Quick Guide: How to Write Your Money Story

Writing your money story is one of the best ways to explore your views about money. Once you understand what they are, you can determine if they are working for you or if you need to make some changes – to craft a new money story, so you can make different choices going forward.

To get started, answer the question, “What’s important about money to you?” Then write your answer on a piece of paper. Some typical answers generally include security, taking care of family, power, and freedom. Next, consider how that value shows up or could appear in your life.

For instance, if you said security, you might value having a large sum of money in the bank so you never have to worry about money and you can sleep better at night. Or, maybe it’s a form of backup – giving you the confidence to leave a job or a relationship that is not working for you without suffering a financial setback.

If you said freedom, dig a little deeper. Freedom to do what? Freedom in a broader sense such as freedom from other’s influence or specific types of freedom such as the freedom to travel, to live and work where you want, etc.

In other words, once you identify a key value of what’s important about money to you, try to determine the specifics, and then look for the root cause. If your relationship with money is not what you want, understanding the root cause makes it easier to change it. Sometimes the root cause can be traced back to childhood experiences and sometimes they can be traced to a more recent defining moment.

For example, if you said security, was money tight when you were growing up? Did your parents struggle to pay bills, or put food on the table? Did other kids have things you wanted but your parents said no to you because they couldn’t afford them? Or, did something that happened during the pandemic cause you to rethink the way you value money today?

Next Steps

Consider what values relating to money are showing up in your life today and if they are working for you. Just because you currently have a series of money behaviors, it doesn’t mean you have to keep them going forward. Your relationship with money can evolve due to new life experiences, or you can be proactive and rewrite your money story by changing your values or how they show up.

If you decide to make changes, start by setting specific goals to use your money in ways that support your values. For example, if you value security, create a solid financial plan in place for yourself that provides you with the steps to build a secure financial future, including elements like an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Aligning your life and goals with a core value is one of the best ways to get or stay on track to live your best life. ps!