We all have different beliefs about money. We also have different narratives, or stories, that we tell ourselves about money and our relationship to it, which impact decisions and actions we take. According to Klontz, Klontz, and Kahler in their book Wired for Wealth (2008), we each have something called money scripts, which are our beliefs about money, that are learned from various places such as family, childhood experiences, media, etc. Some examples of money scripts include “I don’t deserve money”, “Money will give my life meaning”, and “It’s not nice to talk about money” (Klontz et al. 2018).
Many of our beliefs and narratives about money are unconscious, and you probably don’t even realize you may be acting based off of these. For example, an individual’s family may not have had money as they were growing up, and as a result, they may have an unconscious drive to be comfortable financially and see their role as providing the money for their family that they didn’t have growing up. Another common narrative is an individual not believing they deserve money, and as a result, making choices about career, etc. that will unconsciously keep them from reaching their financial potential.
If you are interested in exploring your own narrative and scripts regarding money, below are some questions that can be helpful in getting you started:
-What does money represent to you (such as security, safety, prestige, etc.)?
-How have family messages and/or gender messages impacted your beliefs about money and your relationship to it?
-How do your beliefs about money affect your relationships (with family, partner/spouse, etc.)?
-How do your beliefs about money influence your roles in these relationships?
If this exploration is something you would like to delve deeper into, a therapist can help you explore the messages you have received in your life that may be playing into your thoughts and behaviors regarding money. While therapists are not qualified to give you advice about your own financial dealings, they can help you better understand how your life experiences have impacted your relationship to money and the story you tell yourself about it.
Klontz, B., Klontz, T., & Kahler, R. (2008). Wired for wealth: Change the money mindsets that keep you trapped and unleash your wealth potential. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.