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Published: May 10, 2024 5 min read
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Breaking news: There might finally be an answer to the age-old question "Why am I like this?"

It turns out that nearly every financial behavior you have has its roots in something else, and many of these influences are so minor that you'd never recognize them.

“We attempt to put money into a vacuum instead of looking at how it really intersects with every area of our life,” says Ellyce Fulmore, a financial educator and author of Keeping Finance Personal: Ditch the “Shoulds” and the Shame and Rewrite Your Money Story. But in reality, all the pieces of our lives, experiences and identities “impact how we think about money, view money, spend money [and] the decisions that we make around money.”

Fulmore, who owns a financial literacy company and has over 530,000 followers on TikTok, likes to describe this as a “money story,” though it's also been called a “money script.” Basically, our financial beliefs, behaviors and attitudes are formed in accordance with an almost-infinite number of outside factors. These can range from culture, class and trauma to personality, birth order and movies we watch. (Turns out we're a lot more impressionable than we'd like to think.)