Money Story: Our Relationship with Wealth
Alright, I’ve been putting this article off for far too long. My definition of a seven-day challenge is apparently pretty loose, and honestly, I’ve been dreading doing the article on chapter 22 of Awaken the Giant Within – Financial Destiny: Small steps to a small (or Large) Fortune.
Why? I’m still very much dealing with my money story. If you haven’t heard the term ‘Money Story’, what you need to know is that it is our belief system (the story we’ve formulated in our minds) around the almighty dollar.
To show you an example of what someone’s money story can look like, I’ll just give you a little look at mine.
Money: One Wild and Emotional Ride
In my youth, I grew up in a fairly lower-middle-class environment. We had food on the table every night, my sister and I had neat toys, everything was pretty honkie dory. I was around 4 when my parents got a divorce, I wasn’t 100% sure then but I know now that a lot of their troubles revolved around money (and huge differences in personality).
When my mom got with my stepdad, we were pretty upwardly mobile. Before I knew it we were living in Bend, in the early to mid-2000s. Things kept getting better and better – every few years my parents got us a new house, they kept getting nicer cars, heck by the time I was 15 I had almost 1500 square feet to myself.
It was also around this time my stepdad changed professions, and the first cracks started to appear. Over the next few years, my sister and I would end up having to help with the household bills from our own meager paychecks just to keep our family comfortable. This was probably the first big turning point in my money story. I subconsciously took home the message that “No matter how hard you work, it can all just disappear.” My paychecks being garnished by my family didn’t help this outlook.
After I moved out I promptly went through my “money isn’t spiritual” phase. So, I went from having a bad relationship with money to choosing to have no relationship with money. I bet you can guess what my bank account looked like…(what bank account??). I was moments away from forgoing the world and finding a nice abbey to join. Luckily, I found the love of my life and we have both helped each other heal on our money journies.
So why have I been having such a hard time writing this article? Because I still have that little twinge of fear in the back of my mind, always telling me that even if I do everything in my power to change my Financial Destiny, It could just… Disappear.
This is an example of why I think it’s really important to look at the Money Story first before we jump into Tony’s tips on building wealth. A good first step in discovering what your money story might be, would be to recall your first memory with money. How did it make you feel? What was happening? How did it affect your view of money moving forward?
Another transformative practice would be to write a letter to money as if it were an old friend and see what comes up from there. We each have a story we tell ourselves about money. Mine is a million times better now than it ever has been in my life, but I still have a lot of junk to work through.
Tony Robbins Top Five Tips To Financial Wellness
Alright, now that I’m done riding that rollercoaster – let’s talk about what Tony Robbins has to say about accumulating a fortune.
The first key is the ability to earn more income than ever before – the ability to create wealth.
Alright, so how does one do this? Tony hammers this one home with one statement. The key to obtaining wealth is to be more valuable.
How do you plan on adding real value to people’s lives? How can you add more value to your workplace so that you can boost your income ceiling? These are just some starter questions to get you mulling over the possibilities. Entrepreneurship is a form of alchemy – taking something of little market value and making it more valuable to the market. Go out there, turn that lead to gold, create that value.
The second key is to maintain your wealth.
So you have started to snowball, you’ve increased your income and you’ve got a hole burning in your pocket. Now hold up turbo, before you go out and buy that brand new BMW lets try to protect at least a few of those dollars you want to hand out. Whats Tony’s principal for this one? Spend less than you earn, and invest the difference. Not exactly the sexiest concept but it’s time-honored and works. One of the tools my honey and I use to make this a little less painful is using a spending plan… not a budget. What’s the difference you ask? A spending plan sounds exciting, where a budget sounds like a cage.
The Third key is to increase your wealth.
Now that you’re investing, make that money work for you! How do we do this? With the absolute magical power of compounding interest.
Mr. Robbins has a great book Money Master the Game that goes into incredible detail about the concept of compounding interest, and how it will create wealth for generations. To give you a little taste of it, let’s do a little thought experiment. If you had a dollar and added 10% growth to it every day for a hundred days, how much money do you think you would have?
If my calculations are right, we’re looking at $13,780.61. Not too bad!
The fourth key is to protect your wealth.
What tools are you going to use to keep your money safe? If we’re being real, the more money you have, the more likely that you are going to be a target for people trying to ride on your success. There are many different ways to keep your money safe. For example, finding a reputable financial advisor to help keep your wealth protected is never a bad idea.
The fifth key is to enjoy your wealth.
Massive duh, but sometimes I think we end up forgetting about how essential it is to get out there and enjoy what we’ve built. You can only dive into your endless money vault so many times Scrouge McDuck, so get out there and have some fun already!
Tony also hits home the idea of tithing and giving. I’m still pretty new to my giving tradition, but every time I do it I feel endlessly grateful for what I have and epically compassionate for those I’m giving to.
Well, now that it’s written I don’t even feel like it was that hard to write. I want to thank everyone who went on this journey with me. Being transparent with you and illustrating my money journey and fears was a bit scary, but I made it!
I’m curious to know now, what does your money story sound like? Do you have a hard time talking about money with your peers, your loved ones? I feel like we don’t tackle this subject enough. It’s a bit taboo and the only way we can change that is by shining some serious light!
Let me know what you think in the comments below. As always, I’ll be leaving a few links to some helpful books, and being an affiliate I do receive a small commission when you purchase these books through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog – for that, I am forever grateful.