Money and Life Satisfaction

The word satisfaction describes a feeling of fulfillment or contentment. Its meaning is relative and often dependent on personal definitions of success as applied to specific areas of life.

The first step to evaluating your own life satisfaction is to think about what is most important to you. Be as candid as you can with yourself and try to disregard “messages” – from society, parents, partners, peers, or colleagues – that tell you what your priorities should be. This is a time to listen to your own heart. What do YOU value most and what do YOU want to achieve in each facet of life? Whatever you identify should then become the basis for establishing your life goals. (more…)

Tools for Building Your Financial Resilience

In your financial life, as in all other areas of life, it is important to nurture your resilience—your ability to recover from loss, disappointment, and difficult circumstances.

From a practical perspective, financial resilience involves laying a foundation of economic protection.  From an emotional perspective, financial resilience involves increasing your confidence in your ability to prepare for and deal with life transitions and financial setbacks. (more…)

Your Financial Destiny

Do you feel “in charge” of your financial life?  Or, do you feel like you are being swept along by a set of personal and financial circumstances that are beyond your control? Do you take responsibility for making your own financial decisions, or do you acquiesce to the plans and opinions of others?  Does fear, denial, or complacency keep you from taking a proactive approach in your money matters?

The person who should be in charge of your financial life is YOU!  The degree of power you feel you have in shaping your financial life is both objective and subjective in nature, and is determined, in part, by your sense of locus of control. (more…)

The Risk Tolerance Continuum

When you are making a financial decision, do you intentionally weigh the potential risks and rewards?  Is weighing that balance more of a rational or emotional process for you? In other words, do you tend to rely more on facts or on feelings?

For example, when Karla got a promotion at the architectural firm where she is employed, she gave serious consideration to buying a new car.  She thought about the practical and emotional rewards of having a new car such as:  1) having a dependable means of transportation, 2) getting better gas mileage, 3) portraying a successful image to her clients, and 4) experiencing the pride and pleasure that comes with owning a new car (there’s nothing like that new car smell!). (more…)

Financial Relationships

Our financial relationships involve connections with others that affect our financial well-being and life satisfaction.  Without a doubt, the complex circumstances and evolving dynamics of each relationship can have a profound influence (consciously and subconsciously) on the big and little decisions we make on a daily basis.

Nowhere is the influence of emotions on financial behavior more clearly illustrated than in family relationships.  In particular the needs and wants of our children and our parents can weigh heavy on our hearts and minds and undermine our objectivity.  The following questions will help you to reflect on and assess your financial responsibilities across generations: (more…)

Review Your Financial Biography

Our attitudes and beliefs about money have their roots in value-laden messages that we have picked up along life’s journey.  These money messages are not only clothed in the words of others, but in their behaviors as well.

The authors of Wired for Wealth (Brad Klontz, Rick Kahler, and Ted Klontz) write that all of our financial actions—or inactions—make perfect sense when we understand what “money scripts” drive those behaviors.

“Money scripts are the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that we hold about money.  Many of our associations are hidden deeply in the unconscious mind.” (more…)