I’m trying to get to the root of money behaviors. This topic is becoming an annoying bug buzzing around the inside of my head. Because I spend so much time reading and researching money issues, it’s outside of my faculties to conceive that others don’t make responsible money decisions. I am constantly reading that more than 50% of pre-retirement workers have little or nothing saved for retirement, and I can’t wrap my mind around it.
Money scripts, just like any other psychological scripts, are clearly the driver, but it’s also about education, or the willingness to learn. Most adults are struggling to manage their finances, and many concede that they don’t know the basics. For young adults, there’s no formal education for personal finance, and high school graduates have no idea what to do regarding self-support. College graduates are burdened with student loans without any idea how they’re going to manage the payments. Many don’t know how to anticipate real-life expenses and get quickly overwhelmed. They get blindsided by the multitude of costs, using credit cards to pay for necessities, and enter the danger zone of perpetual debt.
By not knowing the first step, or knowing how to manage all the pieces that make up a comprehensive, effective financial playbook, individuals retreat into ignorance. That’s never good. Those that choose not to address their financial issues too often find that eventually their money issues are running them, not the other way around. Credit that’s not managed properly, spending money that one does not have, letting emotions control money decisions. These are just a few. Some money issues are so extreme that they upend a person’s life, leaving the individual with lifelong debt or substantial losses of savings.
In conjunction with education, the money script of the individual deserves acknowledgement. If you’ve read any of my previous material, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Brad Klontz, the psychologist responsible for coining the phrase. All the education in the world will get thrown to the wind if the person possesses a destructive money script. The money script will collide with the education, and will win in the end. That’s because the money script is generated from subconscious beliefs. The person may not even realize they’re displaying certain behaviors. The human brain works that way, it’s part of survival. We learn things that work for us and there’s always a payoff for doing what we do.
I intend to be a teacher of the elements that result in a sound financial setting. Once the elements are part of everyday awareness, it becomes easier to process the combination working together. Starting out may not be easy, but a strong goal with small rewards along the way will result in an increase in quality of life and overall contentment. By chipping away at understanding one aspect at a time, it all comes together. The sum is truly greater than the parts and financial harmony can materialize.
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