As we grow up, we learn about money in very individual ways and what we learn creates our money scripts which impact us for the rest of our lives. Our thoughts and feelings about money as adults make perfect sense when we know and understand our money scripts.
My parents were both born in the mid-thirties so they experienced the fallout from the Great Depression. They were very secretive about money and it was a taboo subject in our house. We never knew how much they earned, what debts they had or how they managed their finances. My father was a high school teacher and my mom stayed home to raise my three brothers and me. To this day I’m amazed they were able to raise four boys on his single income. We never had the latest gadgets or trendiest clothes but we never really wanted for anything. We packed our lunches for school every day, we got yelled at all the time for leaving lights on in empty rooms and I remember having to sleep in long-johns and wool socks under several blankets on many cold winter nights. They could certainly stretch their dollars. Shortly after getting into financial planning my dad approached me to be his planner. I was very honored and quite surprised because I remembered how secretive he was growing up.
Even after becoming a financial planner I never gave my money scripts much thought until I took Behavioral Finance for my Master’s degree. Only then did I put the pieces together and now understand why I think and feel the way I do about money.
I learned early on in my financial planning career that financial planning is not just about the numbers. Actually, the numbers make up a relatively small part of financial wellness. The numbers support and help achieve the goals, not the other way around.
The most rewarding aspect of being a financial planner is making a difference in people’s lives and helping them realize their dreams. Here at AFP we change lives.