Money is a valuable resource that can improve our quality of life and help us to accomplish our life goals. Fostering a healthy outlook towards money is an important aspect of achieving a more positive life balance. As part of our educational Speaker Series, SageVest Wealth Management recently hosted renowned author, speaker and money coach, Olivia Mellan. Olivia shared expert advice about factors that influence how we connect with our wealth, and the importance of having a trusted financial advisor like SageVest Wealth Management to help achieve money harmony.
Our relationship with money is shaped by many factors, beginning in our formative years, when we observe parents and other influential adults modelling specific money behavior. These examples remain influential throughout our own lifelong dialogues with money.
Tip: Parents and grandparents can help children and grandchildren develop a healthy outlook towards money management by exemplifying sensible saving and spending habits, and through age-appropriate discussions about finances. Encourage youngsters to divide income equally into four ‘buckets’: saving, spending, donating, and investing.
We all believe in different money myths; that money equals freedom, or independence, or pleasure. Just like all myths, there’s an element of truth embedded in each money myth, but it’s important to ensure that our financial decisions are rational, educated choices that support our current life circumstances and future goals.
Tip: To maintain a balanced viewpoint, find examples that run counter to the money myths you believe in. For example, if you believe that money equals power, consider that wealth also has the power to influence lives in a good way – through impactful charitable giving, for example.
There are several different types of money personalities and most of us embody more than one type. Each has positive and negative qualities, and each comes with different investment tendencies. Whether you’re a Money Amasser who is a successful saver, or a Spender who enjoys life in the moment, implementing sound financial plans can help you save and prepare for significant life events, while also allowing you to enjoy the independence and freedoms your assets can provide.
Tip: If you’re a Spender, create a spending plan (not a budget!) and a savings plan, and then record your progress, preferably in writing. When you do make a large purchase, make note of how it makes you feel, both at the time and a few weeks later.
Although gender roles are, of course, interchangeable, research suggests that there are several differences between how men and women interact with money.
Scientific studies suggest that men are physiologically hard-wired to accept more risk, making them more inclined to build an aggressively-structured portfolio. Men’s evolutionary ‘compete and win’ mentality also means that they tend to be more interested in quantitative results.
Women, on the other hand, tend to be more focused on the quality of their investments. They’re also more inclined to philanthropy. When they give, they’re likely to be more interested in what their charitable gift can achieve than in public recognition.
Even when it comes to money types, opposites attract. Partners are often drawn to the balance that their counterpart offers. Understanding your relationship with money, as well as your partner’s childhood experiences and money personalities, is essential to developing a united approach to financial decision-making.
In what appears to be a reasonable division of labor, one partner in a couple may shoulder the primary responsibility for financial and investment management. A better approach is to share control of these tasks. This ensures that what drives each of you individually is taken into account as you develop and work towards common life objectives together.
Tip: Partners should acknowledge their money differences and find common ground to address money goals and money issues together. Shared responsibility for financial management creates equality, empowerment and increased intimacy.
Achieving Money Harmony
We are all the product of our money styles, the money messages we inherited from our childhoods, our gendered money preferences, and the money myths we believe in. Understanding your own unique money personality, and the money personalities of those you care about, can enrich your relationship with money, as well as your relationships with loved ones.
Tip: Ask yourself the following question: “What are the three things in life that bring me the greatest happiness?” Chances are, your answers will focus on loved ones and satisfying activities that have nothing to do with money, but everything to do with life fulfillment.
SageVest Wealth Management can help you define what’s truly important in your life, and work with you to develop financial dialogues, techniques, and plans in support of your life objectives. For more information, please contact us.
Money Harmony: A Roadmap For Individuals and Couples – Olivia Mellan.
The Confidence Code – Katty Kay and Claire ShipmanBeating The Midas Curse – Perry L. Cochell and Rodney C. Zeeb