What's You Money Story?
In my "Rewire Your Wealth" workshops, I often start by asking participants, "what does money mean for you?" The typical response I get is, "money means flexibility and freedom to do what I want" or "money is security."
When I ask the same audience what money meant to the family when they were growing up, I get a different response. More like, "We never talked about money in my home" or "my dad said people with money were crooks."
And if you were to ask people how money shows up in their lives, a common refrain would be, "it's never enough." We inherit many of our ideas about money from our families, our culture, and the media. They are often subconscious beliefs. On the one hand, we may desire to attract more money, yet on the other hand, we may subconsciously hold the belief that money is evil, and people with money are dishonest. You may not be aware of your beliefs around money, but they could be 'blocking' you from receiving more money.
Most Beliefs About Money Fall Under One Of Five Dominant Scripts:
Money Is Bad
Finding its source from the bible, the love of money is seen as the root of all evil, oppressing the poor and corrupting the masses. If you believe this, then you may see wealthy people as entitled and corrupt. You may also think that the problems in this world are motivated by money.
Money Brings Happiness
Underlying this is the belief that all your existing problems stem from not having enough money. And that having more money will solve your problems. This belief comes up through statements such as, "If only we had more money, we would be able to do ..."
Money Increases My Self-Worth
Inherent in this subconscious belief is that having money and all its 'trappings' increases your worth in the eyes of others. You believe that rich people are in some way better than people without money - that your friends and family will have a better opinion of you if you had more of the things money can buy, such as nice clothes, a luxury car, a beautiful home. The amount of money spent by companies on advertising is evidence of this pervasive belief. This belief can cause a person to get into debt to adorn the trappings of socially prescribed ideas of wealth.
There Is Never Enough:
This mindset that there is "never enough" is rooted in a sense of lack. It also reflects a feeling of discontent - someone who believes there is never enough money. It has little to do with a person's actual net worth. I have met people with millions of dollars still feeling a lack and a fear that they may lose it all.
They count their pennies and are afraid of spending. People raised in the Great Depression often have this fear of being destitute. People who feel that they never have enough money are constantly in fear of going broke regardless of how much money they have.
Money Requires Great Sacrifice
This is a common belief - that making money requires hard work. And often times, at great sacrifice to yourself and your family. That there is "no such thing as a free lunch." This idea is pervasive and even applauded. The wealthy who brag about putting a hundred hours at work each week.
How Can You Change Your Beliefs About Money?
The programming you received as a child from your family and your community is deeply entrenched. But you're not doomed to those scripts for the rest of your life. You can change your beliefs about money at any time.
Listen To Your Internal Dialogue About Money
Becoming consciously more aware of how you feel about money is the best way to start your journey to re-scripting your beliefs about money. Listen to how you respond in conversations with your friends about the subject of money. And how you talk about wealthy people. Do you view them negatively?
Question Your Beliefs
Once you become aware of your internal dialogue about money or how you speak to your friends about money, start questioning your beliefs. If you view wealthy people negatively, ask yourself why. And ask yourself if it is true. If you believe that rich people are unkind or dishonest, question this belief.
Become Aware of How Your Body Feels
Recall your last five financial transactions. They don't have to be large ones. They could be as small as that cup of Starbucks coffee you had this morning, the pair of new shoes you bought, or your groceries for the week. Or it could have been a large purchase like a new home or a brand new car. Maybe it was a donation you made to a charity you believed in. How did you feel about these transactions? Maybe you did not give it a second thought. And if you did experience an emotional trigger, was it guilt, temporary pleasure, or a deep sense of relief?
Think of purchases you made that resulted in buyers' remorse. What was behind your second thoughts? Fear? Did you feel a knot in your stomach? The sensations in your body are the best indicators of your truth. Listen to them, they will reveal your subconscious beliefs. When you hear others talk about money do you feel a tightness somewhere in your body?
Start to Re-Script
Wealthy people tend to have more positive internal scripts about money. Decide the place you would like money to have in your life. Question your ideas and feelings about money. Are they true? What new beliefs can you adopt about money?
Think of wealthy people you admire. What is it about them that you admire? It's probably more than their wealth that is admirable. Their business acumen? Their compassion? Their ingenuity? People like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos come to mind. Money is a tool.
You get to decide how you want to use that tool. As Henry Ford said, "money doesn't change men; it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, the money brings that out, that's all."
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For more than twenty-five years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this nine-step program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Vicki Robin’s guidance.
This fully revised and updated edition with a foreword by "the Frugal Guru" (New Yorker) Mr. Money Mustache is the ultimate makeover of this bestselling classic, ensuring that its time-tested wisdom applies to people of all ages and covers modern topics like investing in index funds, managing revenue streams like side hustles and freelancing, tracking your finances online, and having difficult conversations about money.
Managing your money can be frustrating and confusing. Life is expensive. Whether you make $30,000 or $130,000 a year, it can feel like you’re constantly broke.
Can you afford that new car, that vacation, that night out? You think so, but it feels impossible to know. And rigid budgets that force you to spend your money in unrealistic ways (like $9.50 per week for pants) don’t make things any clearer.
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For more than twenty-five years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this nine-step program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Vicki Robin’s guidance. This fully revised and updated edition with a foreword by "the Frugal Guru" (New Yorker) Mr. Money Mustache is the ultimate makeover of this bestselling classic, ensuring that its time-tested wisdom applies to people of all ages and covers modern topics like investing in index funds, managing revenue streams like side hustles and freelancing, tracking your finances online, and having difficult conversations about money.
Jennifer Thompson has published books on money: Women and Money: 7 Principles Every Woman Needs to Know to Be Financially Prepared in Any Economy and Growing Up With Money: Raising Financially Resilient Kids in an Age of Uncertainty