With Jenn Uhen, Founder of the Pledgettes.
Your relationship with your money is a lifelong relationship. While you can ignore it (not recommended), you can never break up with your money.
So today, yes, right now, commit to making the relationship a little bit better. Don’t worry, this is a safe starting place to improve your money relationship. These are tips for everyone—wherever you are on your personal financial journey.
You are ready to explore the current state of your relationship, take some action today, and make plans for the future so you can confidently make money moves to achieve your biggest financial goals.
Let’s talk about the two sides of money: emotional and financial.
So much financial literacy focuses on the financial side of money and there is tremendous value in that. However, if you don’t have a strong, healthy money mindset, you’ll encounter blocks to confidently make the financial money moves. Your money mindset is your instinctual reactions, beliefs, attitudes, and emotions about money. It shows up in your daily money choices, impacts your goals, and creates assumptions about others. But the best thing about your money mindset is that it can evolve!
Let’s start at the beginning. What is your first memory of money?
This is one of my favorite money conversation starter questions. Talking about these early money memories can uncover some meaningful money experiences that inform your money mindset today. Our first money memory usually… ...involves another person (someone has to introduce us to the concept of money)
...includes at least one emotion ...still remains a money memory informing our money mindset today.
I have been routinely asking this question for two years. I’ve heard positive experiences of receiving an allowance, a gift, or the choice to pick out something to buy. I’ve heard negative experiences about scarcity, making dollars stretch, or arguments about money. As I talk to people about their money memories, it reminds me about more money experiences I have had. I encourage you to use this conversation starter with your friends and families as a way to understand your current relationship with money and bring awareness for it with others too. We are stronger together.
What do your current money conversations look like?
When I meet people who physically curl up if I ask them if they want to have a money conversation, it’s because they haven’t had a money conversation with me. Money conversations can be safe, healthy, and positive. I rarely have money conversations about the actual numbers.
The biggest takeaway about having more positive money conversations is that it's all about how the conversation starts. Reflect back on your last few money conversations. Did they start with curiosity (i.e. your first money memory) or did they start with blame (i.e. recent spending/bills/expenses)?
I challenge you to start a few money conversations with curiosity and see how it goes. You can continue to build trust and credibility with these conversations and dig deeper each time. Money conversations are like an onion. Start with the outer layers and each conversation, you can peel back a few more layers.
My partner and I have regular money dates. We call our “State of Our Union” meetings. It’s a calendar invite on our shared calendar where either person can add agenda items. Essentially, we talk about:
Where is all the money? (It’s great to use a Personal Finance Manager to organize your money like Nav.it).
How are we spending our time?
Does it align with our values and goals? (Check out this blog about aligning your values with your money).
Finally, consider your Financial A-Team or who you’re having money conversations with. There are 5 types of people you should have on your Financial A-Team.
Here are 3 things you can do today to evolve your money mindset. Take some time to sit with your relationship with money. Spend some time journaling or start some money conversations. Today is the day that you are committing to being a better partner in relationship with your money.
Oh, and if you need someone to be on your High-Five Tribe, I’m your girl. I love giving virtual high-fives for progress, milestones, and achievements! Send me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org - or a DM on Instagram @thepledgettes.
Jenn Uhen is the Founder of The Pledgettes, a community for women to talk about money. Jenn built The Pledgettes to democratize access to financial experts, build a supportive space for women to evolve their relationship with money, and create connections so no woman is going after her personal financial goals alone. Jenn and her husband have clear financial goals, which include a diverse portfolio of investment property, retirement accounts, and businesses. All while living a minimalist (but comfortable) lifestyle, including traveling the country in an RV.