We’ve been doing a lot of talking about how to get financially stable, for we’ve neglected an important facet of this process: Emotions.
We have emotions about our financial situation, whether benevolent or not. These emotions often start when we’re children and we don’t even know it. We get the emotions from our parents, from their friends, our friend’s and their parents, from our grandparents. Really, we start having our emotional relationship with money as soon as we start comprehending what money is, even on a subconscious level.
Despite of that early start to our relationship with money, we grow up. We mature, and so does our relationship to money. Each experience we have with money develops how we feel about money. When we understand our feelings about money, we can control our relationship with our finances. When we can can control the outcome, we can make our destiny exactly what we want it to be.
Without much ado, let’s pull a page from Alexa Von Tobel’s book, Financially Fearless, and start looking at our relationship to money. In her exercises she starts with our childhood, so we’ll do the same. What is your first childhood memory of money? How did it make you feel? How does that affect your current relationship with money? Write it down and give it some serious thought. After all, this is where your money training started.
Our CEO, Grace, gives her first money memory:
My mother and I were in a grocery store, and I saw a candy display on one of the center tables. I told my mother in a very whiny voice that only a 4-year old could perfect that I needed a candy bar. She asked, “Do you need it or do you want it? It’s important to know the difference. And you don’t need candy. You need vegetables.”
Thought about it? Good. Now we’re going to compare that first memory with your (or your family’s) money motto. This is a sentence or two that summarizes your thoughts — or those of your family’s– on money.
My family’s money motto is also a reflection of how tough things were growing up. It is “Make every penny stretch 5 times over.”
Your turn. Share your first memory and money motto in the comments.