A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: It’s the Money, Honey 6

Just about everyone knows (or has heard) that how we handle money issues can make or break relationships. In fact, according to John Thyden, a Washington, D.C., divorce attorney, financial issues are the cause of 90 percent of his divorce cases. Yet, while much has been written about how to overcome or deal with differences in the ways we handle money, rarely do we examine and clarify our own financial values. If we don’t understand our own values — including their sources, benefits, and drawbacks — how can we expect to understand our partner’s?

This week’s journal writing prompts help you gain clarity and understanding about your money issues and values.

  1. What is your first memory about money? What happened and why do you remember it?
  2. What did your parents say about money and did their actions back up their words? List at least five things you remember hearing your parents say about money. Now list at least five things you remember about the way they handled money.
  3. Did your parents tend to agree or disagree with one another when it came to money issues? Were their money messages consistent or inconsistent? What was your reaction to their lessons? Which values did you internalize and which did you rebel against? How has that internalization/rebellion created tension about money in your life?
  4. What do you believe about money? Do you believe that it’s hard to come by? Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with the idea of earning a lot of money? Do you feel deserving or undeserving when it comes to financial abundance? Do you resent those who have it? Freewrite for ten minutes about your beliefs regarding money. What, if anything, did you learn or notice about yourself as a result of your writing exploration?
  5. How would you like to feel about money? Write a letter to Money, as if Money were a person, telling him or her what kind of relationship you would like to have.
  6. When you think about discussing money with your partner or with someone close to you, what are your dominant emotions? Shame? Anger? Confusion? Anxiety? Satisfaction? Comfort? Name your emotions and then write about the money memories associated with them.
  7. Have fun with this one — if you were to suddenly receive 10 million dollars, and you had to spend it and/or invest it within 24 hours, what would you do with it? Be specific: if you plan to invest a portion of it, exactly where would you invest it? If you want to give some of it away, exactly to whom or what organization(s) would you give it? Account for every penny.

I invite you to leave a comment and share with us what you learned and/or what you would do with 10 million dollars.


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6 thoughts on “A Week’s Worth of Journaling Prompts: It’s the Money, Honey

  • Jeanne K.

    Ten million? I don’t have a good concept of the amount to be specific, but here are some of my goals:
    My brother has MS and is homeless, living in a rehab center at the moment. His wife is spending nights in a shelter. I’d throw enough money at them to get them back into a house with a full-time caregiver for him as well as an electric wheelchair and other things that would make life simpler for them, like a cook and someone to drive a car for them.
    I have a small piece of property in a remote location and I’d like to build a log cabin on it.
    I’d buy another piece of property in another remote location that I know of, and build and run a retreat center for artists and writers, giving full scholarships to those I feel will make the best use of their time at the place.
    I’d hire a private investigator to figure out what’s behind the stalking that a friend of mine is experiencing. And I’d pay the appropriate people to make it stop.
    I have another friend who is living on the edge and needs a cabin without a leaky roof that has running water, a running vehicle, and a fast internet connection so he can also fulfill some projects he’s working on without having to haul water in a borrowed truck.
    I would quit both my jobs and travel. I would pay for my daughter to go to college and see if my sons want to go, because they didn’t want to when they graduated, not wanting to run up student loan debt. I would pay back my older daughter for all the financial help she’s given my youngest since her dad lost his job. I would probably buy my ex’s house and fix it up, since three of my kids still live there and it’s a decent old house that deserves to be maintained. I would make it possible for my other brother and his wife, who live abroad, to be able to get back to the states to visit family when they want to. I would put money in a trust fund for my granddaugher (she’s two). I would give a whole bunch to the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities. I would probably throw some money at a local collaborative art gallery that I like. And did I mention travel? There are some places in Europe that I have never spent enough time exploring, and I’m sure doing that will lead to other ways to give away the money that still needs to be spent.

    • Amber Lea Starfire

      Jeanne, thanks for sharing what you would do with the money. Yes, 10 million is a lot, but 1 million doesn’t go that far these days, so, for journaling purposes, an amount that really makes us stretch our imaginations is more productive.

      This prompt helps us to bring our values to the surface. For you, it’s friends and family, people close to you who need help with basic necessities, and charities. Spending very little on yourself (a simple log cabin and travel).

      Another journaling prompt: Did you find out anything about yourself in the process of writing about what you would do with all that money?

  • Melissa

    Thank you for these tips and prompts! I’m just getting into money mindset journaling now. It’s been coming at me from all directions even though journaling is something I’ve avoided for years. Sometimes the universe speaks and you just can’t ignore it! Great article that has sealed the deal for me.

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