Growing up and money
In order to get smarter with your money, it helps to understand your behaviour patterns. The key usually lies in the way we grow up with money...Susan Jackson, founder of ms money shares her thoughts...
Was money a negative or positive influence in your family?
This is a pretty general question that can clarify a lot about our money personality. If money was a positive influence in the family, you may today have a more constructive attitude towards it. Growing up you may have learnt that money is not a bad thing: that it can be a positive influence in your achieving what you want out of life. Today your approach to your financial opportunities is likely to be fuelled by optimism. On the other hand, if money was a negative, you may find yourself shying away from dealing with money issues, taking an overly conservative approach to decisions or simply viewing your opportunities from a more pessimistic platform.
Was money a source of conflict or stress?
If dealing with money issues or challenges didn’t cause excessive stress in your early experiences, you’re less likely to become anxious about bills and bank accounts today. What this really means is that you’re probably less likely to act like an ostrich and ignore financial concerns and more likely to be aware of your finances on a regular basis.
Was money something that was freely discussed or was it taboo?
We’re like sponges when we’re young so if money was brought up, hashed out and discussed openly in your house, you probably picked up quite a bit of knowledge just by being there. What’s more, today you may be more comfortable talking about money. This can have all sorts of advantages, such as being confident to ask for a pay-rise, question an incorrect bill, establish a good money relationship with your partner.. On the other hand, if money was on the taboo list, you might struggle today to feel comfortable discussing your needs and getting the detail required to make the best decision for you.
Was money the solution to any problem?
An interesting one: If money played a large role in solving issues, it could be that today you’re more focussed on having it in the first place, but maybe you’re not so good at how you use it. When we just throw some dollars at a problem, we can end up spending a lot of cash unnecessarily. Even when grabbing a meal with friends - if you’re used to pulling out the wallet to avoid the bill splitting at the end of the night, you’ve probably paid for many meals over.
Was money used as a means of power?
Again, if money held a very influential place in your household in terms of freedom and power, today you may be more inclined to focus on having it in order to achieve a sense of security. It could be that your view of success and security is determined mostly by the amount of money you have in the bank and it could also play a larger role in the way you manage your relationships – personal and professional.
Was money viewed as something to be feared or enjoyed?
If money was a tool for enjoyment growing up, you may be one of the spenders of today, enjoying a lifestyle focussed more on leisure than on planning for the future: the live-for-today-woman. On the other hand, if money was something to be feared, perhaps you are more conservative with your spending choices, big and small. Like most things in life, it’s all about balance – we have to enjoy today, but at the same time, safeguard ourselves for the future.
Was money seen as a valuable commodity or viewed as unimportant?
Like anything we value, if money was an esteemed commodity in your household, you probably more likely to be more considered in how you use it. When we value something highly, we naturally take more time to think about what it means for our life and what we want to do with it. If money was relatively unimportant, you may spend less time pondering your financial position and direction because it’s simply not something you turn your attention to on a regular basis.
ms money is coming to New Zealand very soon, but in the meantime, browse the great money accessories, tips and advice that really gets life - click here to visit ms money. (www.msmoney.com.au).
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