I am the first to admit that I have held unhealthy beliefs about money. I have felt guilty that I have money and others do not. I also have given too much power to money. It was not until I started to look closely at my relationship to money, that I made shifts in my beliefs and behavior in order to better serve myself, my relationships, my present and my future.
One of the new ways I am viewing money, which is serving me much better, is that money is a tool; it is something available as a resource. I work to avoid giving money too much power and yet I plan and am aware of my current outflow and inflow of money. One of the coaches at Coach U taught me an activity to use with my clients. I was so excited after participating in the activity that I began sharing it with clients that struggle with unhelpful money habits.
Take a piece of paper. Draw a line down the center and on one side of the paper, write Mother and the other side writes Father. Now take some time and think about what beliefs your parents have/had about money. What were their spending habits? Was one a saver while the other a spender? If you have a partner invite them to complete the activity too. What “Gold”-en nuggets did you sift out?
Now, after you have explored ways you were influenced actively or passively by your upbringing about money, when you are ready, … turn the page over. What is on the other side of the sheet of paper? NOTHING! YOU get to decide HOW you want to think about money and how you want to treat your money. Do want to keep any money habits your parents have/had? Maybe one or two. Should one parent or another be more of a money mentor? My mother did a nice job of setting herself up well in retirement, and she paid her bills on time. I will take that positive behavior and keep it.
Whatever thought, beliefs or habits you want to change, develop or start over, maybe you are like me, and could be successful by teaming up with a coach or financial planner.