Often the way we understand and deal with money as an adult comes from our early experience – watching our family or friends handle their own finances. These are known as ‘money scripts.’ Depending on your background, your experience and your own set of financial values, these money scripts can either help you or hinder you.
Your existing values and beliefs about money that you grew up with can impact your financial habits today in ways you might not even be aware of. One of the first questions to ask is: What was your relationship with finances when you were growing up, and how does that affect where you are with money today?
Once you can understand your own money scripts, it’s easier to see how you can use your pre-existing beliefs to your advantage – and what might be keeping you from reaching all of your financial goals. So how can you ensure your own money scripts are working for you – not against you?
Here are a few things to look out for when thinking about your own finances and how to move toward your own financial goals.
These are a few tips we recommend to everyone:
1. Look at your money scripts objectively
Being honest with yourself about where your finance beliefs came from can be hard. These scripts could exist for any number of reasons or from any kind of experiences, and could either be incredibly useful or be blocking you from moving forward. But understanding them realistically will help you work out your plan of action.
2. Have the tough conversations
Your money scripts may be very different from your friends’, your partner’s or your parents’. They may be positive or negative, conservative or assertive, clear or uncertain. Creating open, honest conversations with your loved ones about your priorities, and how your money plays into them, is a critical step toward sustainable financial planning.
3. Invest in yourself first
Make sure you’re consistently allocating part of your financial plan toward something that makes you feel good. Having smaller goals to work towards can build your confidence as you grow, and your money scripts can adapt and evolve as you do! Whether it’s a weekend away, a reward purchase that you’ve had your eye on for a while, or even a massage – find ways to reward the work you put into changing your finances for the better.
Finances are deeply personal and often based in emotional factors. By understanding where these emotions come from and how they influence your behaviour, you can make more rational financial decisions that will set you up for long-term success.
This article is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such. Before making any commitment of a legal or financial nature you should seek advice from a qualified and registered Australian legal practitioner or financial or investment advisor.