I’m sooo thankful to have been turned on to Denise Duffield-Thomas a.k.a The Lucky Bitch. My Mama Bliss Coaching School teacher, Ms. Kathy, put it on her list of recommended reads for the course, and I couldn’t be more grateful. The book is both very simple and very profound. I’m only half way through, and I can already feel shifts.
So, one of the core exercises is writing out ALL of your negative money stories in order to clear out your subconscious self-sabotaging money habits. I did something similar a few years ago on paper, but there is something about typing that just helps my voice flow through my fingertips (Hubby loves to call me his “tip-tapper” because I type so loud when I get in a groove).
As a twin, I quickly realized that half of my stories are really “our” stories. It’s partly because we love telling stories, but our list of money stories is getting seriously long. So, we are going to break them down into a series of posts from early childhood, adolescence, early adulthood and married life. Our shared memories are in blue, Darcy’s memories are in purple, and Miel’s are in pink. Hopefully this will help you/us keep our stories straight!
Early Childhood Money Stories & Lessons:
- We were born into a wealth of love, but not money. Our parents were the definition of hippies. Our biological father, Wally, was a tree planter and our Mom was already a Mama of three adopted children (ages 15, 14 and 5 when Miel and I were born). Before getting pregnant our Mom had made some money by cooking for the crew of tree planters, and she was/is very crafty. So, she made ends meet creatively, but it was definitively a subsistence lifestyle. She also owned the hippie commune land, so she wasn’t end entirely a vagabond. They were living off the grid with NO utility bills, and had a grocery bill that averaged less than $100 a month. This taught us that you don’t NEED much money to be happy.
- It’s always felt like a very crazy part of my/our life story, but when our Mom went to the hospital to deliver us, our older teenage adopted sister decided that it was time to fly the coop. She ran away, and quite literally stole all of our Mom’s savings from underneath her mattress. We didn’t hear from her until we were seven. The idea of our Mom being/becoming broke upon our birth has always felt a bit unthinkable. Thankfully, our Mom was gracious enough to forgive her for it, but it’s still a negative family history connected to money. This taught us to forgive too (plus being twins had hardwired us for trusting and forgiving).
- By the time we were toddlers, our Mom was ready to leave our father when our Dad came into our lives. (I always love how he freely admits that he fell in love with us before he fell for our Mom). He was gifted mechanic, but worked odd jobs until we were about 7 or 8. He got a job at a auto shop in the town nearby. Yet, in high school (after our house caught on fire!), he shattered his ankle falling off a ladder and basically never went back to as a full time mechanic. This taught us that you need to work hard to pay the bills.
- With our Mom leaving our Father, Wally, when we were so young, some of our first money memories was about child support. As a tree planter, Wally didn’t make much money and what he did earn was very seasonal. Yet, when our Mom made it clear to him that visits would be on her terms, he took her to court to seek regular visitation rights. Along with that privilege came the responsibility of child care. He paid the $100 for a few months, and then our Mom began a ledger to track his back child support. Her favorite saying was “You Can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.” She had a lot of resentment and was pissed about paying more lawyer’s fees than she ever got back in child support. She was also pissed because Wally’s parents were wealthy, but never offered to help in any way. This taught us that sometimes life isn’t fair and as a woman you need to be able to support yourself.
- At age four we moved from a cabin off the grid to a house across from the Days Creek School when we are almost four (living briefly in a bus for the summer). We liked to tell people that we lived in “The White House in D.C.” When we moved in our Great Grandma bought our first refrigerator, and gave our parents $100 for groceries, which felt like a lot of money. This made us aware of our lack of money and the kindness of generosity.
- The house had been a three bedroom farm house on one side with an add-on for a feed store, and a shed bathroom tacked on the back. There was a gas station that had been been shuttered for decades with a shop where our Dad could work on cars. The house was being remodeled for most of our upbringing, which was often a point of frustration for our Mom and us. This taught us that money trumps desire and that you can’t always afford what you want.
- We didn’t get a phone line until we were almost seven. Shortly after, we got our first used TV as a gift to Dad that Mom found at a bargain. We never had cable, and had a antenna to get ABC, NBC, and PBS. When we didn’t have a TV, I remember watching the news or knowing that their parents watched Cheers and Mash. Later, Mom got into watching Dallas like most housewives of that generation. This taught us that we didn’t have a typical upbringing.
- Until early grade school our Father lived in a house truck, and even though it was pretty darn fun when we visited, I remember not wanting friends to know he lived such a nomadic lifestyle. I felt relieved when he rented his first place around age 8, and then loved the house he rented from age 9 until he past away three years ago. This taught us that being poor is embarrassing, and you need to keep your poverty a secret.
So, according to the Lucky Bitch, the power isn’t in writing down the story or even sharing it, or even in the lesson (positive or negative) that we learned. But writing down the story and feeling the emotions leads us to being ready to forgive. For each of these stories, we each read them and said, “I forgive you, I accept you, and I love you.”
Everyone has money stories…have you released your money blocks?
Darcy and Miel
Sustainable Family Finances
Growing abundance while living down-to-Earth