I’ve been asked to teach with my friend Bev at a Soroptomist’s day camp for girls this week, so I’m wondering how Your Money or Your Life translates for pre-teens. I don’t imagine they understand much about “personal finance”, but Bev and I are betting they can become aware through some games and skits of the money messages they are picking up at home and through advertising.
Any of us can become aware in this way. What did you learn about money from what your parents said about it? Or didn’t say? How they behaved with money? How they used money with you? Here’s a great blog post about money messages we found while planning our girl’s session. The author wonders how much her financial life was designed as a reaction to her parents and whether she’s come around in later life to actually mimicking her parent’s patterns. She lists money memories – purchases, desires, painful incidents associated with money.
When I teach Your Money or Your Life I give special attention to exploring how our feelings, thoughts, beliefs and memories influence our daily financial transactions. How can we know how much is enough if we don’t know who we are as financial beings? The core of financial independence for me is unhooking your mind from the thrall of the consumer culture. It’s the capacity for independent thought about what money can buy that actually will make life better. It’s the capacity to tell yourself the truth about what’s behind the desire for a new car or a new computer or a new dress – and being darn sure that money will really make any difference in getting that underlying need met. Deeper still, it’s unhooking from money as the only or even best way to get your needs met. It’s not being defined by money which is after all a human artifact.
Bev and I have several skits planned – and I’ll tell you how it turned out. In the meantime, check out that blog and the links at the bottom to help you muse on your money memories and messages.