Money. Pesa. Peso. Dinheiro. Geld. In whatever language you choose to refer to it, the concept of money is as fascinating as it is controversial.
A seemingly inescapable aspect of human life. Its power, origins, value and everything in between, so interwined with our day-to-day lives and world order as we know it, that ambivalence towards this subject would be self-immolating.
I have always been curious about money. As a child, I understood money through an intriguing binary: some people ‘just’ have it; some people ‘just’ don’t. Enjoy it in its season of abundance, and be grateful in its season of scarcity. Therefore, instinctively, I made a pact with myself to be counted among the people who ‘just’ have it. As for how that’s going, well, let’s just say, I now know it’s not enough to ‘just’ want something!
Over the years, I have picked up some lifelong lessons on money. Needless to say, some of these lessons came more painfully than others.
The one overarching lesson that has stuck with me is that a big part of how adults relate to money is formed during their childhood. Often, in the unspoken, yet loud actions of our caregivers, elder siblings and immediate surroundings.
Some of these lessons were empowering whereas others were crippling. Yet, regardless of their nature, I have found it is almost impossible be in control of individual money habits as adults without first acknowledging and reconciling the money lessons we were internalized as children.
As Waceke Nduati Omanga writes in her book, Making Cents:
“The lessons we learn about money in our childhood homes often shape our relationship with money for the rest of our lives.”
What money lessons did you learn from your childhood and how has that impacted the way you relate to money now?