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The Foundation

Status: In a Complicated Relationship

Like it or not, we are each in a relationship with money. Maybe it’s a relationship you have been neglecting, or maybe it’s a relationship you’ve been obsessing over. Regardless, for 42% of us, it’s a stressful relationship.

Instead of just letting this be a relationship that is there in our lives, taking up mental space, and stressing us the hell out, let’s aim to intentional with that relationship.

In the last post, I asked you to deep dive into your feelings about money and focus on your early financial foundation—what you learned about finances growing up. Knowledge is power. Knowing what early experiences have shaped your feelings about finances allows you to free yourself from negative associations and to begin to truly build a positive relationship with money.

Let’s think about that relationship further.

Brad Klontz, who is a financial psychologist, author and professor, published a study that identified four money beliefs that we learned during childhood that subconsciously drive our financial behaviors and habits as adults.

Essentially, they act as what he calls our “money scripts.

  1. Money Avoidance – You avoid money conversations and stick your head in the sand like an ostrich.
  2. Money Worship – You believe money is the answer to all your problems.
  3. Money Status – This is exactly how it sounds: you link money with your status.
  4. Money Vigilance – You keep everything money related as a secret and never talk about it.

What script best describes your current relationship with money?

You can take the assessment Klontz’s here.

Perhaps it’s a mixture of one or two of these scripts. Either way, knowing what script or scripts are shaping your current relationship with money can allow you to start to make deliberate changes. In turn, these changes will help you to create a more positive relationship with the f-word.

And, just because you may currently be an avoider, a worshiper, a status-seeker, or hyper vigilant does not mean that you need to stay that way. In fact, this is another knowledge is power situation: once you understand where you are currently, you can to intentionally flip the script.

Whether you like it or not, every financial decision says something about what you value in life.

And unfortunately, we too often find ourselves throwing money at things we don’t actually care about: underused cable bills, expensive appliances, designer clothes, depreciating cars, random subscriptions, overpriced food and so much more.

Often these things do nothing for us – other than fill up a short-term dopamine injection until we run low on money. And then, we get stressed and head back to work and grind until we have enough money to splurge again, only to repeat the cycle of working, spending, stressing, working, spending, stressing… It’s time to change this relationship!

Give yourself a goal.

Take a few minutes to come up with a new label, or script, to define your future relationship with money.

What would you want it to be?


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