Do you remember your first experiences with money? The first seven years of life are particularly formative, including when it comes to finances. Today, we’d like to take you on a little journey into the past with four exercises. You just need pen and paper. Take a moment to get comfortable somewhere you won’t be bothered.
Exercise 1 (10 minutes): Your first memories of money
Go back in your mind as far as you need to. What’s your first memory involving money? Were you holding the money in your hand? Was it yours or someone else’s? Do you still remember how much there was? Which currency? What happened to the money? How did it make you feel? Write everything that comes to you in these 10 minutes. This can even include images, smells, or sounds.
Exercise 2 (10 minutes): Financial holdbacks from the past
Use your first experience with money as a starting point. What happened next with you and the money? What was the significance of money in your family? How was it talked about? Did you perhaps feel that money was a source of stress for your family? Did you maybe even feel responsible? What situations made you feel held back, stressed out, or stuck?
Exercise 3 (10 minutes): Development of your relationship with money
Think about your memories from the first two exercises as you answer the following questions. How do you think this influenced the relationship you have with money today? Have there been specific experiences or time periods when your outlook changed? What feelings come up at the thought of being wealthier than your family? Or less wealthy? How would you describe your feelings about money today?
It’s important to know that it’s okay if negative feelings come up too. You can take a break from the exercise at any time and come back to it later. Writing down your feelings can also be relieving, especially when you write them by hand. Writing down your sentiments and memories can also help wash away the negative feelings. If you want to, you can take that sheet of paper with the uncomfortable memories and destroy it as a symbolic act. This makes room for new, other, wonderful feelings!
The idea behind the exercises is to get an overview of your current state of mind in the context of money. The exercises give you guidance as to what the toughest thoughts or emotions are so you can see what you’ll probably want to work on as soon as possible.
Exercise 4 (10 minutes): Money and positivity meet
Take a break before you start this exercise. Allow a little time to pass before moving on. Do this exercise once you’ve rested up and are relaxed.
Now write out everything you’ve achieved from a financial standpoint. Even the little things count! Think back to your first bank account, your first credit card, your first paycheck. Make a list of all these amazing things. Then make a second list of all the things, feelings, and experiences you’d still like to have when it comes to money. Formulate them in a positive manner. So instead of writing “stop being scared when I look at my bank statement,” write “look at my account out of interest and calmness and be happy about how much money I have.”