Your first understanding about money and what it can, or cannot do, you’ve learned from your family system. That system includes parents, step-parents, siblings, step-siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and the list goes on. Everyone within the system has an impact. Your group can be large or small, depending on your family structure. There can be a variety of relationship dynamics within that system, too - married, divorced, re-married, separated - that can influence the way its individual members impact the system as a whole. The family’s influence on you (and your money beliefs) depends on the nature of your relationships with each member. These relationships can be direct or indirect. Regardless, your family system, however complex or not, forms your earliest understanding of money. Examining your family system can bring you clarity, on your money decisions as well as those of your partners.
How Do My Family Members Influence Me (and my Money Beliefs)?
Within the family system, you are connected biologically and psychologically to the different members of your family. Your biological connections are your blood relatives and your psychological connections would be with step-relatives or those brought in through marriage (not to say there isn’t some psychological relationship with your bloodline).
It is not even necessary to see these people regularly or consistently to feel their impact on your life. Your memories of them and the stories you’ve heard can affect your understanding of money. Whether they are successful and reap the rewards, or struggle to make ends meet, you hold onto these stories. These stories create emotional reactions, ones that you carry with you.
Your emotions are an unavoidable part of being human. While I know that they can seem negative sometimes, the reality is we all have the same set of emotions. The difference lies in how we show them. If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating field of studying emotions, or you need something to help you fall asleep, try Googling the Affect Regulation Theory. It is a real page-turner, or not! It will give you more insight into emotions though.
Your Financial Planner is the go-to person for coming up with the plan for your financial future. They have the solutions to what to do with your money and how to set you up for the future. What they don’t do, is dig deep into the feelings you have around money. They aren’t able to determine how your money dilemmas may be caused by the money stories’ you’ve internalized through your family system. For that, you need financial therapy with a certified financial therapist who can help you make the connections between your family system and your money beliefs.
How Does These Money Beliefs Effect My Relationships?
These emotions, stories, and beliefs you have regarding money impact your relationships in ways so subtle, you may not even realize it. They are ingrained in your subconscious mind, and your decisions, such as your spending habits, can be swayed by these perceptions. Your views on your significant other’s spending habits or other money behaviors are also influenced by your own emotions and beliefs that you hold.
If you become frustrated with your partner’s spending habits, it could have more to do with your family money stories than their actions. It may go against your money beliefs and yet, be fully aligned with their own. Learning to become familiar with and able to understand your partner’s emotions around money is important so you can find common ground and create a plan that works for you both.
Building Your Shared Money Stories With Your Partner
In examining your family connections, money stories and individual emotions around money you can not only develop a deeper understanding of yourself, but you can build shared money beliefs and stories with your partner that may better align with the new family system you’ve created (versus the one that you each came from). Building those shared stories takes effort and time but will make your relationship stronger and bring your individual goals together to a shared plan.
To learn more about how your family and your money stories impact your relationships. See my recent article on LinkedIn by clicking here.
Join our email list to receive the latest blogs and subscriber-only updates from our team.