Money History – Amik 4
Welcome back! I’ve been wondering about you and your relationship with money. Were there any a-ha or “oh no!” moments? Just notice what you notice and today we’re going to look at why we keep repeating the same old destructive money behaviours and what we can do about them.
Have you wondered why you keep spending money on your credit card? Or getting a payday loan right after you paid off the last one? Or why you keep lending that person money when they never repay you?
The answer lies in looking at our history with money. Think about how you were raised with money. How did your parents handle money? How was it handled in your family? Your community? Your culture?
We tend to repeat beliefs, behaviours and habits because they’re unconscious. But when we start to peel back the layers, like an onion, we start to understand where this comes from.
In my family, we didn’t talk about money. You could certainly feel the tension when one of my parents overspent on the credit card or when they were worried about how to pay their taxes from a business they had, but it wasn’t discussed. So I grew up feeling tense and anxious about money and knowing that you didn’t talk about it. I became an adult that was embarrassed that I didn’t know what I was doing because there was no one to talk to.
So think about your own family. Think back to some common messages you may have heard. Some examples include but definitely aren’t limited to: money is evil, it’s important to be generous, we’re one pay cheque away from a welfare line, you should buy it because you only live once, it’s a good deal so you should get it, and so on and so on.
Now ask yourself if those messages are true now that you’re an adult? Do they still make sense to you? While being an adult is hard, what I love about it is I can choose my thoughts and feelings, and I can choose new beliefs.
So your homework (ugh! Seriously Stacy, what’s with the homework?) is to find someone you trust and is willing to talk about money with you and interview each other about your money history. Some questions you can ask include: who managed the money at home? What did your family do when you had extra money? What about when your family couldn’t afford something? Did your family talk about money? What were some messages you remember about money when you were growing up?
If this is hard or you don’t want to talk about it with anyone, you can write about it, like a journal or diary. Or go for a walk or drive and talk to yourself (trust me, I do it all the time and I even answer myself. Because sometimes you need expert advice – hahah!).