We typically think of money and finances as black and white, facts and figures… math. But the truth is there is no topic more “full of emotion” than money.
Interacting with money is inevitable… even sitting on the couch has economic consequences. But HOW we interact with money is the result of our very personal “money story”.
We all have our own unique relationship with money, shaped by our past experiences, beliefs, and habits. These deeply ingrained beliefs, known as "money scripts," can have a significant impact on our financial well-being. It is important to identify what money scripts might be limiting us so that we can take practical steps to change them for the better.
Understanding Money Scripts:
Money scripts are the stories we tell ourselves about money, often based on our upbringing, cultural background, and past financial experiences.
Stop for a minute and think back to your very earliest memory of money. No, really… do it. Do you recall not having enough money for something you really wanted? Working hard to earn money? Having your lunch money stolen?
Our money experiences can be positive or negative, but they all shape our behaviors and decisions related to money and ultimately create “money scripts” that impact us to this day. For example, if we grew up hearing phrases like "money is the root of all evil" (which isn’t actually what the Bible says exactly) or "rich people are greedy," we might develop negative money scripts that hinder our financial growth.
Common Limiting Money Scripts:
- Fear and Scarcity Mindset: Do you always worry about running out? Negative money scripts can create a fear-based mindset, leading to a constant worry that there’s not enough. I have seen this scarcity mindset afflicting the poor AND the very wealthy. This mindset has little or nothing to do with how much you have and everything to do with the fear of losing it. A scarcity mindset can prevent us from taking risks, exploring opportunities, or investing in our future. The irony is that with a fear based mindset, we’re so worried about running out in the future that we tend to think SHORT-TERM. This makes it difficult to invest in long-term goals.
- Self-Worth and Money: Some money scripts tie our self-worth to our financial situation. If we believe that our value as a person is determined solely (more mostly) by our bank account balance, we may find it challenging to prioritize our well-being and happiness over financial success. People who tie their self-worth to their net worth often seek validation based on what society traditionally calls “success”. Accomplishments like promotions, high-paying jobs, or impressive investments become their identity.
- Overspending and Debt: Money scripts can also lead to unconscious spending patterns and accumulating debt. If we have a script that says "I deserve to treat myself," we might consistently overspend or use credit cards recklessly, ultimately leading to financial stress.
Rewriting Your Money Scripts:
- Identify Your Money Scripts: Start by reflecting on your beliefs and attitudes towards money. What stories have you been telling yourself? Are they serving you positively or holding you back? Write down these money scripts to gain clarity.
- Challenge Negative Scripts: Once you've identified negative money scripts, challenge their validity. Ask yourself if they are based on facts or simply inherited beliefs. Seek evidence to debunk these scripts and replace them with more empowering thoughts.
- Cultivate a Positive Money Mindset: Shift your focus towards abundance and growth. Affirmations, visualizations, and gratitude exercises can help rewire your brain and cultivate a positive money mindset. Remind yourself that wealth and financial success are not inherently negative, but rather a tool to create opportunities and make a positive impact.
- Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power when it comes to managing money. Seek financial education through books, podcasts, or online resources. This will empower you to make informed decisions and challenge any lingering negative scripts.
- Seek Support: Changing your money scripts can be challenging, so don't hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or even a financial therapist or coach. Surround yourself with a community that encourages positive financial habits and growth.
Your money scripts have the power to shape your financial future. By recognizing and challenging limiting beliefs, you can rewrite your money scripts and create a healthier relationship with money.
If you need help identifying your Money Scripts, our office has a great quiz that we’d be happy to send you… no strings attached. Remember, it's never too late to change old narratives and embrace new, empowering beliefs. Start today and watch as your financial outlook transforms for the better!
Richelle Hofer is a financial advisor with nearly two decades of experience helping people find true “financial freedom”. For many years Richelle worked long hours and made many sacrifices to build her net-worth, believing this was the key to financial freedom. The harder she worked for “freedom” the more trapped she became. Eventually she realized that true financial freedom has very little to do with the size of your bank account and more to do with how you use money to live into your values…
You can connect with Richelle personally at richellehofer.com or professionally at letsimpactwealth.com.
Disclaimer: The words and comments herein are the opinions of the author and not specifically of Business Woman Sioux Falls as an organization.