The kids in this picture are way too young to be doing this money stuff, right? And yet that’s the part of you that is doing your money stuff…
Once upon a time, you were a little kid. As a child, you were a sponge, just soaking up learning everywhere. You learned about everything: walking, talking, eating, playing…even money. Ah yes, money. That learning about money was a bit different than learning about other things. The first thing you learned about money is that “We don’t talk about it!” You learned that there was emotion attached to money, and somehow it produced anxiety.
As you watched your folks deal with the stuff, you learned odd things. You learned that money was scary. You learned that people fought about it. You learned it was somehow taboo. You may have also learned to believe others things about money, like:
It ruins families
It is bad, dirty.
It makes people selfish or foolish
With all that going, on most people decided to stop actually trying to deal with the stuff and leave their “little kid” part in charge of it.
Here’s the rub. Would you actually, consciously, now choose to leave your, say five year old brain, in charge of your money? Me thinks not!
Yet that’s what most of us have done. Our little kid part that has the job of running our money often comes up with some weird financial choices. Things like:
Having lots of shoes will provide security
Ignoring money will be effective
Leaving all the money stuff to others is a good strategy
Feeling bad can be solved by shopping
Please understand. All this is not the fault of your little kid part, nor is it the fault of your adult part. What happened was that when you were little, you in essence gave your five year old the job of running your money, and then you never reassigned the job to another part of you.
A couple of important things about this.
1. Your little kid part has actually done an amazing job of this. Frankly, it would seem that the results could, and probably even should, have been much worse.
2. It’s really an exhausting and arduous task for your child side.
3. Because there has been no external support for it, the little kid part of you actually doesn’t get better at running your money.
See, that’s the real problem. It becomes a closed system. You just keep circling around, doing the same things over and over in the same old way.
It’s not fair to you, and it’s really not fair to your little kid part.
So, how about you choose a different part of yourself to run the money? One that is more worldly, one that is willing to ask for help, one that knows how to learn new skills and change behaviors? And, I suggest, one that has left ‘little kid land’ behind.
And while you are at it, how about giving your little kid part a break? A permanent reassignment to things that he or she is good at. Things that are fun. Things like coloring, making cookies, playing? And while you are at it, thank them for doing a job that is way over their head so faithfully for so long. You would have quit years ago!
(And if you are part of the 2.5% who actually already have adult parts of you running your money, good for you! How about you spend some time with your little kid part too? Just for the fun of it?)