Our money scripts, or our beliefs start to form when we are children. We learn from our parents, and from what we see going on around us.
What are your earliest memories of money?
My earliest memories of money revolve around the word ‘No’. No I couldn’t have the umbrella with the pink frill; the must have winter fashion accessory for a 4 year old. No, I couldn’t have a Barbie Doll, they were too expensive, so I got the imitation one instead.
My parents were (and still are) very careful with their money, they were quite frugal in day to day expenditure. That meant that there was money set aside for our holidays and should any emergency crop up.
What money scripts did I take onboard from these memories?
- Be careful with your money, it doesn’t grow on trees.
- You don’t need an extravagant lifestyle, and lots of ‘stuff’, the basics are fine.
- Save money for a rainy day, just in case you need it.
These money scripts worked really well for me whilst I was living at home. I diligently saved the bulk of my wages from my after school job, which enabled me to buy my first car.
Then the inevitable happened, I started working full time, left home and made new friends.
I remember spending most of my first pay packet on the most beautiful sheepskin rug. OK I am a New Zealander and we are surrounded by sheep!! My parents were horrified. I was so proud of myself and my new possession.
The next week it was something else, and then I was on the slippery slope of buying stuff; I discovered credit cards, and for many years after that the money beliefs my parents had instilled in me disappeared out the window
You see, I rewrote my money scripts as my environment and relationships changed. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I went from being careful with money to being very careless with money.
Life got to a point where I knew I had to change. I really started challenging my beliefs and the stories I was telling myself. It was then that I realised there was much more to my parent’s careful attitude to money.
They were careful with their money so they could manage on Dad’s income which meant Mum didn’t have to work. They didn’t waste money on ‘stuff’, they saved it so I could have a great education and we could have time together as a family.
I have come full circle. Yes, I still love nice things. But rather than buy on impulse, the decision is thought through more carefully in terms of the big picture and the financial and life goals that are in place.
So I encourage you to have some quiet time, think about your earliest memories of money in your childhood.
- What money belief did you take from that situation?
- How has it impacted on your life?
- Most importantly; is that belief working for you now?
If you would like to know more about your own money scripts, give us a call for an obligation free chat.