The Family Money Coach
It's never about the M-ONE-Y - it's about me, you and our ONE vision
I'm taking a break.
Not for very long - only for 2 weeks and actually it's not even a holiday. I'm going to be teaching for a fortnight. I agreed to help a friend with a mentoring pilot programme that helps people who have never worked in Financial Services before learn more about the industry, about the job roles that comprise the world of Financial Services and how to prepare for interviews.
So for the next two weeks I am going to be teaching interview skills.
This means that I won't be writing my blog for the next fortnight as I'll have my students to look after - but I didn't simply want to disappear into the darkness for a fortnight lest anyone who reads my blog wondered where my weekly Saturday "segment" had vanished off to.
I thought long and hard about what to write as a temporary parting shot - as a semi-colon to my time writing this blog. Ultimately I decided that although I could have gone down the practical tips line, I could have written a piece about how to use this time away from me productively, it's more in line with my character (and my coaching style) to leave you with the metaphorical - with something to ponder.
In a couple we get hung up on the "money". We get hung up on it as parents. In fact we get hung up on it as "people". The reason for this is because money is tangible - it's physical - we can use it to manifest lots of otherwise "unspoken" things about ourselves and our relationships that we might not otherwise have the words for. So money becomes our "vessel" for pouring things into - and the way we use (or even "ab"use) money is an insight into our very personalities - our emotions and our innermost thoughts - hence why talking about it, and being criticised about how we use it, feels so tough.
But the thing is, money, for all it's "tangible", for all it's physicality, has no real worth. The value of money isn't in money itself, but in what it CAN DO. And how do we make it do things? We attribute value to experiences, purchases, or feelings - and then we use money as the medium to achieve those.
So really, money is just our VALUES. Our DESIRES. Our WANTS. Our GOALS.
And they should be easier to talk about.
So often I work with couples who go to great pains to tell me that they are together on the "big stuff" - that they have the same aspirations for the future, the same plans, desires and goals. But then they also ask me "so why aren't we together on the money?"
The truth is if you really are already together on the "big stuff", if your dreams and your hopes and aspirations for the future really do dance to the same tune, you ARE TOGETHER ON THE MONEY.
Yep, that's right, read that again.
YOU ARE TOGETHER ON THE MONEY.
Because money isn't anything other than a way of making those dreams, hopes and aspirations happen more quickly. That's all. Money's sole function is to make achieving those goals happen.
So all you are really "apart" upon is the execution - the way of getting to those dreams, those hopes and aspirations. And lots of couples have different "executions" of the same objective, every single day.
Think about it. Do you load the dishwasher in the same way as your partner? Do they fold their laundry like you would? Does one of you put leftovers in the fridge without cling film and the other JUST. DOESN'T. UNDERSTAND?
If the answer to any one of those (or a myriad of alternative examples) was yes, then that's the same as having execution difficulties when it comes to your money. The end result is that those goals, those objectives still happen. The dishwasher still washes. The laundry is still put away. The leftovers remain in the fridge to be eaten (possibly slightly drier than intended, but no one will die..) Your money will still help you achieve the family goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations that you have - just potentially in a different way, and along a different timescale than you hoped.
So my "au revoir" for the next two weeks is not that you need to crack out the budget to have a board meeting, or that you need to start questioning each other deeply about your childhood to find out your money personality (although you are welcome to do either of those). It's that you need to break money down to its basic elements and think about what that means for you and your family.
M- Me. Y - You. ONE- one shared dream/vision for your family.
I'd love it if you told me what you come up with. And on that note, I'm off to put my teacher's hat on, hope I don't end up in the Dunce cap, and I'll see you soon.