Since this month is tax season, I thought it would be the perfect time for us to think about money together.
Talking about money is so tricky!
Each year, there are random surveys of why people get divorced. People are presented with a list of one to two word options for why they got divorced. Each year the top three are typically:
That makes sense, right? Each of those is really complicated and has very deep meaning and implications.
A few years ago I read, “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach. (He has written about a dozen books some geared towards women, others are more gender neutral.) His book was the first ‘financial philosophy’ book that challenged me to think about my values around money. Which is something I wasn’t even challenged to do in graduate school!! There was an entire class devoted to sex therapy and you could specialize in child therapy but there was no content on specifically helping couples/families work through financial challenges! How to talk to kids about money, how to work through financial abuse, how to spot financial abuse!
I have come to believe that it isn’t part of a counseling curriculum largely because it is such a social faux pas to even discuss it!! We could spend days guessing at how that got started, but let’s just dive right in!
What values does money represent for you? What is important about money to you?
The ability to provide for or protect your children?
Service to others?
The ability to support your parents in their elder years?
The answer is different for all of us and it should be. What are your values around money? What does money represent to your and your life?
In his book, Bach says that it is nearly impossible to stick to your financial goals if you don’t know what your money values are rooted in and I really agree with him. Does your spending reflect your values? Or does it reflect your fears?
So here is my challenge for the next two weeks!! Make a list of what your values are around money and talk to someone about them. I would love it if you shared them with me and it could be a really powerful conversation to have with a family member.