Defining And Understanding Your Financial Self Concept

Money Files

In today’s episode, I provide a list of questions designed to help you define and understand your financial self-concept. You are with yourself every single day. When you are in the midst of working on your financial journey, it can be hard to see progress. One of the benefits of hiring a coach is that I am watching your progress, and I push you to reflect on the growth and shifts you’ve made around money.

Managing your finances is more than just budgeting and spreadsheets. Everyone has strong feelings about money. To create lasting changes, you have to identify and understand these emotions. That is why it is so important to understand your financial concept.

Your financial self-concept is just a set of thoughts that you have about yourself in relation to money. I curated a list of questions to help you define and understand your financial story. So get your pen and paper ready! I want you to really engage in this work and take a massive step forward in your financial journey, self-awareness, and money confidence.

As you listen, participate in the work of discovering your financial self concept…

[00:06:27] What is your self-concept like? What are the things that you are thinking about yourself now that you didn’t used to think about yourself when it came to your finances?

[00:08:51] Get your pen and paper. Here are some awesome questions for you to answer while defining your financial self concept.

[00:13:00] Be honest with yourself in terms of your financial mistakes or experiences because there are things that may have happened when you were a child that have influenced how you think about money. After you answer these questions, I want you to think about your answers. I want you to think about what connections you see overall and if there is a trend when you think about the thoughts that you automatically have about money

Tune in to this episode of Money Files as I outline a map of questions that will help you define and understand your financial self concept.

Are you ready to start asking for help with your finances? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.


Transcript for “Defining And Understanding Your Financial Self Concept”

Hi and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. I am excited to chat with you today and I want to ask that if you are listening to my podcast, whether this is one of the first episodes you’ve listened to or the 10th, the 30th, whatever number it is for you, if you are listening on Apple, I would love if you would go ahead and leave me review. The reviews, one, I love reading them, but they also give insight for other people just like you to learn why they should listen to money files and why they should connect with me and why they should become best friends with Keina and listening to my podcast on a weekly basis. So if you will just like pause or while you’re doing whatever you’re doing right now, just go to the Apple podcast platform, leave a review and I would appreciate it.

So today I want to talk to you about financial self-concept and in a couple of my coaching sessions over the last couple of weeks, I have a couple clients that are three to five months into the five month coaching partnership and we’ve been talking about their financial self-concept. I love the idea of knowing or understanding, defining your financial self-concept because it’s something that you can monitor and you can identify what are the shifts that you’ve had, especially when you started to engage in the work of changing your relationship with money. So one of my clients, I have like a worksheet that’s actually in my Facebook group that talks about all about my financial self-concept. And so it’s in my Facebook group, also my clients have access to it. And so we were talking about her financial self-concept and so she was like, I am so glad Keina that I just had the opportunity to reflect on the progress that I’ve made since working with you.

Because in my day-to-day, sometimes what I realize is that I’m looking at where I want to be versus where I’ve come from. And she’s like, when I like actually sat down and I answered the questions that you gave me, like I was able to see like all the shifts that I’ve made and working with clients that come from different backgrounds and just various walks of life, it’s so important for me to one, help my clients reflect. Like I’m always trying to help them see the shifts that I see in them because even when I’m engaged in my own work in my life, like whether with a life coach, business coach, nutrition coach, whatever that may be, because you’re in the midst of it, it can be so hard to see the progress that you’ve made because you’re with yourself every single day. And one of the benefits of hiring a coach is that coach gets to watch your journey over whatever amount of time you work with that person.

And so although you are with yourself every single day, when somebody is able to be that reflection for your growth and your progress, like I think the greatest tool that you can have to keep on going, it’s also why I think investing in a coach helps you get results so much quicker because you have someone who can name for you, here’s the progress that you’ve made. And so with this particular client, when she came to me, she actually had a consult with me on Valentine’s Day and I had posted on Instagram, I was like, now she’s fallen in love with her numbers and I just like love the irony of the fact that we had a consult on Valentine’s Day and she never knew that she would fall in love with her numbers. And when I think about her falling in love with her numbers, when she came to me, she’s like making six figures.

And her biggest pain point was like, I get paid once a month. And what I noticed is that before the end of the month, I’m using my credit card to cover expenses. And so that was something that she didn’t want to be happening in her life. And it’s like no matter how much money she’s making, she still feels like she’s living paycheck to paycheck. And that’s a common theme, like people are making more money but the making more money isn’t solving the problem that they’re experiencing. And so she also had debt and she just wanted to be like, I want to be someone who’s managing my money well, like I don’t want to be at this point in my life still wondering how I’m going to pay or afford for something. And so since we’ve been working together, she’s increased her income, she just got a raise, she had gotten a temporary raise because she was doing a position and I was like, why don’t you just go in there and talk to your boss about actually maintaining that race because I just feel like you’re already doing that work.

So she actually was able to negotiate that, which helped her feel more financially secure. But just by us putting in a system in place where she like isn’t just tracking her numbers but she actually knows her numbers, she knows what she’s saving for, whether it’s gifts or her birthday or her Costco membership, whatever that may be, because she actually has all of her numbers in one place, it has helped her not use her credit card from month to month. So the money that she’s getting paid, even though she’s only getting paid monthly, she’s been able to experience relief. And so one of her reflections when she did this worksheet is she was telling me like, I don’t feel so buried or like I don’t have a way to reach my goals. And that like, I don’t know where you are with your finances, but when you don’t feel buried or like you’re suffocating, everything changes.

You can be thinking about what it is that you want to achieve next or you start to see possibility because you’re not just looking at the things that you failed at or the things that aren’t working. And so we started talking about in our last coaching call or the coaching call before last, like what is your self-concept? Like what are the things that you are thinking about yourself now that you didn’t used to think about yourself when it came to your finances? And so your financial self-concept is really just a set of thoughts that you have about yourself as it’s related to your finances. And I think the easiest thing and the easiest place I should say to start when you’re thinking about your financial self-concept is just to ask yourself what thoughts come up naturally when I think about my money? That’s the only thing you need to ask yourself is like, what thoughts come up naturally when I think about my money?

And for some of you, you’re going to think like, I’m so good at money and for some of you, you’re going to think I’m really bad at money or I should be further along. But it’s important for you to identify the story that you tell yourself about your finances because if we can identify where you are right now when it comes to your finances, you’re also going to have another measure for your growth when you do engage in the work. For my clients that are working with me, or if you’re listening to me right now and you’re like, Keina, I want to work with you in your five month coaching partnership. If you can identify where you are right now in 30 days from now when we start working together, you’re going to be like, oh my goodness. Like that thought that I had 30 days ago isn’t even a thought that I have anymore.

Like it’s not an automatic thought that I have about myself. And so you’re going to have a different measure for your own growth. And so if you’re doing like, what I really want you to do today with this episode is take some time to sit down and understand what’s your financial self-concept and your self-concept you get to change it. What you think about yourself today, you don’t have to think about yourself tomorrow or six months from now or a year from now. And by doing this work, you can do it yearly, you can do it every six months. Like you’re going to be able to monitor your own growth and process because when we’re talking about finances, it’s not just about math, it’s not just about a spreadsheet. Like money is very emotional, there’s a psychological piece to money. And so it’s important to understand what our thoughts and our feelings are and be able to name what we want to keep and being able to name what we no longer want to nourish or nurture.

So I’m going to go ahead and rattle off some questions for you. So I want you to have a pen and paper, wherever you are and really do this work. So the first question I ask you is like what thoughts naturally come up for you when you think about your finances? That’s like step one. Another flavor or variation of that question is what story do I tell myself about money? Then I want to dig in deeper because when I think about people who are in the paycheck to paycheck cycle, you’re working, you’re in a business and maybe you have thoughts about your prices or you may be someone who like you have money because you have inherited money from your family wherever you are because there’s like a wide range in terms of where you could be. I want to ask you some additional questions just to get to new layers of thoughts because you can have the same thoughts regardless of how much money you make, but I just want to illuminate things for you so you can start to have your own ahas and know like, oh, like this is so funny that this thought is still coming up because with my clients, that’s the work that we get to do is coaching on the thoughts that they have.

So the next question is, what do I believe about the amount of money I make? The next question, what do I believe about my ability to earn more money or create more money? For some of you, you’re going to be like, oh girl, I can make any amount of money I want to make. Like you believe that the money faucet is open. You would not have a problem asking for $300,000. Like you’re like, yes girl, I can make more money. I can raise my prices in my business. Like you know that you can make more money. For some people you might think like, I have to take this job right now that’s only making $50,000 a year because it’s the sacrifice that I need to make in order to be present with my family. And so you might think that there is a cap on how much money that you want to make, but whatever comes up for you, it’s really good to know that you have these thoughts in the back of your head and we know that they’re just thoughts because there could be someone else making the same amount of money as you and they have different thoughts.

There could be somebody else with the same degree as you and they have different thoughts about how much money they can make. So we know that they’re just thoughts and we know that they’re not necessarily true. The next question is what do I believe about my debt? So if you have debt, I want you to ask yourself like what do you believe about your debt? Is it good? Is it bad? Should you not be in debt? Should you have already paid it off? Like it’s so important to be able to identify that for yourself. How do I feel when I have money? So when you look at your bank account, how do you feel when you have money? This is going to bring up your thoughts probably about safety. It may bring up your thoughts about worthiness. Like do you feel worthy of the amount of money that you have in your bank?

Do you feel excited? The next question is, how have I felt or how do I feel when I don’t have money? So this is important because whether you’re in the midst of a place right now where you feel like you don’t have money, or maybe in the past you have felt like you didn’t have money to be able to unearth those feelings for yourself. The next question I want you to answer is like, what financial mistakes or experiences haunt me? I really want you to spend time thinking about your past. Like you could be 45 years old right now, but there’s this one time when you were 18 that you had creditors calling you. And that could trigger a lot of things for you when you’re thinking about your finances. And so just think about what financial mistakes or experiences haunt you. You could also be thinking about when you were 10 years old, that like maybe your family experienced homelessness. 

I’ve had clients tell me about how they were homeless at one point in time. And so that definitely shapes how they think about money. But just spend some time here being honest with yourself in terms of like your financial mistakes or experiences would be another word. Because there are things that may have happened when you were a child that have influenced how you think about money. And after you’ve answered these questions, I want you to think like you have your own answers, you have your own thoughts in front of you. I want you to think about like what connections do you see overall? So is there a trend when you think about the thoughts that you automatically have about money? Are there like some feelings that are a trend?

Are there some connections that you’re starting to see in terms of maybe some past mistakes that have happened or maybe your beliefs about debt or your beliefs about your ability to save money, but like what is that theme there for you when you think about your finances? And I’m assuming that if you’re listening to this podcast, the common things that are going to come up is maybe some mistrust for money or shame about your finances. Or like you are thinking about the fact that you like have had some wins, but you’re worried about whether or not you can maintain those things or you’re still not sure if you know what to do with money. Like that might be what resonates with you when you think about your financial self-concept versus thinking about yourself as someone who like I can manage any amount of money, I’m a good steward of my finances, money comes easily to me. Some more things that may be more affirming. 

And so it’s just important to know like what connections do you see? So after you’ve answered these questions for yourself, I want you to push it a little bit more into a place where like, I want to actually unearth something that you probably don’t do often, which is to think about like what do you actually want to celebrate financially? And so wherever you are, regardless if you have debt, you have savings, you’ve made money, not making money, you’re jobless, employed, I want you to be able to identify what you want to celebrate. And I don’t want you to think about like, oh my goodness, this is a small win or I just celebrated this last week or last month. No, like keep this running list of like what you want to be able to celebrate financially.

So go ahead, write it out. What do you want to celebrate financially? Maybe all your bills are paid on time. Maybe you’ve been able to give to an organization that you’ve always wanted to give to. Maybe you just put all of your bills on auto pay, whatever it is, write down what you want to celebrate financially. Maybe you’ve had a money date every single week this month. Then I want you to write down like how did you feel about celebrating your financial wins? And for a lot of you, you might think like, oh my goodness, this is so foreign to me, but I want you to be in this place because oftentimes there’s more that’s going right than there is that’s going wrong. But because we focus on the things that we’re not doing, we can’t see what we are doing. Then I want you to answer the question, which is just another variation kind of going back into the work that you’ve done already is like, what story do you commonly tell yourself about how you manage money? 

And then I want you to identify how do you want to feel about your finances and what thoughts keep you from feeling this way? So you want to feel proud, you want to feel empowered. What thoughts do you have that keep you from feeling this way? And then finally the last question I want you to answer is, what thoughts will you release so you can let go of the financial shame that you have in your life? So this is the podcast today. A list of questions that I just want you to actually sit down and do the work because regardless, like I said, of where you are in your financial journey, it can be important to come back to this idea of your financial self-concept because with my client Erica, I used to tell her, I’m like, you can turn up the volume on the thoughts you desire to think and you can turn down the volume on the thoughts that no longer serve you. 

And so in doing this exercise, especially like when you were celebrating yourself, if you thought something like, oh my goodness, I’m doing a good job, then you could write that, put it on a post-it, like I’m doing a good job with my finances. Like you can practice thinking that and you can look for affirming evidence that you’re doing a good job managing your finances. That’s literally something you can do every single day to help affirm the thought that you have and to help change your relationship with money. So that’s the podcast for today and I thank you so much for listening. If you are ready to dive into this work and really shift your relationship with money and be able to spend money guilt-free, whether that’s on the personal side or in your business, I would encourage you to go to and apply to work with me.

So I’m recording this podcast in June, or excuse me, I’m recording it in May actually, but it will go live in June. And so my calendar is open right now with consults. If we get on the phone this month, we can pick a date that aligns with your schedule of when you actually want to start working together. And so that consult where we actually talk for an hour, is an opportunity for you to have a space to feel comfortable talking about money and to understand what are the three things that we could actually work on together in the next five months to help you get closer to the results you desire to create. So the link is in my show notes and I look forward to connecting with you face to face on a Zoom call. Have a great week and I will chat with you next week.

Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to and let’s get started.

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