Why do you value money the way you do? Why do you view it like you do? What does money mean to you? Have you ever thought about that? Whether or not you have thought about it, each of us sees money differently. But they way we view, value, and define money is usually broken down into five categories: 1. Spenders (Status Seekers) 2. Savers (Security) 3. Shoppers (Emotional) 4. Debtors (Careless) 5. Investors (Balanced).
Part of the reason we end up in these categories is because of the messages we received about money when we were growing up. Some of us heard, “The love of money is the root of all evil”, while others heard, “Save for a rainy day.” Other messages are, “It takes money to make money”, “Money comes, money goes”, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, “We don’t talk about money in this house”, etc. The messages impacted the way we thought, felt, and believed about money. You can imagine how hearing, “Save for a rainy day” all the time might lead one to begin saving money at an early age and only think about how much they can save. These messages are powerful and something to consider when you are trying to improve your behaviors regarding money.
Years ago I was working with a client to help her to manage her money and to reach her financial goals. We went through the process of gathering information, setting up a budget, and putting a plan in place. We met regularly for 3 – 4 months for the sake of accountability and consistency. She was making progress. Then, all of the sudden she stopped missing our scheduled meetings. After missing meetings for about 3 months, she showed up again and said she wanted to resume being coached. Since she had not been consistently doing the things I in her plan, we had to start all over again.
I reviewed her current situation and asked how things were going. She said they were good and, by the way, she had received a debit card in the mail “out of nowhere” with a $2,000 balance on it. She said she contacted the company to confirm that they did not make a mistake, and she said everything was fine. Great! I asked what she did with the money. I asked because she had approximately $1,200 in collections, about $500 in other debt, and wanted to begin saving money. She said that she spent all of it. “On what?” I asked. She replied by telling me, “I don’t know. I just spent it. I was afraid they were going to take it back, so I hurried up and spent it.”
I reminded her of our plan to pay off the collections, reduce debt, and begin saving. She shook her head knowingly. She had enough money to do all of those things but because she was afraid, she sabotaged her plan. I am convinced that one of the messages she heard when she was growing up was, “Money comes, money goes.” We can have goals and make plans, but if we do not examine and change the money messages that do not serve us our behavior will not change. Click here to read more about changing your thinking. When you replace the old messages with new messages, you can change your life. Some examples of new messages are, “Money comes to me”, “There is no lack of resources”, “I am a money magnet”, “I have a good relationship with money”, etc. These messages are as powerful as the ones you may have heard when you were growing up. You will have to practice them, and you can expect change in your life. All the best!
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