Money Attitudes

Can money buy happiness?  Yours—or a close friend or loved one?  Most think so, especially the young and those who have received lump sums that usually come as gifts or through inheritances.  Truth be told, it doesn’t last long for many.  It’s easy to say, “If I only had more income (savings, investments, real estate, etc.), I would be more happy (comfortable, satisfied, joyful, generous, etc.).”  Really?  Let’s find out.

Your Money Attitude

 Read the columns below.  Circle or underline all the words that most sound like where you are or how you feel today.

Money $marts Attitude Scale

1 2 3 4 5
Unhappy Unproductive  Steady  Happy  Joyful
Insecure Barely Coping Average Tension Free Accomplished
Angry Not good enough Ordinary Aspiring Acknowledged
Lonely  Not having enough OK Secure Valued
Need Love Improving  Accepted Fun

Powerful

Inhibited Searching Satisfied Pleased Confident
Unfinished Making do Common Peaceful Exhilarated
Uncomfortable Struggling Worthy Competent Blissful
Disappointed Need assurance Likable Prepared Excited
Fatigued Tense  Agreeable Capable Passionate
Low self-esteem Relationships  Relationship Productive Making a difference
  need improving OK    
Source:  The Briles Group, Inc. 1995

Now, how much income do you have per month— $0 to $1000, $1001 to $2000, $2001 to $3000, $3001 to $4000 or over $4000?  If you compared your income and column number with a hundred, even a thousand other people, the result may surprise you.  In real life, most people, no matter how much they make, will be to the left of the “Average/Normal” column #3!  Are you? 

If you are like most, average, it does not mean, “Why bother?”  As in, “Why bother to learn or do anything about money if it doesn’t impact your comfort level?”  Instead, it means there is more to money; money is just a means, not an end in itself.  Money $marts is about creating and using money, not loving it.  Money can conceive the security and freedom your family desires to pursue its values and plan for the future.   How it grows is up to you.  Your money future is the palette from which you choose to paint—as brilliant and diverse or as simple and neutral as you want. 

Think of money as a tool.  If used and cared for, you have almost unlimited years of service.  If neglected or ignored, it rusts and rots away.  You are the key ingredient in your money tool kit.  How?—by becoming astute as to what makes and what does not make good money smarts.  Savings; investing; credit; housing; retirement planning; getting good, solid advice along the way;  and everything in between, are all factors in enhancing your money confidence.  Without them, you are hampered in your quest to get control of your family finances. The tools you put together will be your magic carpet to financial self-reliance. 

Below, write about how you would like finances to be—think in 5- to 10-year periods.  

I want my money palette to look like:

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How important is money to you? How much do you think you need?  Write a few sentences about the importance of money to you, and your family, if appropriate. List what you would be willing to give up, as well as what you would not be willing to give up to have “enough” money.

I really don’t need:

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Not Give Up:

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One of the most critical things to do in getting your money act together is to really understand what you NEED versus what you WANT. 

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