the way we deal with and think about our money. Money does not exist in a vacuum. Every time we earn money, spend it or borrow it, win it or lose it we operating from a set of beliefs and attitudes that we learned from our parents, through our upbringing and the society in which we were raised. Often this gets overlooked. We don’t think of these experiences as lessons or that they have had a huge influence on us but subconsciously, regardless of if they were good or bad, it all forms us and moulds us. Ignorance here is definitely not bliss...
It’s not enough just to know the technical strategies of how to set up a great spreadsheet or budget, although this knowledge is a great tool, but for most people they just don’t work for long. The need to address the psychological level, the emotional roots of your behaviour, is just as important. If not you will just spin your wheels and sabotage your efforts. Money hang-ups get passed down through the generations.
Below are 11 points to consider why you may not be achieving all you want financially. Read through them and identify where they relate to you.
1. Write down a financial autobiography of your life. This will help you to discover the messages that inform your current belief systems and attitudes towards your own current financial behaviour so then you can start slowly designing the life you want financially if you can uncover the lies.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Relate them to when you were under the age of 12.
- Write down the very first thing you can remember in your life that had to do with money. How old were you & what the occasion was?
- Think about your overall childhood impression of money. What did you know about it, think about it?
- Do you have any early memories of your mother and father’s attitudes to and experiences with money? Did they earn their money, hoard it, spend it, ignore it? Did you see them counting it? Did they complain about it, worry, boast about it? Did you see them spending it, were they generous or frugal?
- Write down the little sayings your family always said about money, because they actually aren't that little. For example “money doesn’t grow on trees”; “Money talks”; “What do you think. I’m made of money?”; “Don’t be greedy, you don’t really want that”; “Money is the root of all evil”
- How did you feel about your birthdays or holidays? Were they complicated times of stress, didn't get what you wanted or that you got so much that you felt overwhelmed by all the gifts?
2. You are not yet ready for a change. Because for any real change to happen you need to be really frustrated with your current financial situation or you will keep making those great New Year’s resolutions, but never follow through. Plus it takes work to succeed are you really ready to do the work? For example, giving up smoking. It takes Action, Focus & Discipline and Hard Work to change old habits.
3. You don’t have a good grasp on Needs v Wants. You need to understand that our financial choices have consequences, be it our addictions, impulse buying or short term gratification. All come with an invisible price-tag for NIL long-term financial gains.
4. You have one of these dysfunctional behaviours. Doing without, making do, or overspending. Usually due to one of these realities:
- People who are chronic under-earners are doing without.
- People who earn plenty but find it impossible to spend a cent on themselves to nourish their spirit may be making do to the point of deprivation.
- People who are over-spenders are over doing.
5. You do not know or are not aware of your set of internal values when it comes to money. Stop and evaluate the way you think. Does this way of thinking serve you well? Identify your core negative beliefs and change them. Adopt a positive perspective that what you think, you attract. This is also why it is common that many couples fight over money. They both come together from different backgrounds and experiences which naturally causes tension. Understanding who you are is vital.
6. You are not focusing on your financial priorities, therefore, you cannot shape your goals or impact your future. Ask yourself
- What comes first for our family?
- What is important to me about money?
- What do I believe in?
- What do I value the most?
If you have a spouse or partner make sure you have conversations so you are heading in the same direction.
7. You are experiencing loss of psychological ties to Real money as we don’t always deal with cash anymore so we don’t see it.
8. You do not have good systems in place for keeping track of your money. There is now an abundance of ways we have to spend our money - online bill payments and purchases, credit cards, direct debits coming out, automatic payments coming out.
9. You are unable to compare your expenses to income in real time.
10. You have a lack of training and education.
11. You are experiencing an explosion advertising. Powerful and clever marketing strategies tap into our emotions to encourage us to spend making us believe we need the product. This marketing is everywhere...the internet, social media advertising, TV, radio, retail outlets, billboards, and often now on public transport. Feeling you never have enough.