Here at Wealthquest, we love embracing human relationships and talking about more than just money. We think it is the way advisors should do business simply because humans are wired this way. We have servant’s hearts and try to understand people is at the core.
To truly understand someone and their behaviors with their money, you need to find out their money story. We know that in every area of life, stories are excellent as a source of knowledge, entertaining us, or even as a sales strategy. To us, stories are a glimpse into how our clients think and behave with their money. Brad Klontz describes these stories as ‘money scripts’ and even lists 4 different types. I like to think about ‘scripts’ as your lines in a movie or a play. These words define the character. In the same way, our ‘money scripts’ or our entire money story can define our behaviors with our money.
Not too long ago I was describing this concept to my wife. As I was telling her it dawned on me that I’ve never shared my money story with her – at least not in this way. We started talking about our first experiences with money, what we remember, how we acted, and what we were taught. We quickly realized how it shapes our current behaviors with money. Both of us had certain points in our stories that Nathan Astle calls “flashpoints,” which are certain points in time that you can remember that were defining moments in your story.
In my story, I remember learning to work at a very young age and holding a paying job before I could even drive. Which I believe has taught me hard work. However, I don’t remember knowing how much I made or even what I did with the money…meaning I probably spent it. I found out that this is a key theme throughout my own money story – a lack of communication and awareness of money. We were a very typical middle-class family that fortunately had all the basics but couldn’t afford a lot of ‘luxuries.’ However, I never remember my parents talking or struggling with money. All four of us went to private high school, which is not cheap. I had no clue how my parents paid for it, but learned late in my adult years, that they were gifted the money by my Great Uncle.
My money story shows me where some of my current motivations and behaviors come from. I enjoy experiences, spontaneous adventures and I have the attitude that “we will figure out a way to make it happen.” Until I started to dig into behavioral financial planning, I was very unaware of where my money was going. This can all be tied back to the lack of communication that I had in my money story.
I share all this not to explain how to do things, but to encourage you to discover your money story. What are the ‘flashpoints’? What details helped shape your money story? Whether you share this with your advisor or keep it to yourself, understanding your relationship with money can be a game-changer.
To get started on your money story, take our Money Motivator Assessment: https://wqcorp.com/money-motivator-hom