How to Write a New Chapter in Your Money Story

written by Bari Tessler January 8, 2022
How to Write a New Chapter in Your Money Story

Dear Money Adventurer,

I hope you’re ready for another tasty, quick morning mug of money support because your third mocha is on the bar waiting for you.

Let’s dive in…

Money touches every part of our lives, in one way or another, every single day. And every day we go about our lives making money decisions both large and small, we’re most often running some very old scripts unconsciously in the background, like an app that runs quietly in the background of your laptop.

These scripts are powerful, and many of them were created unintentionally far in the blurry, faded past of our childhoods. Comments your mom made at the kitchen table while paying bills. Things your dad did when he got an unexpected bonus from work right before Christmas. That trip your family took to Disneyland where your parents were arguing about money outside of the hotel room when they thought you couldn’t hear.

These scripts are part of your money stories, and those stories are so powerful they can cause you to make money decisions to this very day. There’s good news about these stories though: they’re not written in stone.

You’re writing your own money stories every day, every week, every month, and every year. And here’s the key: you have the power to start writing new money stories, new scripts, that can then run in the background, guiding you to make better money choices. And those better choices can lead to less stress and grind, and more peace and calm.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that our past does not have to equal our future. Especially when it comes to our Money Stories. I’ve seen this too many thousands of times to ever doubt it again: in my own life, in stories from my dear community, and not least of all, in my dear husband’s own evolution around money.

You have the power to write new chapters in your Money Story. I’m going to say that again… You have the power to write new chapters in your Money Story.

It takes some work. But it is oh so worth it.

Here’s how you can start to get to know your Money Story…

If you want to create a new relationship with money — one founded on loving awareness, honesty, and empowerment — there are so many tools and practices that can help you to move forward.

But at a certain point, as you move forward, you must look backward, too. In order to write a new chapter in your Money Story, you need to get honest about those previous chapters. (Or at least the highlight reel.)

This doesn’t need to be traumatic, although it’s always helpful to have a Somatic Therapist by your side if you need additional support. And it doesn’t need to take years on a therapist’s couch, but again, it may be helpful to bring this Financial Therapy work to your therapist.

If you’re ready and willing, you can take a few steps today, on your own, to get intimate with your Money Story.

So, get out your journal, and let’s begin.

1. Look back. What’s your first memory about money? See if you have any money memories pop up? The first time you received money as a gift. The first time you made money at a job. The first time you were aware of your family’s economic class? The first time you remember talking about money or learning about money? Let yourself journal about this…

2. What money beliefs have you inherited? What did your parents, grandparents, siblings, church, or community teach you about money? Are these beliefs or habits still guiding you, today?

What money patterns or habits did you learn from your parents or grandparents? (negative or positive, conscious or unconscious). What money role did you take on early on with your siblings (who was the saver or the spender)? Let yourself journal about this…

3. How “grown-up” are you, with money? Only you can define what being “grown up or adult” with money means to you. Over the years, many of my community members admit, at a certain point, that they don’t feel like adults with money.

Some feel like rebellious teenagers; others feel like toddlers; still others feel like nonverbal newborns! Where do you feel you are, within your own Money Story? Are you just getting started? Douse yourself with compassion, here — any answer you discover is truly OK. Let yourself journal about this….

4. Be present, present, present. All of these insights, even if they’re about the past, can only come to you in the present moment. Let yourself notice what money emotions are coming up for you? Anger, shame, grief, fear, anxiety, guilt or joy, excitement, hope.

Learn how to do a Body Check-in. Journal. Dance out your emotions. Have honest conversations with trusted friends. Let yourself notice what money emotions are coming up in the present moment. Journal about this…

5. Forgive. I understand that forgiveness is a big concept. Forgiveness can take years or happen in a flash, in an instant. Forgiveness can be an important practice here to add in when you are ready. Try it out. Forgive yourself. Forgive your parents — they were doing the very best they could. Forgive your community. Forgive that testy IRS agent. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Let yourself journal about this…

So please: begin to make peace with your own Money Story. Say hello when it shows up. Share some cocoa with it and thank it for what it’s allowed you to do.

Bless the hard times, honor the gifts of grit … and gently show those unhelpful patterns to the door. And always, always: celebrate yourself for showing up to this work. It is rare. And, oh so brave.

Own your Money Story. Bless it. And realize: you now hold the pen in your hand.

You truly can choose to give yourself a fresh start and begin a new chapter in your money story. That’s why I created my year-long money school and global community, The Art of Money – to offer a safe and supportive space to explore our money stories and learn to write new chapters of healing, hope, and empowerment.

Through a holistic framework of Money Healing, Money Practices, and Money Maps, The Art of Money blends together real-life financial tools, body-based exercises, and loving community support as we learn to manage our money and understand our beliefs, patterns, and behavior around money, too.

Empower yourself to write a new chapter in your money story. Join The Art of Money and give yourself permission to begin again.

Here’s to you writing new money stories with as much love as you can muster.

Here’s to writing something beautiful.

P.S. The Art of Money 2022 is Open for Registration!

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