Financial Therapy 101: Money Scripts

Posted by on April 17, 2010 in Financial Therapy, Skills Building | 1 comment

We cannot change a reality we deny exists, so if you want to enhance your relationship with money, you must first know what it presently is. In this and the next post, I’ll introduce you to simple exercises you can use to “stir the pot” and begin to gather evidence as to what your relationship with money is like. (Remember: “Money” refers to all types of financial / material means.)

Step 1: Identify your Money Scripts

Money Scripts are the automatic thoughts we have in regards to money.

Exercise 1: Brainstorming

Take out a blank sheet of paper. Read through the following list – one item at a time – and consider how each relates to money. Write down whatever pops into your mind.

Don’t filter! Don’t judge! Don’t rationalize!

The key to brainstorming is to let the thoughts flow freely and easily. There will be time later to consider what you have written down.

Give yourself 15-30 seconds with each word, then move on to the next. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer – simply write down what first comes to mind.

Wealth

Happiness

Success

Debt

Family

Obligations

Work

Taxes

Saving

Pain

Values

Trust

Luck

Spending

Children

Bankruptcy

Harmony

Conflict

Regret

Shopping

Rights

Poverty

Inheritance

Giving

Fantasy

Honesty

God

If there are other words you’d like to brainstorm, go for it! Add them to your list. This exercise will help you practice noticing your thoughts.

Exercise 2: Real-time Tracking

Over the next week, keep an ongoing log of your thoughts regarding money. While you’re in a store, paying bills, considering your work, parenting children, chatting with friends, day dreaming … what are your Money Scripts? Write these down.

Remember, this isn’t a matter of “good” or “bad” – it is what it is. Each script is evidence of the experiences that have shaped your relationship with money into what it is today. They are grist for the mill of enhancing your relationship with money.

One Comment

  1. What a great exercise for increasing awareness and enhancing our “observer self” around our own money story. i’m excited to try the exercise and looking forward to the next installments of Financial Therapy.

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  1. Financial Therapy 101: Managing Money Scripts (part 1) | Tendrils: Growing stronger day by day - [...] a list your money scripts. (If not, please start with the first entries in this series … 1, 2,…

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