Childhood events shape how we relate to money as adults, and I always ask my financial therapy and money coaching clients about their first memory of money
These seemingly innocent experiences are a virtual goldmine of information, often creating a template for future beliefs, feelings, and behaviors regarding money. The memories I hear range in texture from traumatic to more benign. I'll share a few examples from my work with clients [all names have been changed to protect privacy] to illustrate the link between childhood experiences and present day behaviors with money.
One of my money coaching clients, Andrea, recently shared an early memory involving the painful way she received allowance from her father, who was quite rigid and parsimonious. On Saturday mornings he'd come home from a visit to the bank and give Andrea her the allowance. It's how he did it that is so meaningful. He would take each crisp, new dollar bill-crumple it a bit to ensure that none where sticking together-and hand each one individually over to her. She would be flooded with shame as she stood there, watching and waiting for her weekly allowance to be literally doled out to her.