“To begin the process of eliminating any negative money beliefs, let’s go back through the five areas that influenced you in the first place: cultural, economic, gender, geographic, and spiritual. Take out a piece of paper and begin thinking back. What was happening in your household around money during childhood? How did your parents react to financial stressors? What did they do with their money? How did they spend it? How did they talk to you about money? Were you granted your requests for money or was there “never enough” for your needs? Were they “responsible” or “irresponsible” with their money?
And when you started earning an allowance or generating a small income from odd jobs, babysitting, or a paper route, what did you do with your money? Were your parents in agreement with your money decisions—or did they disagree with your actions?
Jot down your remembrances about money growing up—grouping your memories into the preceding five categories. Your list might look like this:”
- The majority of the households in my neighborhood were on government assistance.
- The parents were always at work, which meant the children were always engaged in activities outside their parents control.
- The majority of my neighborhood were African Americans with the exception of a few Mexican families.
- The two nearby complexes became saturated with gang violence.
- My father and mother both had jobs, yet the money was relatively scarce from 1995-1997.
- The most notorious story of my life is when both my brother and I had to wear “water shoes” to school because we didn’t have enough money to buy regular shoes.
- I would be the first one in line in 1999 (last year living with my father), at school in the morning to eat breakfast and the first one at lunch – this being because food was a rare commodity in my household.
- In the beginning stages of 2000, my mom would get clothes that were 5 sizes bigger than us from the homeless shelter she worked at so we wouldn’t be too cold during the winter.
The only blueprint was that my sisters needed their own room because they were girls. What Lisa Nichols wrote in her book “Abundance Now” was this…
My grandmother lived with us once Grandpa Joe passed on. She and my mom ran the household.• I was very good at creating relationships with other girls, my teachers, and my neighbors.• When I was a teenager, lots of employers offered jobs that were ideal for girls.• My brothers teased me for getting A’s in math and science. Girls aren’t smart, they said.• No woman in my family ever went to college. Some never graduated from high school but got married instead.”
- I lived in a neighborhood where I heard gunshots at least once a week coming from “over the hill,” also named the “Westside.”
- The bloods and crypts were around, but my siblings never got into that mess because we were more of the studious types throughout grade school.
- My friends, in the 6th grade, would repeatedly cuss, skip class, and get bad grades.
- My school had only Mexicans (50% were gangsters) and African Americans (60% gangsters)…..the women were already having sex at the ages of 11-13.
Middle school wasn’t difficult, though. I’ll have to emphasize that because I had someone who left an imprint in my life my 8th grade year (story in my podcast).
- My family wasn’t very spiritual, but my mother did force us to go to church from time-to-time. I used to pray to god every night up until about 2006-2007.
Other blueprints can be….
Our church actively helped the poor in our neighborhood with food and clothing.
• My minister urged parishioners to tithe a portion of their paychecks every week.
• Once, when a neighbor was too ill to work, our church members paid his rent for three months.
• Once, when I mentioned I wanted to own a hair salon one day, my Sunday school teacher said girls should become mothers, not business owners.”
Next, circle or highlight on your list the one or two circumstances that have been the biggest driving force in your current relationship to money. Which have largely influenced your current actions and thinking around money?
In my household, for instance, small amounts received from our grandparents for birthdays or Christmas were spent as quickly as possible. As soon as we got the money, it was shopping time—and we didn’t stop until the money was all gone. I bought chili cheese dogs at the local car wash, bubble gum, candy, costume jewelry, sandals—anything fun.
I’d even treat my friends to fast food, buying them all lunch. Broke was level set. We were like lottery winners who not only spend all the money, but who are heavily in debt within a few years of receiving their winnings. I followed that pattern.
Later, I had to work hard to overcome this powerful driver. – Lisa Nichols