Financial Emotion

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photo: paul bica

Money can be a very emotional topic. Many times when we are young we experience an emotional happening in our family that can have an impact on us for the rest of our lives. In fact, there’s a whole area of financial planning study devoted to it. See How Clients’ Money Scripts Predict Their Financial Behavior in the Journal of Financial Planning. These scripts help identify emotions you have around money.

When I was young, my dad impressed upon me the idea that time was money. He was always working. As the sole breadwinner in a household of five and the owner of his own business, he had a tremendous amount of stress put on him. Because of that stress and his belief system, if things weren’t going right, he worked harder and longer. Recognizing this false belief early on, I’ve been able to shape my life around a different belief system, and to plan so that the money worries he had, weigh a little less on my conscience.

If you do not address these emotions around money, physical symptoms arise. Stress, pain, or even a heart attack or family break-up, can culminate as a result of this pent up emotion around money. One way or another, the universe will get you to listen. It’s best to listen early on to that still small voice inside you that says do something with your financial worries.  One of the ways to address this emotion is by identifying these worries, and doing something about it. Have a plan to address  your worries.

If you’re worried about your kids not getting an education, figure out how much an education costs, and how much you should be saving. If you’re worried about credit card debt, talk to someone about how to get out of it. If you are worried that you’ll never be able to retire, have someone crunch some numbers and offer some solutions. A good financial plan addresses your emotion around money in a simple, logical way that you can understand. It sets your mind at ease, allowing you to make conscious decisions with your money that settle your emotion. It also opens the door for you to dream about things like retirement and travel. When you can connect your head with your heart in a plan, you have the opportunity to live a life with higher purpose. This higher purpose resonates with your being and allows your spirit to soar, less hindered by emotion.