Mirroring mindset on money and meaning

Our relationship with money fascinates me. I have come to understand that your relationship with money reflects the relationship you have with yourself. Money issues mirror your mindset, your ethos about life.

We don’t only use money for financial purposes – we express ourselves through money; we use money to communicate. Money can make statements and carry messages. Money says, represents and does anything you want it to: it mirrors your desires, your fears, your measure of success, and your idea of happiness. We chase money, some spurn money – whatever you use money to say about you, it mirrors your unspoken self.

Even when we think about money, we are thinking about ourselves. Our beliefs and opinions about money mirror our self-worth, our perceived capability and what we think we deserve. This internal monologue becomes a habit of mind – and becomes your life journey.

Some people seem to repel money from their lives and no matter how hard they work, they just never seem to get anywhere. Others attract money. I have met people with hefty bank balances who still feel ‘poor”. Some people enjoy the power and status that money brings and share their wealth abundantly, while others hoard, continuously afraid that the money will run out.

So where do these money journeys come from? What is your mindset around money and your life?

Allow me to take you through the steps of my journal as I unfold my personal journey with money.

Thinking

Thinking about thinking

 Our thoughts are powerful because they result in action and they form the basis of our money journey. Which colours are within your kaleidoscope?

I grew up in a middle class family with my stay-at-home mom, and my dad and brother, Bruce. In our house, my father was in charge of all the money and gave my mom a housekeeping allowance. It is clear to me now that my father had dysfunctional money habits. We were not allowed to watch television during the day (a waste of electricity), the tumble drier was locked in the garage (too expensive to run) and the telephone was always locked.

Yet, my dad loved anything on special! On Makro outings, he would buy five shammy’s, four irons and way too many lever arch files – not because we needed them, but because they were on “special”. It would all come home into storage and my dad was the only one with a key. The garage held a large deep freeze and the second family car – once again, my dad kept it locked and only accessed it when he thought it necessary.

I have two very distinct money memories from my childhood:

I recall the searing pain of my burning feet. My mother had just frantically scooped me out of the piping-hot bath water into which I’d inadvertently stepped and was running down our street to the closest hospital. Why not simply phone for medical assistance? Or jump into the family car and race to the hospital? She had no access. It was all about money.

Don’t misunderstand me: we had money – more than enough of it. But my father controlled it and my mother had to ask for every cent she spent on the household, the children and herself.

In my second money memory I am 8 years old and it’s Christmas. I remember the anxiety and sadness as my mom pleaded with my father to give her extra money so she could buy Christmas presents. It’s clear that my dad bullied my mother by restricting the amount of money she could access.

Thinking about my experience of this very dysfunctional relationship my parents had with money, I realise how it has shaped my own attitude towards money.

Reflecting

Going inside for insight

Unlock a world of observation; reflect on the parts of your life and decide which parts hinder or enhance your kaleidoscope.

My childhood memories illustrate two things: firstly, how one person can relinquish their financial freedom to another and, secondly, how all of us are shaped by our first money memory.

Being aware of how your first money memory shapes your actions, decisions and behavior in life helps a great deal in shaping and changing your mindset about money. Our money memories are mostly rooted in our formative years, and lie quietly and subconsciously in our thoughts until we unlock them as memories and become completely conscious of them.

My experience while growing up has driven me to almost obsessively pursue my financial independence. Asking for money is an absolute no for me.

My money psychology has shaped so many decisions I have made in my life, financially and otherwise. I have realised that my father used money to control, as a tool of power, either to give, or to deny.

Today I see money as a tool that gives me freedom of choice – freedom to pursue and explore ways in which I can use my experiences to live a life of purpose and meaning.

Dreaming

Dare to dream!

Twist and turn your kaleidoscope until you see a perfectly synchronised geometric shape – a wonderful and harmonious picture of your life.

I dream of being financially free! To recognise money “power-play”, to have freedom of choice and the courage to follow my life dreams.

I dream of living abundantly and using my money to relish the joy of life!

I dream of living a meaningful life; one that adds value to the world and the people around me.

I dream of sharing my money journey to help people transform – to understand how money can be used as a tool to enable a meaningful life.

Changing

Doing and thinking differently

Stand back, hold your life up to the light and look inside; consciously decide which thoughts and behaviors to shift.

The thoughts and behaviors I chose to shift took a healthy dose of emotional healing and self-empowerment:

Values – I see money as an enabler to living my life. I understand that I need to give money the attention it needs and have a specific plan to save, invest and spend my money.

Belief – I believe with my whole heart that I will have an abundance of money. I will not live a script of scarcity.

Trust – I have faith in myself; I will always be able to stand on my own feet financially.

Conversations – I encourage money conversations in my family. We discuss the value of money and share what money means to us individually. We talk about investing our money wisely to better enable our lives.

Mindset – For me, money means choice. I believe that money allows me to have the freedom to choose where I want to live, who I want to be in a relationship with and what I do with my time.

Planning

Preparing for practice

Close your eyes for a moment, see you dreams reflecting in the kaleidoscope, and believe that change is possible to create a sustained beautiful image.

With the knowledge that I wanted to help other people and gain insight into dysfunctional relationships, I studied Psychology. Now, I had to tackle the concept of money.

After having read all the financial magazines I could get my hands on, attended numerous retirement talks and conferences, I realised that all I ever learnt was how to invest money and how much money I needed for retirement. It was a doom and gloom approach and offered next to nothing about living a meaningful life before and during the retirement years.

I knew intuitively that money was an important part of life and that financial planners had an integral part to play in managing, understanding and learning about their clients’ relationship with money.

I knew what I wanted to do – to be a part of transforming financial planning and to help people realise the importance of having a LIFE PLAN first. I qualified as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and continued researching, learning and studying all aspects of life planning, money journeys and how our psychology with money affects our relationships.

It has been an exciting journey! My mission as a Financial Planner is to share my experience and learning about money relationships, to ensure that money is put in its proper place as part of a holistic life plan.

The legacy I would like to leave behind is to transform mindshifts and helping others to align money with meaning to enable positive and powerful transitions.

Living

Live life with purpose

New colours are showing in your personal kaleidoscope. Shapes are emerging as new patterns unfold. This is where living takes place, where each day is an exciting step on a journey that has a destination of your own dreaming. Now you live to make each day count – literally, as your money is mastered by you and you control both your dreams and your destiny.

My money enables a life that I LOVE to LIVE! I enjoy my beautiful home, spending time with my family, cooking delicious meals and going on adventurous holidays! My life allows time for pyjama days at home, meditation, sleep, exercise and fun.

I love my work – it inspires me! Encouraging people to have courageous conversations around money and to put a holistic plan in place to enable a wholesome life, is the most rewarding part of my journey.

Yes, of course, I also have bad days; ups and downs; challenges and tribulations! No one has a perfect life all the time! But without the “lows’, the “highs” would just seem mediocre!

Learning

Knowing and growing

The wonderful aspect of your life as a kaleidoscope is that you can continuously learn and grow, adapt as you need it, and design and shape your life just the way you want it.

The journey is never over. You adapt and change as you go. It’s a constant process of reflection and re-examination as you redesign and reshape your course.

I learn from all the people I meet, and have to consciously remind myself that that we all have different realities, different trigger points and different experiences that make us feel vulnerable.

To help me in this process, I keep a gratitude diary and compile a yearly ‘dream board’. I constantly ask myself: “if my life turned out well this year, how would it look?”

Sharing

Giving is living

This is a meaningful place – in this place, you’re able to live not just with money, but also with meaning. You are empowered to meaningfully impact the lives of others. From this place of abundance, you are giving back. And you’ve never felt more alive.

I aim to share my experiences authentically and honestly, to help others change their Mindset and merge their money with meaning!

My wish for you is to find peace in your money relationship as you journey through the process with me – and with a deeper understanding of how money has impacted your life decisions, and how you can consciously change that journey – be empowered to live consciously and abundantly!

Sometimes, all you need is to be open to looking at life from a different angle. This tiny shift of perspective is what allows a flicker of new light in. And that’s when the magic starts to happen.