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Maturing in Money, Meaning and Sex

January 17, 2011

Money, meaning and sex… What to they have in common?   Well… 

  • Potential motivators for very good things in life.  (Really!)
  • Most common reasons for divorce (code word: “irreconcilable differences”)
  • Powerful areas of pain for many of us
  • Great elements in movie plots, book plots and music.
  • Things we think about a lot! 
  • And did I say – great areas of pain for many of us. (OK, let’s make that most of us!)

And which one of those three do you think about most?  (Maybe unless you’re a teenager…)  Answer: Money.  Respondents to a Money survey as recorded in George Kinder’s book, Seven Stages of Money Maturity said they thought about money over sex by a margin of 47 percent to 19 percent. (That’s 2.5 to 1 !)    Kinder comments, (People) “rank money  ahead of sex not because they are craven slaves to materialism and acquisition but because it connects their inner space to the world at large.  ”   If we have a problem with money, rich, poor or in between – we will likely have a problem with the way we relate to the world. 

Simply stated – Money is the critical link between the interior and the exterior.   If we struggle with money – handling it, making it, saving it, giving it – we also have a poor relationship with our own inner beings.. and most likely with those closest to us, with sex, with those we work with and even with God. 

Maturing in Meaning and in Sex involves maturing in Money.

HOWEVER – most of us weren’t trained, schooled or equipped to be “money mature.”  Sure, a few of us took a class or two on how to balance a checkbook, or keep a budget or invest in mutual funds – but that’s just one very little part of money-maturity.    For reasons beyond our reasoning, we blow past budgets, over-spend, under-earn, and lose sleep over money – not because we want to – but because the pain still reigns in us.  We’ve internalized messed up messages from parents, commercials and culture.  We adopted bad habits and haven’t had the teaching, the time or the tools to break out of what’s been broken.  We’ve given up hope that we can change. 

Frankly, I’ve had MANY hours of training in my economics classes, financial planning education and  many how-to build a financial advisor practice teaching – but very little input on how to help people

  • Quit worrying about money so much!
  • Be responsible in healthy ways.
  • Change their bad money habits
  • Earn money in ways that fit them best.
  • Understand their spouse’s money views.

And – lacking money maturity takes its toll over time. 

SO – what if one of your areas of REAL GROWTH in  2011 was to grow in money maturity?  It is one of mine.  I am already working on the money messages I send myself and plan to help my clients who want to find financial freedom that goes beyond keeping a budget!   (Yes, it’s a messy undertaking.   In me too!)

Here’s some the kinds of questions that get to the heart of personal money growth.  Maybe this may even spark some discussions or some soul-searching. 

What are your earliest memories of money?

What are the feelings attached to the earliest memories of money?

What were the common “sayings” about money you’ve grown up around. (Ex. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”  “Money is the root of all evil.”  “Time is money.”  “It all comes down to money!”  “You only get what you pay for.”)  Are they really true? 

What were some of your most important lessons about money?

How do you feel about people who are richer than you?

How do you feel about people who are poorer than you?

There’s many more – but start with a pad of paper and those.  I agree, this is “Growth 201!”  Maybe 501!

But – do the life math.  How much will be lost (or never gained) if you don’t go after this money maturity monster sooner rather than later?   What would change if you really engaged money maturity? 

And if you’re looking for a place to start, just look up at the title of this blog post.  : )

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