Updated: Jan 9, 2018
Have you ever heard the saying, "Don't forget where you come from"? People usually tell us that when we appear to be doing better than they remember. At any rate, it's very important to think about this when assessing how your past experiences are affecting your current financial decisions.
Unfortunately, many of us choose not to remember traumatic experiences or anything that reminds us that times have been tough. The tougher the times, the more we want to forget. We use all kinds of things to forget. The most common trick to forgetting a painful past, is to create a life as distant from the old one as possible. This is not only emotionally unhealthy, it's financially unhealthy.
I've found that you can use those past experiences as a tool to help you understand why you feel the way you feel about money. Once you begin to understand and embrace "where you come from" you'll be on your way to getting financially healthy.
So how do you start to analyze the possibility that your past experiences and traumas could be affecting your current financial decisions? I tell everyone I work with the same thing. You cannot begin to figure our what needs to change until you know where your money is actually going. Start with a spending log. A spending log is a simple way of tracking your daily spending. In a small, portable notebook/pad, write down every single time money leaves your possession, no matter how small. (Ex: A bottle of water- $1.00) Keep the log for at least 30 days. Review your spending habits, see how much you're spending on food, entertainment, clothing, beauty, etc.
Here's where it get's interesting. Once you have an idea of how you're spending your money, now you can start to get an idea of WHY you spend your money the way that you do. Consider this as an example:
Past Trauma: Experienced food scarcity, well balanced, nutritious meals were less accessible, memories of long periods of time without food in the home
Related Budget Buster: Spending money unecessarily on food, feel an irrational need to have an overabundance of food in the home, eat out excessively, splurge on lavish foods that you can't afford.
There are other examples of how past trauma and current spending habits can affect your budget and your ability to save effectively. I will be sharing more of these examples on my YouTUBE Channel today! Stay tuned...
If you need help working on a solid budget or savings plan, contact me, I would be happy to meet with you one-on-one to get you started. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My hope is that you will continue to join us in our discussions and that something you read may help you embrace your past so that you can have a better future.