I’ve been writing a lot about values over the last several months. When I use the word values, I mean the ideas that YOU believe are important. Knowing what’s important to you is like having a compass for your life, something that I have found enormously helpful in my life.
Over the holidays I spent time with my three 20 something kids and we talked about how their values around money matched (or didn’t) their spending. YES, we spent time over the holidays talking about MONEY. Like other taboo subjects (sex, death, religion), these often get swept under the rug. Or you do the one and done talk and move on.
One of my goals for my kids is that they be financially literate and have a healthy relationship – one without shame but with lots of tools – with Money. That means we have to talk about it. And I see my job as a parent to help them acquire the tools they need to have a healthy, guilt and blame free relationship to money.
What’s your money story? Think about what you value, what decisions and mistakes you’ve made around money, and what lessons you learned through words or action growing up and in your adult life.
Take your time. This can be tender territory. There is no such thing as perfect here and there can be a lot of shame and blame. Take a deep breath if this is a hard topic for you and just go tiny step by tiny step. Awareness is empowering, so I encourage you to use the prompts below to explore.
Who taught you about money? Did you learn about money at home (either directly or through observation), at school, later in life?
What values about money did you learn in your family of origin? Did you have an allowance? Were you required to work for your spending money? What values do you have now?
Were there values surrounding money, such as what it was for, or around philanthropy? Did money have any relationship to affection and love in your family?
What was the first time you earned any money? How did it influence your later ideas? In your life, how important has it been to make money?
What is money for? Why is money important to you? If you answer something like Flexibility or Safety or Freedom, keep diving deeper. Ask what does freedom/flexibility mean to me? Keep asking questions.
P.S. Did this exercise make you more excited about the idea of creating a more meaningful life, especially around money? Download my free guide, 3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love to start designing your best life —a life with more energy, engagement, and clarity.