How your past still controls your money

How your past still controls your money

Vanessa Stoykov

No matter whether you had an idyllic happy childhood, or a less than perfect one, everyone is influenced and in many ways controlled by the way they grew up with money. The attitudes our parents and broader family/community had about money are still in us – and whether or not you unconsciously follow these lessons, and go out of your way to NOT be the same as your parents, your upbringing still has a massive impact on how you think and behave financially.

I grew up in the country, rural NSW. At that time, farming and mining were both booming, and Gunnedah was quite a prosperous town. My father worked in the coal mines and my mum ran everything else. They were an amazing couple and as a result we had an idyllic childhood – holidays at the beach, a nice house to live in and Christmas and birthday presents. 

Everyone in town had much the same. Of course there were those that lived on the top side of town near the golf course that had the nicest houses, and the sole town lawyer drove a Porsche – other than that everyone had ordinary cars and a level life. This meant that I never really grew up comparing myself to others – there was no need. Most had the same. It wasn’t until I got to University that I realised that people had all sorts of backgrounds – some had a lot of money, and some had very little. 

I now know that my upbringing was quite unusual in the sense that most in my small town circle had the same. I am sure there were people struggling back then, it was just that I didn’t see it, and there was no visible evidence in the town. 

Today it feels like that difference is visible everywhere you go – in who you see and what news you read about. There is a massive gap between have and have not. And those who have grown up with a sense of security around money that most others are denied, which can cause a great deal of resentment.

So how did you grow up? Who and what did you see in your neighbourhood? Was it tough? How did people talk about money? When you start to think of your childhood solely in relation to money, you may start to identify language and behaviour that you have carried from childhood. And maybe this doesn’t serve you any more. 

If you feel like your attitudes to money are too closely affected by your upbringing, it is time to stop that cycle and learn other stills. And, change your language and behaviour around money to influence those around you in a different way. 

It is not easy to change the habits of a lifetime, but you can start by identifying what’s holding you back. By doing my course on money mindfulness you may find a new way to start identifying with money that serves you now.

Because mastering money is definitely more than understanding investing and budgets  – it always starts with how you think and feel. 


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