My spouse and I disagreed about how we made money decisions for over 20 years and as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the family, I tried so many things to help her see the way I did. Spreadsheets, budgeting apps, the envelope system – none of which barely made an impact. After reaching a point where the mere mention of money caused friction, I realized that we needed professional help. We hired a Certified Money Coach (CMC) and began diligently working with their program. What we learned was how deeply our money decisions are shaped during our childhood and parent modeling. These experiences are hard wired in the brain, which has each of us view money differently. Although I had a degree in finance as well as several years of education and practicing the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) methodology, I discovered that my childhood experiences formed unconscious behaviors that were the reason we had so many disagreements. I spent years making my spouse wrong and shaming her for lack of financial knowledge, but it was me that caused most of our “money issues”. Since completing the work, we have seen a huge shift that has positively shaped our money discussions.

Because of the profound impact this experience had on our lives, I decided to complete the money coaching training that I have since incorporated into my financial planning practice. Here are some of the more prominent money mindsets I observe and ways that you can practice shifting those patterns:

I am fearful and indecisive. Create a list of the pros and cons and practice asking for help from trusted advisors.

I am impulsive. Focus on the consequences of acting careless and practice patience to help resist the short-lived gratification.

I am greedy. Practice random acts of kindness. Reframe things around generosity and giving.

I am overly indulgent. Ask yourself whether this is something that you need or something that you want; or as I like to think of it, a must-have or nice-to-have. If it’s the latter, practice by saving for it so it becomes a reward for your efforts.

After discovering your inherent money issues and choosing to make real change, you will then have the capacity to make decisions in a more empathetic and meaningful way.