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What does money mean to you?

Published on 03 September 2019
Read time
4 minutes

Listen to this article

Let's examine your unquestioned assumptions about money and its role in your life. 

In this module you will learn about 

  • where unconscious biases about money come from 
  • that money has different hidden meanings for each of us

Your assumptions about money

It’s very likely that “your” personal beliefs about money were formed in childhood. We tend to inherit assumptions and prejudices from our parents as well as our environment while growing up.

A 2013 study for the Money Advice Service by Cambridge University showed that our core behaviours and habits around money can be formed by the age of seven. It’s also a time when our parent’s attitudes have a lot of influence. We form life-long approaches that we can then pass on to our children, especially if we’re not conscious of them.

Women and money

Women in particular have been historically given messages by society that managing money is not for them – they should leave it to the men! Even as children, girls in the UK receive less pocket money than boys. These differences seem to be the result of surprisingly widespread unconscious bias.

Test your confidence

What comes to your mind when you read the following questions?

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Does your money have a hidden meaning?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines money as “A current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes; coins and banknotes collectively.”

But when we talk about “money,” there’s often a huge range of other meanings attached that we don’t think to say out loud. Those silent meanings reflect our beliefs and are reflected in our behaviour. They could include security… power… freedom… love… independence… self-worth…

Only you can uncover the hidden meanings that are true for you.

But we can help set you on the path to uncovering them by examining your thinking. 

Test your confidence

What matters most to you? Ask yourself some questions:

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Key takeaways and what comes next

We inherit our money attitudes from our parents and our surroundings. And we pass these norms on to others. Significantly, your money attitude impacts your investment decisions and money behaviour. 

Try to find out about your unconscious relationship and attitudes towards money and what it means to you. This is the first step to taking better control of these beliefs and, where needed, change them so that you can be in the driving seat of making money work for what really matters to you rather than being held back by them. 

In our next module Your money worries, we will go through common apprehensions and concerns regarding money and how to open up about them.  

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