Kid or Grownup?

What part of you manages your money?  The kid or the grownup?  Let’s take a look at that.

What do most people do when they get stuck, don’t understand, are baffled, or overwhelmed, about money?  Often they:

  • Avoid or ignore money, hoping it will solve itself
  • Get angry
  • Makeup excuses
  • Spend more to “feel” better
  • Hoard
  • Worry and obsess about it
  • Try to act like they know what they are doing with it

There is something all those choices have in common: They are the actions of children, not grownups.  That’s right!  We all have little kids managing our money!  

We were little kids when we learned what little we know about money.  The first thing we learned was that we ‘don’t talk about it, ever!’  How do you learn about something you can’t talk about?  By observation.  And the thing that most kids learn by observing their parents around money, is that it’s a very ‘hinky’ thing! There often are more conversations about what not to do with it than how to actually manage it.  If you got any training about it in school it was likely from a teacher who didn’t like dealing with it.  We fumble around thinking everyone else looks like they are doing well with this, and we are the only ones who are clueless.

Thus our thinking and skillsets around money never got revised, improved, or shifted.

Frankly, if any of us were to pick a part of us to run our money, I don’t think we’d pick our little kid part.  Personally, I want my money run by the part of me that is thoughtful, adept, balanced, calm, and curious.  What part of you do you want to run your money?  What part do you think is running it now?

What is money’s role in this?  Was any of this money’s fault?  Maybe we should have scolded money, given it a good talking to, frightened it?  It all sounds pretty funny, doesn’t it? We often treat money as if it was a person.  And act as if it’s money’s job, to protect us and possibly even parent us.  More of that little kid stuff, huh?

Money’s actual job, as I see it, is to tell us what is going on WITHOUT the emotion, criticism or judgment.  Money has been doing that all along.  It’s been saying “there are no savings”, “you don’t have insurance”, “you are spending a lot on bright shiny things”, etc.  Money tells us all that and more.  It does it quietly.  We have to actually look and listen if we are going to know what money is telling us.  The evidence of what is going on will pile up.  It’s all there.  We can all be forensic accountants of our own spending habits.  And money will never have an opinion.

Money is reflective, not causative.  It shows you what you are up to—in how you make it and how you spend it.  Money won’t fix your life or solve your problems just by having it.  It will tell you what you are up to around your problems and life if you look.  You’ll find that looking at what money is reflecting will be an effective way of solving the mystery of where you are. Give it a try with that grownup part of you, and see what you find.

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, the Untangler

If you need support in figuring out what money is telling you, give me a call at 503-258-1630 or leave a comment.

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