Have you ever written your money story? I bet you’re sitting there thinking WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT? In February, I shared with you that knowing your money story can be powerful, because awareness is empowering. Maybe you followed my prompts in this post or maybe you’ve written a money story with me in a workshop or on your own.
But have you ever shared your money story (or stories) with someone who could benefit from knowing it? Someone like a child or grandchild or a younger colleague you want to mentor, a friend who’s struggling with the topic or even your spouse who has a different money story?
Maybe sharing your story in person feels hard or awkward, or you’re not sure that they could listen.
I have another way. Write them a money letter!
I’m not the first person to suggest this is a good idea. Ron Lieber, New York Times financial columnist, says every parent should write a money letter to their children.
The best of these letters include both stories of struggles, mistakes, successes and triumphs. They also show (i.e., they use stories to illustrate) crucial habits and tangible ideas that have helped the writer.
And these letters provide clear communication about values/goals/skills about money that you want to share with your kids, grandkids, to be spouse, spouse …
- Think about WHO you want to write to and WHY
- What do you want them to know? Can you show them in stories from your life, their life or the lives of others?
- Why are these ideas important? Why are these stories important? What did you learn that you want to transmit?
- Remember to always think “how do I want my reader to feel when they read my letter?” I always try to avoid telling people what to do in these letters, prescriptive language is a turn off, especially for young adults.
- Showing through stories and reflecting on why the stories are important is the magic element in making the letter valuable and readable.
I hope you give writing a letter like this a try. I’d love to hear how it goes.
If you’re not sure how to write a legacy letter, especially when it comes to money, I invite you to grab a copy of Deepening Connections with Legacy Letters where I show you how to craft one from the heart. Legacy letters last a lifetime and help you express just how much you care for the people in your life.