We all have a money story – that often subconscious view we have of money and our relationship with it. It determines the decisions we take on a daily basis, and ultimately the kind of life we live.
Like a lot of subconscious views we have of ourselves, our money story is often shaped by the narratives surrounding us in our community. Think of some of the most common sayings about money, e.g. “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “money breeds greed”, “money doesn’t buy happiness” or even constantly being told as a child that the family cannot afford a particular item.
All of these messages contribute to your having a specific view of money. It’s usually a deeply emotional view and not always based on fact.
Take my own money story, which is heavily influenced by the idea that money is power. Part of my “money is power” narrative is the idea that if you have money, you have more power to stand up for yourself. You are able to leave a job you hate because you are not desperate for the pay check it brings, or leave a wrecked relationship because you can support yourself elsewhere, or say no to a bad deal because you’re able to educate yourself or consult with an expert.
While it is true that you are more likely to do these things when you have money, the reality is that having money merely acts as a shot of confidence. Money doesn’t give you the strength to stand up for yourself. Money is just money – a cold, transactional method of exchange. You are powerful because you believe you deserve to live a better life. And you don’t need money for that.
This is of course a simplified analysis, but the point is that there is often a deeper psychology at play behind the ideas you have about money. It is vital that you get to the root of your money story as it has a huge impact on your decisions. Your relationship with money affects everything from the kind of family home you want to create to your financial goals and your strategies for achieving those goals.
If your money story has such a significant effect on your own life, it naturally follows that it also has an impact on your relationships. Few people like talking about money, even with their partners. However, money is an integral part of a relationship. On the most basic level, before you even have discussions about debt and expenses and investments, you will need to decide whether you want to manage your money together or separately. You are both likely to have strong views about this, and these views will depend on your individual money stories. It’s therefore vital to not only understand your own money story, but also your partner’s so you can identify potential areas of conflict.
Exploring your money story and taking ownership of it may seem scary, but it will arm you with a deeper understanding of why you make the decisions you do. This knowledge will, in turn, enable you to make better decisions on your journey to financial freedom.
If you would like to explore your money story and change the narrative, get in touch for a cup of coffee.