Why It’s Important for Women to Own Their Money Identity

Why It’s Important for Women to Own Their Money Identity

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© Piotr Marcinki/123RF

“What is my money identity?”

I wonder how many women have asked themselves this question. I certainly didn’t for the majority of my life. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago, when I started on a journey of self-discovery, that I learned about my own relationship with money. But even then, it was only in the context of a bigger question of “Who am I? What’s my life purpose?”

Through my own self explorations, I finally understood how important our money identity is. Although generally not spoken about, it is one of the most important factors that influence our daily behaviors. Have you ever wondered how your money identity influenced your decision to relocate to Paris? After all, money has its tentacles in all parts of our lives: relationships, career & lifestyle choices, life planning and self worth.

© Katarzyna BiaAasiewiez/123RF
© Katarzyna BiaAasiewiez/123RF

So, I would like to take this opportunity to dive a little deeper. Stay with me.

The first time I had to think about who I am as it relates to money was when I attended T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind retreat. One of the exercises he had us do was to break into four groups, based on our money personality: Hoarders, Spenders, Avoiders, and Money Monks. Hmmm… I know I save, but not to the point of hoarding; I like to spend on things I enjoy but I have my limits; I certainly don’t try to avoid money. That leaves me Money Monk! By his definition, Money Monk is someone who sees themselves above money, meaning there is something inferior about money. Voilà! That is me, not just by process of elimination, but because I do often find myself saying “I wouldn’t do that for money”.

So, what does that tell me and how is it relevant? With this newly-found identity, looking back on my career of 10 years in real estate, I realized there were too many times where I had left money on the table in the name of “I’m better than that”. I’m not judging myself, but the self-awareness was profound.

© Serezniy/123RF
© Serezniy/123RF

Another discovery I made during this retreat was the fact that I had been solely focused on making money, at the expense of taking my eyes off what I already had. What’s wrong with that? Well, I understood the snowball effect in wealth building in theory, but I certainly wasn’t applying it in real life. I was simply an income earner. This pattern of only looking at how much you are making today is what traps people in the never-ending rat race. This was when I made the shift of my financial path from income earning to wealth building.

So, what does your money identity have to do with Paris? Well, understanding it will help you enjoy your expat life in Paris to the fullest.

If you had to uproot your career to move to Paris, you have probably been wondering, “Now what?” What’s next for me in the City of Lights, money-wise? Maybe you are living on your spouse’s income, or your savings, or some temporary jobs, but the point is, most likely you are not on your “normal career track” at the moment.

Ekoachai Lohacamonchai/123RF
Ekoachai Lohacamonchai/123RF

If you have this type question in your mind but don’t know where to start, then I would suggest to first get a handle on your own money identity, which will help you get clarity on what you want in terms of your financial life.

ALSO READ: “Mind Your Money: Wake Up Calls For Expat Women”

In my experiences of working with women, most often they come with a specific problem or question, but we almost always have to backtrack to what they really want. That is a process in itself. Here are some questions to help you explore your inner self around money:

“Money is …………………………………”

“I use money to …………………………………”

“I save money for …………………………………”

“If I make more money …………………………………”

“People that make lots of money are ………………………………..”

“My biggest fears about money are ………………………………..”

“Being financially free means …………………………………”

“In terms of my identity, money is ………………………………..”

Sharpen Your Financial Skills and Plan for Your Future with Yulin Lee in Paris!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Discuss your money questions in person with Yulin Lee at INSPIRELLE’s “Women and Money: Take Charge of Your Financial Life” workshop, in Paris.

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm (2-hour workshop, plus refreshments/networking)
Venue: Columbia Global Centers ⎜Paris, Reid Hall, 4 rue de Chevreuse 75006 Paris, France
Tickets: 39€

During this 2-hour, interactive workshop, you will:

  • Explore the meaning of money, what it represents to you, and how your perceptions of money have been dictating your behaviors
  • Get clarity on your short and long term financial goals, which beliefs are supporting your goals, and which ones are not
  • Create a vision of your financial future in 12 months and specific action steps for you to walk away with.
Yulin Lee
With a multi-cultural background, Yulin learned early on that happiness isn't dependent on material things and true wealth comes from within. Since moving to California from China as a teenager, Yulin has embraced and lived her American dreams. She studied Computer Science and earned an MBA while working in the hi-tech industry. Eventually, her passion in real estate took her onto a different path, moving from an income earner to a wealth builder. During the four years she lived in Paris, Yulin founded Project M: Mind & Money, a coaching service helping women gain financial knowledge, confidence and independence. Through her experiences, Yulin witnessed many women facing financial difficulties, especially during major life transitions, such as career change, divorces and death. She is on a mission to empower women and help raise a new generation of financially savvy children.

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