Last Sunday, I was sitting in my bedroom, emotionally drained from a conversation I had with my husband about budgeting. Over homemade pancakes and chai lattes, we discussed our previous expenses and set a budget for next month. It was a fairly harmless conversation but it depleted me, on every single level.
Ten minutes later, my husband walked into our bedroom room and asked me to go for a walk. I resisted, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Come love, it’ll do us both some good,” he encouraged me.
I dragged my feet but went anyways, and a few moments later we got to talking about money again. “What’s going on, love?” he asked gently and curiously. “Why does money make you shut down?”
I couldn’t answer. Instead, I spent most of my energy trying to fight back the tears streaming down my face.
I don’t know why I have such a block around money. I’ve read countless books from financial gurus, and I try to educate myself as much as possible on everything money related. But no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to shake the long lasting scars money has left on me. Messaging around money in my childhood was fairly confusing and shaped the blocks I carry within about anything related to money.
Growing up, we either lived in a five-bedroom mansion or a run-down motel. We were either eating oysters at the nicest restaurant in town or I would go a week without seeing my mom because she was working four jobs to keep us afloat. We either had money or we didn’t. Money was never something I could rely on, and every single time I thought we were good—stable—money would prove time and time again that it could be taken away from us, and from me, at any time.
Money also included lies. My dad would ask me not to tell his wife about the money he gave me, and she would ask me not to tell my dad about her newly purchased sweater (she had a pretty massive shopping addiction). And don’t even get me started on conversations from both parents regarding child support.
“I think I fear money,” I silently admitted to my husband. “Everything about it makes me feel so small. Making money is terrifying to me.”
I’ve tried to write several articles on this topic, but if I’m being honest, I don’t even know where to begin. I normally try to leave some type of positive spin on the ending of articles, or at least some type of resource for you, our readers, to be able to take away. But the reality is that I’m operating at kindergarten-level when it comes to money. And I think most of us are, at least a majority of people I know. There seems to be a common struggle with money and worth, and just managing money period.
So the only thing I know how to do at this very moment is to start a conversation.
How does money make you feel? Does it make you feel small, too? Do you equate your worth with the amount of money you make? What were your first memories around money? Comment down below.