Understanding how money memories shape mindsets

Becky Runga hosting her Oar FM podcast 'Broke to Brilliant.' PHOTO: ODT FILES
Becky Runga hosting her Oar FM podcast 'Broke to Brilliant.' PHOTO: ODT FILES
How childhood influences our financial mindset is a fascinating topic.

It has only recently come more into the light for me likely because I have children and I am watching their money journey which in turn creates reflection. We’re talking money memories and how they shape our financial mindset.

This is something to so easy to ignore or bury your head in the sand with but, I’m telling you right now, it goes a long way to helping you ditch your financial guilt and really gives you some insight into the influences that shaped and moulded how you behave today.

It’s absolutely worth concentrating on ... so grab a pen and paper. We are going to start within the home.

What were some money-related behaviours or habits you observed growing up?

Did your family talk openly about money, or was it more of a hush-hush topic?

Attitude? Your parents/caregivers approach to money likely rubbed off on you more than you realise.

How would you describe your parents’ attitudes towards money? Were they super tight or free spenders? And do you see any traces of their money mindset in your own approach to finances today?

Now, let’s dig into priorities. Where did your family put their hard-earned cash? This is one that has a huge bearing on guilt, if your priorities as an adult are different then you’ll likely ‘‘feel bad’’ each time you spend.

What were the financial priorities in your household when you were young?

And looking back, do you still value those same things, or have your priorities shifted over the years?

Communication — or lack thereof. Money talks were few and far between in many households, mine included.

Did your family openly discuss financial matters, or was money considered a taboo topic?

And how do you think that silence affected your understanding of money and your comfort level discussing it?

Let’s not forget about the tough stuff — financial struggles. We’ve all been there.

Did your family face any significant financial challenges when you were growing up? Did you know about them?

And how did those experiences shape your own money management skills and resilience?

Last but not least, let’s talk culture. Different backgrounds, different money mindsets.

How does your cultural background influence your views on money?

Are there any cultural beliefs about money that you’ve adopted or questioned over the years?

Reflecting on our money memories can be eye-opening. It’s a chance to recognise the beliefs and behaviours that may be holding us back and to start unlearning and relearning healthier financial habits.

So, take a moment to ponder these questions, and remember, there are no right or wrong answers — just honest reflections.

• Becky Runga, who is a financial adviser (mortgages) at Mortgageme in Dunedin, has a podcast entitled Broke to Brilliant, with the support of Mortgageme and OAR FM.