Your relationship with money and what it means

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Your relationship with money and what it means
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About the Author

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Stacy is the Director of Education and Community Awareness at the Credit Counselling Society (CCS). She lives in Oakville with her husband, dog and cat.

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Welcome back! I’ve been wondering about you and your relationship with money.  Were there any a-ha or “oh no!” moments?  Just notice what you notice and today we’re going to look at why we keep repeating the same old destructive money behaviours and what we can do about them.

Have you wondered why you keep spending money on your credit card? Or getting a payday loan right after you paid off the last one?  Or why you keep lending that person money when they never repay you?

The answer lies in looking at our history with money.  Think about how you were raised with money.  How did your parents handle money?  How was it handled in your family? Your community?  Your culture?

We tend to repeat beliefs, behaviours and habits because they’re unconscious.  But when we start to peel back the layers, like an onion, we start to understand where this comes from.

In my family, we didn’t talk about money.  You could certainly feel the tension when one of my parents overspent on the credit card or when they were worried about how to pay their taxes from a business they had, but it wasn’t discussed.  So I grew up feeling tense and anxious about money and knowing that you didn’t talk about it.  I became an adult that was embarrassed that I didn’t know what I was doing because there was no one to talk to.

Ask yourself: who handled the money when you were growing up?  Was one parent a spender and the other a saver? Was there tension around money in your home? What created money stress growing up?

As well, think back to some common messages you may have heard.  Some examples include but definitely aren’t limited to:

  1. money is evil
  2. it’s important to be generous
  3. we’re one pay cheque away from a welfare line
  4. you should buy it because you only live once
  5. it’s a good deal so you should get it, and so on and so on

Now ask yourself which money messages you carried into your adulthood?  Are some of those messages helpful? What about the ones that no longer serve you? And finally, which money messages are you teaching your children, consciously or otherwise?

While being an adult is hard, what I love about it is I can choose my thoughts and feelings, and I can choose new beliefs.

If you choose to ponder these questions, consider talking with a trusted friend. If talking isn’t your thing, consider writing in your journal or write yourself a letter.  Or go for a walk or drive and talk to yourself (trust me, I do it all the time and I even answer myself. Because sometimes you need expert advice – hahah!).

Your answers may give you some insight on your relationship with money and its roots.  Until our next chat, what’s one positive thing you can do today to help your financial future?

OakvilleNews.org articles about Person Finance by Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy and you can follow Stacy on Twitter @StacyYO_CCS

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