Feeling unsure about your finances? You’re not alone! According to Northwestern Mutual, 70% of Americans say their financial planning needs work. Together we can change that! Let’s face those money fears head on and move towards a happier money future.
SpendMeNot complied a list of other money and savings statistics here. Remember you’re not alone. Leave the guilt behind and start making positive money choices.
Knowing what to do with your money is the easy part. Actually doing it is the hard part.Dave Ramsey
First, acknowledge your money past.
We all have a history with money, starting with our childhood. Each of our parents has their own money past that led them to teach us about money. Sometimes that means no money discussion in front of the kids, sometimes that means lots of discussion, including arguing. Even though you may know better now as an adult and parent of your own children, we have to remember that our parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. Use what you know now to do better now and leave the blame and shame in the past. Journal your money past, your first memories about money, discussions or lack there of. Write the fears, the peace, the wins. Put it down on paper.
Now that we know where some of our money fears have roots, let’s think about the more recent past, 10 years, 5 years, 2 years. As adults, how have you been handling your money? Journal your money fears as an adult, parent, caregiver. Remember to also write your wins and celebrations. It was a huge milestone when you paid off your college loans, when you bought a car with no loan, when you sent your child to college without fear of huge loans.
Next, reflect on those money decisions.
Now that you have written down your money past, let’s review those memories, fears, wins, discussions. Can you see a theme emerging? When you felt lost in money fear, was it tied to a past story? Remembering those money wins, do you remember the next money decision you made?
The goal for this section is to discover your own money decision tree. We all have a decision tree, sometimes it’s subconscious and our brain handles it in a second and sometimes it’s more front of mind and takes us a few minutes, hours, or days to go through. Once we have a picture of our own money decision tree, we can insert little reminders and prompts into it to help us make better money decisions.
Now is a great time for me to say, there is no right or wrong way to design your money decision tree. Each and every one of us has own our money fears and story that we must face and how we handle that is different. Make you give yourself grace as you navigate these money fears. Search yourself for what feels right to you, what is important to you.
Then, rewrite your money story.
So now we acknowledged your money past, owned it, and discovered your money decision tree. Here is where we want to say adios to those money fears, and rewrite your money story. Journal about how you want to feel when you receive money, spend money, give money. Look back over your decision money tree. Can you see where you can insert reminders to help you make better money decisions? Maybe you can implement a 24 hour shopping cart pause – leave something in your cart for 24 hours before confirming the purchase. Or print a photo of your dream vacation and look at it before you make a purchase. Any time those money fears creep back in, take a lot at how far you’ve come and say no thanks, I’m moving forward into my money future.
Finally, get into community.
Remember how I shared those statistics about the rest of Americans, you’re not alone! So don’t travel this road by yourself. Get into community, online, in person. Share your money fears, your money wins. Don’t be afraid to share your story. Together we can change the future, for ourselves, for our families, for each other.
I’d love to hear your money fears and money story. Share them with me here on my on Facebook page!