Money is interconnected with most aspects of our lives. It is about a lot more than just the numbers.
Money affects our:
- Relationships, most importantly our relationship with ourself
I could continue the list but I think that is a solid start. Let’s dive into how money can affect our relationship with ourself.
Questions To Ponder
Our own relationship with money is the basis of how we often bring money into our other relationships. What do you think and feel about money?
- Does it stress you out?
- Does it bring you joy?
- Does it motivate you?
- Does it trigger you?
- Do you feel you have enough?
- Do you feel confident in money matters?
- Do you feel shame?
- Do you have trust issues around money?
- Do you feel free or trapped?
We Create Stories Around Money
Money itself is a neutral but we often put a positive or negative charge around money based on our beliefs and experiences. We create a story around money and sometimes the story does not serve us.
The good news is you can change your money story because it is just that- a story, and you are the author. Even though some money stories come with a heavy load of emotional baggage and can weigh you down- you can still change your money story.
A personal story
When I was growing up my family did not have money and lived in a small, dilapidated duplex. Here are a few things I remember in detail:
- There was no central heat (even though we lived in Connecticut); our gas stove (for cooking) was also our heat source, along with plug-in electric heaters and electric blankets when we slept.
- In the winter, a blanket hung at the bottom of the stairs to keep the minimal heat in the kitchen and living room.
- The old washing machine in the kitchen shook so much that sometimes my mom and I sat on it to make it stop jumping.
- We had no clothes dryer, and when we hung our clothes outside in the winter, they often froze.
- There was a bathtub but no shower.
I realized from a young age we did not have much money, and most of my friends had nicer houses and more everyday comforts than we did.
Yet on the flip side:
- Our house was situated on the edge of a pond, and woods surrounded our neighborhood.
- We had a summer vegetable garden, fruit trees, and in May, blooming lilac bushes.
- There was a grapevine with delicious grapes across the street.
- My good friend Michelle lived on the same street.
- I babysat for the two adorable boys whose family lived next door.
I could have written a story in my head that I would never have a “nice” house or that I would always be poor because that was what I knew.
- The strong desire to have a home of my own became a driving force in my life.
- I ate so many raw vegetables and fruits as a kid and still do today.
- Nature was my sanctuary then and now (I took the cover photo in my present day pollinator garden).
- I learned young that I could work multiple jobs to earn and save money and to this day I know how to work profitable side hustles.
I took my money situation as a child and used it to motivate me instead of dishearten me. I used the beautiful natural surroundings to comfort me and find joy. Now, there were many moments of difficulty and fear crept in but deep within I knew I could come through my youth and write my own story.
I have a healthy relationship with money and I am able to take this into my relationships with my family, partner, friends, business associates, and others I meet along life’s way.
Is Your Money Story Serving You?
So, I ask you to take a few moments and ask yourself is your money story serving you? What is it that you tell yourself about money? Is it true? Where did your money story originate? Do you want it to be different? If so, what can you do to make it different?
I believe we need to talk about money and not repress our feelings about it. Money is not taboo. Money is interconnected and affects most aspects of our lives including our relationships. As a Financial Educator, a Money Coach, and a Woman Who Rewrote Her Money Story, I wish you happy editing!
Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra