My Money Story
Today, I'd like to share with you a deeply personal and transformative journey that many of us may find relatable. It's about our relationship with money and how it forms, affects us, and how we can nurture a healthy connection with it.
My money story began in childhood, influenced by my caregivers, culture, and environment. I remember turning 18 and applying for my first credit card the day after my birthday. My mother's casual advice about buying what I wanted and paying a little off over time seemed harmless. Yet, I soon found myself in over $30,000 of credit card debt and overwhelmed.
I saw others in my family struggle with money, and somehow it felt normal to have bad credit or repossessed cars. But I realized that I had a dark, pressing relationship with money that I didn't want to carry with me. The solution wasn't just making more money; I needed to understand and heal my relationship with it.
After personal development, therapy, and educating myself on financial literacy, I found clarity and set strong boundaries. Today, I live in financial freedom, leveraging credit cards for convenience rather than a burden. I've even started helping others understand their money stories.
Steps to a Healthy Money Relationship:
Inspired by my journey, here are some steps you can take to foster a healthy relationship with money:
1. Identify Your Money Story: Understand how your beliefs about money have formed. Reflect on your childhood, culture, and personal experiences.
2. Assess Your Current Situation: Take a close look at your finances. What emotions arise? Fear, shame, pride? Recognize them without judgment.
3. Seek Professional Guidance if Needed: Therapists, financial advisors, or personal development resources can provide tailored support.
4. Set Clear Boundaries: Create a budget that aligns with your values and goals. Be mindful of spending and saving.
5. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is empowering. Learn about financial literacy, interest rates, investments, and more.
6. Embrace Growth and Healing: Recognize that change takes time. Celebrate progress, forgive past mistakes, and cultivate a positive money mindset.
7. Share Your Experience: If you feel comfortable, share your journey with others. It may provide support and encouragement to those on similar paths.
Our relationship with money doesn't have to be a source of stress or confusion. By understanding our money story and consciously taking steps to heal and grow, we can move toward a place of financial well-being and freedom.
If my story resonates with you, I hope these steps will guide you on your path. Remember, it's a journey, and we're all in this together.
LaQueshia Clemons, LCSW, AFC