My parents had opposite views about money.
My dad invested most of his earnings back into his business, so he could grow it even faster. Occasionally, he’d splurge on a new TV set or an expensive dinner for his big circle of friends.
My mum always looked for discounts, bought the cheapest of everything, and stretched every lira so she could provide the family with everything we needed and still save something every month for rainy days. Oh, and she’d always get mad at dad whenever he splurged on something she didn’t deem necessary.
As a young child, I learned that money is hard to make. You have to work hard for every cent you make, and you’re not allowed to spend any of it on yourself. I’d keep my expenses low, invest a little in my business, and save the rest for rainy days. If ever I fancied buying a beautiful dress, my mum’s disapproving comments were enough to stop me and keep me shopping at H&M.
The money story I had inherited from my parents were keeping me stuck in scarcity mode and away from the abundant life that my heart deeply desired and knew was meant for me…
What’s A Money Story?
A money story is your relationship with money. It’s made up of the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings you have build up about it since childhood – and it now influences every decision you take, the way you manage (or don’t manage) your finances, the amount of money you make, and the success of your business.
Here are a few common money stories:
- I need to save every penny for rainy days.
- I need to work hard to make money.
- You should always live within your means and never invest in anything if you can’t pay for it in cash.
- Getting in debt is wrong.
- It’s wrong to spend money on myself when others don’t have enough.
- If I make more than the men in my life, I’ll emasculate them and they’ll leave me.
- I’m bad with money.
- Making money means that I’m taking it from someone who needs it.
- Rich people are evil.
- You shouldn’t make a lot of money by helping people.
- Life is too expensive, I’ll never have enough.
- You should be grateful for what you have and not want to more.
- … And anything else you believe about money.
Does any of these money stories resonate with you?
If you resonate with more than one, that’s normal. We’ve all adopted hundreds of beliefs since we were little. Your money story is likely a combination of them.
How Is Your Money Story Formed?
Your money story is formed through your experiences with money from the day you were born up until this moment.
It comes from watching your mum stretch every dollar to make ends meet and save every extra penny for a rainy day.
It comes from missing your dad because he was working 16 hours a day to build his business and barely had any time left for his family.
It comes from all those cheesy Christmas movies portraying rich people as greedy and evil and poor people as good and worthy.
It comes from your aunt casually saying, “there’s no point in even entering that shop, we can’t afford anything in there.”
It comes from your teachers talking bad about the richer kids at school or anyone who had more than them.
It comes from your grandpa making your grandma feel guilty for every cent she spent on something “frivolous”.
Most of these beliefs were formed before the age of 7! Before that age, you haven’t developed critically-thinking abilities yet. Instead, your mind is like a sponge that absorbs everything you see and hear as the absolute truth!
The more you hear a particular belief or sentence, the more likely it’ll stick to your subconscious and become your truth.
How To Identify Your Money Story
Now you know you have one, how do you identify your money story?
TAKE ACTION NOW: Here are a few journalling questions to ask yourself:
- What did my mum say about money?
- What were her money habits?
- What did my dad say about money?
- What were his money habits?
- Where do you spend your money, and is that how you’d like to spend it?
- What would you like to spend your money on, but don’t allow yourself to and why?
- What has been your money pattern in the last few years?
- What 3 words would you use to describe your relationship with money?
Identifying your money is liberating. Once I realised the beliefs that “making money is hard, ”“you need to save every extra cent for a rainy day,” and “splurging on yourself is wrong” were just what my parents believed – NOT the absolute truth -, I was free to change those stories and decide for myself what I wanted my money story to be.
TAKE ACTION NOW
- Based on everything written above, what’s your money story?
- Is your money story helping you to reach your lifestyle goals or is it keeping you stuck and broke?
How To Change Your Money Story
Is your money story keeping you broke and stuck in a life that doesn’t excite you? Good news: you have the power to change it. Here’s how:
Challenge Your Beliefs
Most of the beliefs you carry with you were implanted in your subconscious before the age of 7. Your brain heard them so many times, it internalised them as truth, BUT they’re not the truth.
If they’re not the truth, you don’t have to believe them. You can call BS on them. That’s exactly what you’ll do in this next exercise:
TAKE ACTION NOW
- Make a list of all the money beliefs you’ve uncovered from answering the journalling questions above.
- Strike every belief and write BS next to it.
- Now, play devil’s advocate. For every belief, write down all the reasons why it’s not true.
- Write a new, positive belief, that supports you in reaching your lifestyle goal. For example, “It’s wrong to spend money on myself” becomes “I’m worthy of investing in myself.”
- Write that affirmation down somewhere you’ll see it often. I’ve hanged affirmations on walls, had them as the background for my laptop, and even set them as reminders on my phone. The more you see and hear the new affirmation, the sooner your brain will adopt it as truth.
Focus On Abundance, NOT Scarcity
Did you know that thoughts become things? Another way to say this is that you get what you focus on.
If you’re in scarcity mode around money, are ashamed of how bad you are with money, and are thinking you don’t have enough to pay all your bills, guess what? All that fear and anxiety will paralyse you and keep you from taking the actions you need to take to solve your financial woes. And bam, you’ve just manifested the very thing you were worried about – more money worries!
The opposite is also true. When you focus on how abundant you already are (if you‘re reading this, you have at least a laptop and an internet connection), feel grateful for the little things in your life, and have the confidence that you’ll find a solution to your money worries, guess what? You’re now in a positive mood and can focus on ways to bring more money in. Money worries solved.
TAKE ACTION NOW
- Are you in a scarcity or abundant mindset when it comes to money?
- Make a list of at least 20 things you’re grateful for right now.
- Before you go to bed, write down 3 good things that happened to you that day.
- Make a list of 50 ways you can bring more money into your life. Can you sell something? Teach a skill? Start a side hustle? Create a new product? Take out a loan? Increase the limit on your credit card? Don’t censor yourself. Just jot everything down.
Embody Your New Money Story
I’m a big believer in mindset work and the power of rewriting your own story. But affirmations alone aren’t enough to make your new money story stick. The fastest way to change your money story is to put the mindset work into aligned action and start living out your new beliefs.
TAKE ACTION NOW
- Based on everything written above, what new money story do you want to create for yourself?
- What are the thoughts, actions, and behaviours of the person who has that money story? What does she do differently?
- Pick one thing from that list you can start implementing today – and DO IT!
What Happens When You Change Your Money Story?
When you change your money story, your fears and anxiety around money melt away and you feel safe, grateful and abundant, knowing you’ll always have enough.
This abundance mindset is going to manifest in every area of your life: your work, your relationship, your health, and your bank balance.
I went from being a workaholic who stayed on her laptop 15 hours a day to working from 8am-3pm – and making more money than ever before!
My lifestyle has changed too. I used to walk past luxury hotels, thinking I didn’t belong there. Now, my friends and I regularly go for an afternoon tea at any of the many 5-star hotels in London – and walk in like we own the place!
TAKE ACTION NOW
- What will be possible for you if you changed your money story too?
- Who else would benefit if you changed your money story?
Wrapping It Up
Your current money story is creating your current reality. If you want more money and abundance in your life, you must first change the way you think and feel about money. This work is ongoing, but so worth it. Once you rewrite your money story, you’ll be able to reach your goals quickly.
- Doubling your income while halving your work hours
- Taking your family on a luxury holiday once a year
- Finally buying your dream home – in cash
- Retiring your partner
- Sending your children to an amazing private school
- Donating to your fave charity
- And anything else you desire
This is what’s possible for you when you change your money story. What are you waiting for? Take that first step today.
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