you map out your personal Money Story. We will help you to realize how it effects your current interaction with money and how you can change that story to be the Money Story you want!
While your Money Story starts in childhood with the first time you had to think about money and what that meant, we often begin by exploring what money means to you today. How do you react to a large bill? A large paycheck? How does saving money make you feel? Once you identify your immediate current reaction to money, you can dig deeper.
Many people, as children, didn’t have to think about money unless there was a lack of it. For others, control of money was a constant topic in the household. Take a moment to reflect on your first experience with money. What happened? Was it positive or negative? Did you learn anything? Can you identify any common threads to how you think about money today?
Investigating your financial potential.
How would your life change if you had a different Money Story? How would this new and improved Money Story help you achieve happiness? Visualizing a new normal when it comes to money helps get rid of the shame, fear, or uncertainty buried beneath your money decisions.
And ultimately, how can you utilize your new and improved Money Story to make positive changes in your life? Prepare to shift your habits to craft your new Money Story, one that you’d be proud to pass down to your children.
Doing this analysis of your money beginnings shows you why your current relationship with money is the way it is, and gives you the power to take control, creating a better future for you and your family for generations to come.