Know Your Financial History Worksheet (Printable PDF)
Clinical research shows that exploring your history with money can help to understand your current relationship with it.[i] Financial advisors also advocate understanding your history with money.[ii] This doesn’t mean full lying-on-the-couch psychotherapy, but it does require some reflection.
Grab another sheet of paper and block off an hour of quiet time and reflect on your history with money. Write out your answers to each of these questions in some clear form so that you can be reminded of your responses later or share with a partner.
Here are some questions to help you think through your history with money:
- What is your best memory that directly or indirectly involved money?
- What is your worst memory that directly or indirectly involved money?
- How was money handled in your household growing up? Who had the lead role?
- Was money discussed growing up? What messages did you take away from how your family talked (or didn’t talk) about money?
- What financial expectations did your family have of you? How was this communicated to you?
- How does the way money was handled and discussed in your family affect your life today?
- Where else did you get messages or information about money while growing up? Other relatives, religion, peers, TV, culture? How did these messages influence you?
- Which pieces of what you learned about money growing up do you want to keep?
- Which pieces of what you learned about money growing up do you want to change?
After answering these questions, what sticks out to you the most? Summarize your money history reflections in a few sentences here.
[i] Shapiro, M. (2007). Money: A tool for couples theory. Family Process, 46, 279-291.
[ii] Thakor, M. & Kedar, S. (2010). Getting financially naked. Adams Business, Adams Media: Avon, MA.