Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's your money script??

Today I found myself saying to one of my children, "We can't afford that." A simple statement that I'm sure many of you have said yourselves, but it brought to mind a couple of books that I have read/am reading. (I really am a financial book junkie--on my bedside table right now: Money, A Memoir and Why We Want You To Be Rich, among others.)

One book I read-I can't remember the name- talks about money scripts. The author makes the case that nearly everything we believe about money is a result of the "money scripts" we heard growing up. We either live in accordance with these ideas, have revolted against them and live differently, or, in most cases, have emerged with a balance of sorts between the two extremes.

If you are like me, you may be thinking that money wasn't discussed at your house. But this author says money is always discussed, sometimes with words and sometimes with actions. The longer I thought about it, the more I realized that the little snippets about money that I did hear growing up were quite impactful after all. Here are a few of them:

"He went away and made something of himself" (said with slight disdain)
"Poor people are more Godly than rich people."
"They ought to get ______for free, they don't have any money." (implication was always that the government should provide it.)
"Social Security isn't welfare; I paid in." (Though not nearly what he took out.)
"We can't afford it."
"God will make a way somehow."
"I'll retire as soon as I can, I'll make more money with social security."
"You don't need to go to college, get married."
"I'm going to spend it now, why save it for later."
"Money isn't everything."
"Money is the root of evil" (How is this misquoted....?)

And the unspoken: buying liquor and cigarettes but complaining about the cost of food.

A pretty good mix of good and no-so-good thoughts, I think.

Robert Kiyosaki says in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that his poor dad (who was his real dad) told him that they couldn't afford certain things, but his rich dad (his money mentor) would always say, "Well, what can you do to afford it?" See the difference?

Make no mistake-the author is right. What we hear grossly influences our ideas about money. It has really made me think about the words my children hear me say. Did you know that the Bible has more references to money than it does about heaven and hell? I think God knew how big a part it plays in our life here on earth. Mr. Kiyosaki says he had an eye-opening revelation when he first heard the parable of the talents--that perhaps making "more" with what God has blessed us with isn't such a bad thing after all.

What are your money scripts??

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