Mastering Money and Life Is Not about Balance, Part II
by Tim Maurer
January 29th, 2015

The integration of money and life . . . I have seven ways that we might view life and money differently if our approach to them was less mutually exclusive. I shared the first two last week. Here are the last five:

3. We’d give more. Having money might not bring us happiness—but giving it away does.

4. We’d welcome healthy discussions about money. With more than a quarter of marriages ending over financial disagreements—and 100 percent of marriages having such disagreements—it’s safe to say that we don’t discuss money as openly and healthily as we could. But we can.

We need to dump the long-held belief that money talk is taboo. It’s a mindset deeply rooted in the segregation of money and life. Here, I’m especially talking to us men. Because so much of our self-worth has historically come from our presumptive roles as tangible providers, we’re socialized to hide our money mistakes. This can have disastrous implications.

5. We wouldn’t feel guilty for spending money that we can afford to spend. I’ve had financial planning clients put off annual meetings because they were ashamed that they spent a lot of money on a car they could easily afford. They shouldn’t be.

6. We’d be better money managers. Who hasn’t considered budgeting, or for that matter meeting with someone to receive financial advice, a necessary evil? (Aside from engineers and financial planners, of course.) When that time is seen as little more than a life-taking exercise—as merely dutiful drudgery—of course, we’d procrastinate, or avoid it entirely. What would happen, though, if we viewed money dealings as life-giving disciplines, as opportunities for growth and healthy conversation?

7. We’d focus less on what we do with money and more on why we do it. Our financial decisions—large and small—are symptomatic of our likes and dislikes, our passions and opinions, our strengths and our weaknesses. The only way to improve our dealings with money is to get past the dollars and cents and explore the beliefs about life and money that motivate our actions.

To establish money and life as opposing forces to be balanced inhibits our ability to optimally make, spend, save and manage money. In my next post, I’ll discuss a practical methodology for better integrating life and money.

Financial planner, speaker and author, Tim Maurer, is a wealth advisor at Buckingham Asset Management and the director of personal finance for the BAM ALLIANCE.  A Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner working with individuals, families and organizations, he also educates at private events and via TV, radio, print and online media.  Tim is a regular contributor to Forbes, CNBC and CNN/Money.  A central theme, that “personal finance is more personal than it is finance," drives his writing and speaking.

You can follow Tim on Twitter at @TimMaurer.

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