Five Questions to Understand Your Money Story

Last week, I shared a money story about a young man who broke out from the common belief that high school kids should work at the fast-food restaurant for their first job, and made $100 per hour doing what he loved, instead of $100 per week from the fast food restaurant. That story has a significant impact on my personal money story.

What is money story?

Money story is how you think, feel, and handle money.

  1. What do you think about money?
    • Do you think money is the root of all evil?
    • Are you always thinking about a college fund for your kids even though you don’t have any kids?
    • Do you believe that you must have a lavish wedding since it is a once in a lifetime moment?
  2. How does money make you feel?
    • Does money make you feel safe?
    • Do you feel money will ruin your relationship with family or friends?
  3. How do you handle money?
    • Do you spend more than what you make?
    • Do you budget?
    • Do you buy on impulse?

Why is it important to understand your money story?

Surprisingly, most people learn about money when they were around 2 or 3 years old, and by age 7, you’ve formed a belief around money based on your observation and what your parent taught you, directly or indirectly. So, most likely you are not even aware of your money story.

However, it is crucial for you to reflect on your feeling, thinking, and habits on money before you can make all the necessary adjustment to improve your financial health.

For example, as a parent, I won’t serve my little girl a bowl of broccoli and expect her to eat them all when she already holds grudges against broccoli. So, I try to understand why she doesn’t want to eat her broccoli? What is she thinking, how does the broccoli make her feel? She might not like the feeling of having too much gas after eating broccoli, or the taste of broccoli. By, understanding her situation, I might be able to come with incentive or a different game plan to help her eat vegetables.

Similarly, by knowing your current belief about money, you can have a plan to overcome those limiting belief and grow your finance.

How do you find your money story?

Here are five questions to help you understand and reflect on your money story.

  1. What did your parent teach/tell you about money?
    • Did you parent talk to you about money when you’re a kid?
    • Did you get an allowance from your parents?
    • Did you parent teach you to save your money?
  2. How does money make you feel?
    • Do you feel like it’s time to throw a party when you get a bonus or tax return?
    • Do you use your money to help a charity or other people?
    • Do you need some saving to feel safe?
  3. Do you believe in spending money on yourself?
    • When was the last time you invest in yourself? (such as education or vacation)
    • How do you prefer to treat yourself? Hang out with friends after work? Spend some me time in a spa? Eat out at nice restaurants on weekends?
  4. Are you able to control money?
    • Do you have any credit card debt?
    • Do you buy everything with cash?
    • Do you have a budget?
  5. What has been the money theme in your life?
    • Has it been mostly negative or positive experience?

Try to write down your story somewhere because next week, we will talk about six strategies that I have learned from various people to change my perspective on money and improve my financial health.

Share your thought

What’s the theme of your money story?  Has it been mostly positive or negative?  If you need help to figure out your money story, feel free to connect with me at our group.

Please share this story with your friends or family that might be able to benefit from this.

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