What’s Your Money Story!
Now that we’re a few months into 2018, you might be asking yourself, why haven’t I changed my money habits? I mean, I’m smart. I have an education. I know I’m not an idiot. Why haven’t I upped my savings? Or even started saving? Why did I just blow my refund on a tattoo? And why can’t I afford to spend a week at the beach and get away from this – it’s Spring? It’s Winter? It’s Spring? It’s Winter? Pure Michigan weather? The answer lies in your misbeliefs around money. In my world, we call these money scripts or money stories.
What’s Your Money Story?
Your money story is something you tell yourself that isn’t necessarily true. I can’t afford to is a great example. Or more specifically you might say, I don’t have 10% to save now. So on down the line you go, never saving for retirement, or a home, or that vacation. But have you ever asked yourself how you could afford that car payment after yours broke down and the nice salesman talked you into a new one? The answer is, you made it happen.
When the proverbial stuff hits the fan, you just made due. You fix the brakes, or repair the furnace, or pay for the braces. But up until then, you just didn’t have $4,000. Then you pay $4,000 for braces.
So how do you change your money story?
Identify Your Story!
What do you tell yourself when you think about saving for something? You might think that money is evil or money is for greedy people, or if I have money I won’t be able to complain to my peeps about not having money. Whatever it is, figure out your story and write it down.
Sometimes when you look at something in writing, you see how ridiculous it is. For example, if your story is money is evil then you might ask yourself, why give it to your church or parents or kids when they’re struggling. Surely they’ll be even worse off with money because of its evil nature. Money’s not evil. It’s what one does with money that generates feelings of good or evil.
Change Your Story!
Re-write your script. Look at what you’ve been telling yourself all along and change it. If you tell yourself, I can’t afford to do that, just do it. Put the 10% in a Roth or IRA or vacation fund and feel how good it feels knowing that this time next year, you’ll be at the beach while your broke friends are complaining about not having any money.
Will you have struggles? Maybe. Will you question whether making the change is the right thing to do? Probably. Will you have to work at the big box store in retirement if you don’t change your habits and stories around money? Yes. The choice is yours.
We all have money stories. Somewhere inside our heads, there’s someone criticizing you about something. Money is no different. Just become aware of yours and change it.