You pride yourself on knowing your partner inside out, and you always intuitively know which presents to buy your family. You can second-guess your boss’s next move and you’re always in tune with your friends’ moods.

Having great relationships takes time, dedication and the willingness to learn - then build on that knowledge to form a detailed picture.

However, is there one relationship you’re yet to tackle? Sorry to ask a very strange question - but how well do you know your relationship with money?

Let’s start with the basics - what makes you unique. You’re a complex mix of nature and nurture; genetics and life experiences. What you’ve seen and done, what you’ve been told and shown. You’re a wonderful mixture of your predecessors and, well, just you.

What makes you ‘you’ defines how you act, think and feel about all aspects of your life – and money’s a big part of this.

Your ‘Money Scripts’ start to develop when you’re a child, and they influence how you behave and deal with money when you’re older. You learn from parents, family, teachers and friends – and the conclusions you draw can stick with you for life.

Think about one of your less-than-helpful money habits. Do you ever go on a spending spree when you’re stressed, or make unwise purchases to give yourself a pick-me-up? There’s a good chance you’ve ‘learned’ at some point that spending money = makes things better. If you had a parent who was a big spender when the chips were down, there’s a good chance you learned it from them. Did they buy you an extravagant present when you failed your driving test? Did they spend loads at Christmas, just to make things ‘special’ and impress the neighbours?

Money Scripts don’t just mean a dysfunctional relationship with your credit card, and overspending when you’re cheesed off. You can hoard your cash - maybe you believe that spending is bad, and you’ll end up homeless if you don’t squirrel away every penny. Maybe you secretly think that people will only like you if you have the latest gear and gadgets - money allows you to show that you’re a ‘success’, and you know your worth.

We all think about money in one of three ways.

  • Money Avoidance: Money avoiders have negative associations with money, and disengage where possible. They’ll avoid opening bank statements, checking their balance, or tracking where their money’s going.

  • Money Worship: Money worshippers are convinced more money and possessions will make them happy and solve their problems. Feeling bad? A spending spree will solve all of their problems; temporarily.

  • Money Disarray: Money is a deep source of shame and often taboo. These people don’t like talking about it; any kind of money conversation makes them anxious.

Take some time out and see which of the above statements applies to you. Once you’ve worked out which Money Script applies to you, you can begin to adjust your behaviour around money accordingly.

Money Avoidance: Engage! Take a deep breath, check your balance, and start spotting patterns in your spending. Once you feel more in control and more aware of what’s happening with your finances, you’ll be more likely to take an interest in saving, watching what you’re spending, and being able to carefully weigh up the decisions you make.

Money Worship: You crave validation - and you believe that having the best and flashiest stuff shows your worth. The next time you’re tempted to make a big purchase, as yourself why. Why do you need this? Try to work out what’s bothering you, and focus on that. Don’t use ‘stuff’ to mask feelings which you need to deal with.

Money Disarray: It’s OK to feel anxious about money - you may have gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle, or had a bad experience in the past. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your situation, and make small steps to understanding the ebb and flow of your money. Where could you make small changes to boost your finances?