The new field of neuro-economics combines the sciences of psychology and economics to identify how patterns of thinking and emotions affect our financial decisions.
All our decisions and actions or inaction concerning money, including those that do not serve us well, are based on our beliefs about money. How does that happen?
Pat Meidell with American Wealth Management has been in the business for 40 years. She says, "Those beliefs about money are often called money scripts which affect our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes about money. Dr. Morris Massey claims that we are what we are as a result of where we were when we were six-years-old. The money scripts are influenced by what our mother and father said about money, as well as any other prominent figure like a grandparent. Where you lived and generationally when you lived also impacts our money scripts. You combine the childhood scripts with further shaping though life experiences, and without even being conscious about it, the money scripts define our relationship with money and lie at the foundation of all our financial behaviors."
While most people know they should budget, spend less than they make, and create some savings for the future, most Americans are deeply in debt. Meidell says, "Their money scripts are keeping them from doing what they rationally know they should do. Being aware of your internal scripts is the first step to taking charge of your financial health."
What are poor scripts? The following can create chronic financial stress:
1) "More money will make things better"
2) "Money is bad"
3) "I don't deserve money"
4) "I deserve to spend money"
5) "There will never be enough money"
6) "There will always be enough money"
7) "Money is unimportant"
8) "Money will give my life meaning"
It is not uncommon to think one or more of the scripts. How do you change your feelings about money? Meidell says you should first work to be aware of your script or scripts. Then, try to focus on some positive scripts, such as:
1) "It is important to save for a rainy day"
2) "Giving money to others is something people should do"
3) "Money buys freedom, not happiness"
4) "I have to work hard to be sure I have enough money"
5) "I deserve money"
Here is contact information for our Money Watch Q & A guest:
Patricia Meidell, CFP®Chairman of the BoardAmerican Wealth Management570 Hammill LaneReno, NV 89511(775) firstname.lastname@example.org www.financialhealth.com Written by Kristen Remington