How we feel about money and how we handle it truly does show up everywhere in our life. As a Wealth Coach and as a Certified Financial Planner, I’ve been helping women take charge of their money for over 30 years. For the last 10 years, I’ve been focused on mindset or what I call our money personality. There are five difference money personalities we might possess: Love, Security, Value, Recognition, and Status.

Each of us has a money personality that was formed very early in our childhood.  It was formed from what we observed and what we were told. Those experiences truly had a profound effect on us and they still do to this day.

Think back to when you were growing up. What were you told about money?  What did you observe?

Did you hear things like money doesn’t grow on trees? Or that you have to work hard for money? Maybe you heard that rich people are selfish and that it’s better to give than receive? Did you feel or observe things like scarcity, fear, abuse, neglect, or loneliness?  Dig deep and think about what ideas about money were formed as you grew up.

This month, our theme is dealing with the reality of debt. My goal right now is to help you see how your early experiences with money can often be the root cause for why many women rack-up debt without intending to.

I’ve heard so many different stories from women on how and why they have ended up in debt. Here are some examples of the five money personalities:

The Love personality may be trying to fill a hole in her heart and find herself over spending, buying multiple items or spending in order to belong. She doesn’t feel emotionally connected to it, almost like it is monopoly money.

A Value personality may feel like she is not good enough, and find herself over-giving, rescuing others, giving to the point of resentment and creating debt as a result of things just happening to her.

The Recognition personality may feel that she needs to prove herself, so she goes for the big win. If it doesn’t work out and she ends up in debt, she might find herself doing it again trying to prove she can fix it. She may be slow in responding to difficult money situations, so a small loss becomes a bigger one.

Someone with a Status personality may feel that no matter what she has it’s never enough, so she too runs up debt, often from compulsive spending, picking up the tab, buying expensive items regardless of current bank account. She may feel she needs to have the best and doing everything to the extreme.

Since a Security Personality desires to be safe and independent, she doesn’t usually have debt. If she does, it may have been caused by something out of her control. This type of experience would only confirm her fear that no matter how much she has, she may lose it all. So she will work to get rid of it as fast as possible and do anything to not let it happen again.

I’m a Recognition personality, and my challenge is big thinking, risk taking, and never giving up. Early in my career, I found myself in debt, and my solution was trying to fix it with one more big idea.

My husband is a Security personality, so he was horrified by my big ideas and risk taking. It caused many arguments and unnecessary stress during the early part of our marriage. It wasn’t until we sat down together to talk about this very topic that we realized that we were the perfect team!

The result? Instead of feeling challenged or judged by his “micromanaging,” I began to cherish the fact that he cares so much about taking care of all the little details around money management.  It’s worked amazingly well. We have now been married over 30 years!

He now sees my big ideas as a positive area to discuss and explore. He would never have taken the risk to buy our house on the lake or make some of our higher risk investments without me. Today, we work together on everything. We still get triggered by each other’s money personality characteristics, but we are able to calm down, breathe, and listen before we react.

If you are having a hard time controlling your spending, asking for what you are worth, or feeling like no matter how much you have, it’s never enough or that you never know when it may all just disappear, relax, it’s not your fault.

The great news is that you can heal your relationship with money and the fact that you are reading this today is perfect, because the first step is awareness.

Learning WHY you feel the way you do about money or WHY you spend it even when you know you shouldn’t is part of the healing process. When we are triggered, our little girl pops up and begins to run the show. Yes, a little 3, 5 or 7 year old ends up trying to protect us from getting hurt again.

What is the solution? Do the work to find out what experience triggered those disempowering feelings and behaviors that are happening today. You can then begin to release, forgive, and ultimately shift into a whole new awareness with new behaviors and coping skills. I do this type of work with women. You can learn more HERE.

There are self-help books, coaches, and workshops you can take to begin to heal your relationship with money – including programs like ours!

Last month, we interviewed Bari Tessler, author of The Art of Money, and this month, I am interviewing Dr. April Benson, author of I Shop Therefore I Am, and Robin Thompson, who will be addressing the Inner Work and Outer Work of getting out of debt and creating wealth.

In addition, you can take our free course, Unlock Your Financial Power, where there are exercises like the Money Quiz and Release and Receive in the Key #2 – Discovery section to help you begin

this process!  If you would like a more personal approach, click HERE learn about coaching.

   Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Wealth Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts.