I recently did a podcast series all about money. Today I’d like to break it all down with the goal to provide clarity on your relationship with money and move you in a more positive, understanding direction when it comes to your finances.
We all have one. Your money story is about your beliefs, feelings, view and relationship surrounding money. The best place to begin when identifying your money story is to take a look at your upbringing. Typically, our parents relationship with money often shapes our initial views and beliefs. Think about it, what did you hear growing up – ‘money doesn’t grow on trees,’ ‘money isn’t everything,’ ‘ you must spend money to make money,’ the list goes on. Was there debt or was money never a problem? Think about how you were raised around this topic and which beliefs you have carried with you into adulthood. One part of my money story is a belief I inherited from my dad which resulted in less than ideal spending habits. Once I went off to college I quickly went into debt, now this was simply my own spending as my parents paid for my tuition. I spent money as if I were making money, with the mentality that I’d make up for it later. The result was about $120,000 of debt once I graduated – not so great. This belief was what I was brought up with and is quite different from the way I live my life now. I was able to check my attitude and money mindset, make some changes and evolve my money story. I now have check-in’s on a monthly basis regarding how I currently feel about my money situation, asking myself – what is my money story today? Now ask yourself, what parts of my money story would I like to change?
My view on money in the past versus the present could not be more different. In the past, I would make it and then promptly spend it. One turning point in my money story was when I transitioned from working a 9-5 into becoming an entrepreneur. I am now more about investing, looking for things that add value and simplifying. Which is a stark contrast to my previous views on money where I had an issue with constantly consuming, accumulating unnecessary items and overspending. I was able to change my view on money and shift my mindset into an attitude of allowing money to work for me. Part of this is also gaining clarity on how we view debt. We will all experience debt at some point in our lives whether it’s student loans, a mortgage or something as small as a cell phone. It’s important when diving into your money story, to acknowledge any fear or anxiety surrounding money – and this typically comes up when we think of debt. Reflect on your past and present views of money, what shifts would you like to make?
A vital part of being on top of your finances is keeping track. No matter if you work a 9-5 with one income stream or run your own business with multiple, it’s important to be aware! Once you start tracking the ins and outs of your income including expenses, debt, taxes and more, you will gain clarity surrounding your flow of money. This will also help you to stay accountable, hold yourself responsible and ensure you’re clear on your full financial picture. Do you currently keep track of your finances? What can you improve on?
The last step is to think about your goals and what you have in mind for your future. What is your current reality and what do you have to do to reach your goal. Or better yet – who do you have to become to reach that goal? You may require a shift in mindset, a change in habit or a re-wiring of your money beliefs. A perfect resource for uncovering this is Kate’s book, Money: A Love Story and her accompanying course, the Money Love Course. Creating more abundance is possible and those seemingly unreachable goals are achievable – it usually only requires a simple adjustment.
Once you’ve fully reflected on the questions above, you need to create a game plan for moving forward. This could be setting up the business you have right now to be completely sustainable or starting a side business you love. Ready to take real action? Check out the resources below and make the change now!
Mike Watts is an entrepreneur, speaker, husband, and father.
Before becoming an all around badass by radically reinventing his own life, he used to work for Phillip Morris. Today, he shows business owners how to expand their choices, do less and create the financial lives they want.