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One of the most important things you can do to improve your financial situation is to understand your money story.

What is your money story about? It’s anything to do with your existing relationship with money — what you are saying about money, how you feel about it, what you believe about it, and how you use it. Even the habits of your parents, relatives and other role models around are important, in the quest for understanding what is going on for you!

The reason you need to identify all of this is because it underlines your current money situation. To be able to create a lasting change to your bottom line, you first need to understand what you are battling with.

What you have seen from other people growing up and the messages about money created your perceptions that have shaped your thoughts and beliefs.

Your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.

So, the key is to learn to observe what you are thinking and discern the inner critics – the critical voices we all have in our heads that we automatically believe.

When you notice that your self-talk is negative, is focused on lack and scarcity you need to have a conversation with yourself. You may laugh about it, but that’s exactly what the little voice was doing before you noticed it!

Start questioning those negative messages you find cropping up. Are they even your beliefs or were they something your mum was harping on about? Do you find that belief to be true for you? Or have you proven it wrong time and time again.

Mastering self-talk is only part of the challenge for overcoming your money story. What about all the things you are telling to others? Is it really the story you want to be known by? Is it really what you want to re-affirm to yourself constantly?

When you get conscious of the stories you are telling others and begin to observe them, it’s important to ask yourself, do you I really want to be telling that story?

Is it empowering or disempowering? This is why we question what we believe about money, ourselves or the situation and find our own truth. Inquiry can be challenging, but once you find what really is going on and start turning your negative money beliefs around, you’ll feel quite liberated.

In fact, this is the #1 path to freedom – this I know for sure. Inquiry is my power tool with clients and most importantly – myself!

If you want to understand why you act the way you act with money, you will have to discover your past experiences in detail, as these experiences have created your current emotions, feelings, thoughts and beliefs that you hold currently. These will drive your behaviour – consciously and unconsciously.

I want you to start with your family money legacy. This was probably passed down generation to generation and was never questioned.

  • What is the family legacy you grew up with regarding money?
  • What were the circumstances of your family life and your grandparent’s life?
  • What sort of sayings did they pass onto you?
  • Were there any defining moments relating to many in your family’s life?
  • Did your parents discuss money? Did they argue about it?
  • Was one parent in charge of the family purse?
  • Do you have any unhappy memories around money from your childhood until now?
  • How would you define the status of your family growing up? Were they considered rich, poor or middle class?

Begin to study the patterns, beliefs or behaviors you witnessed growing up that shaped your money legacy.

What you make these events mean is the money story you will live out in your life. 

Wealth is a state of mind. It’s all a perception.

We may have money in the bank or in the stock market, but we always have the Universal thought “I don’t have enough.” Now that we have electronic transactions and our government just keeps printing more money, do we really have the money we believe we have?

We tend to give money a lot of power and even give our personal power away to money. We define our success by how much money we make or don’t make.

In our society we have a “lack” mentality. We never have enough, whether it’s the latest fashion or hottest pair of boots or the next version of software or the newest iPhone, and there is plenty of advertising to help you believe that this is the ‘right way’ to be.

How to change your money story

Set an intention to focus on learning as much as possible about money. Take a class about money, find a coach who practices inquiry or even specialises in money mindset.

Get clear about the story you are telling yourself and others about money. Get conscious of your thoughts, beliefs and fears around money and what you have been carrying around since childhood. Decide to change the story if it’s not empowering you.

Know what you have and how much you need to meet your expenses. Set goals for saving and automate it so that even as little as $25 a month goes to savings. Before you know it, it will add up.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. If you are worried you won’t have enough money to live on as you age, start saving now.

What’s your money story? Share with us in the comments.

  • try to plan well and most importantly, try not to stress about. you are right about wealth just being a mindset and you have to keep your money goals in mind. great article

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  • I have just read Scott Pape’s Barefot Investor book. Wow. This is a great read, easy to follow, funny and most importantly, relevant to me., Would recommend it to anyone.

    Reply

  • As children we were taught that healthy food meant healthy people. My Mum always did the shopping fortnightly after Dad was paid. The food and all bills were paid, some money put aside for any unexpected health and other unavoidable expenses. School shoes were expensive but they were good quality and discount stores didn’t stock them at all. My parents always discussed purchases that weren’t a regular. e.g. was there enough money to buy cement, sand and gravel to put some more concrete paths in. They physically mixed and put them in themselves. As they had to pay cartage for gravel and sand, they used to save enough to buy both at the same time. They could buy bags of cement at the local hardware store. Mum made all our icecream, cakes, birthday and Christmas cakes for all the relatives etc. Dad decided Mum should have an electric cake mixer and wait longer for the next lot of materials for more concrete paths. We were taught to save before we bought things, not take loans and pay so much interest we almost bought the item twice. The only loan they ever had was the mortgage for the house.
    One of my Aunties spent a fortune in interest on purchases she made that she could have saved for.

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  • I think my money story is going in the right direction. I wish my food/diet story was going the same way. (lol)

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  • Sure it’s important to know what costs you have, what your income is and what money you spend and if possible safe some money monthly.
    However wealth is not in money, it’s good to build it on other things.

    Reply

  • The big message in this article is to take the time to learn about finance and I agree. Controlling and knowing about money is just so important and the key to living the life you want to live.

    Reply

  • Saving money is a positive and healthy act to get you ahead and be secure.


    • Yep – there are many ways to be secure and money is one of them.

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  • i strongly agree with the part in the story where is says wealth is a state of mind. i usually have about the same amount of money each week yet some weeks i feel like i have everything i need and others i wish i had more money to do things and buy this or that which is trending. but honestly, i have a loving family and that is all the wealth i need. we try to be mindful of expenses and always cover bills first and find free or low cost activities to do with the kids. i agree it is imoortnant to know what you have and how much you need to meet those expenses

    Reply

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