Thursday, June 5, 2008

Money Matters Part 2

Wow! The introduction and first chapter of the battlefield's current book selection, "Girl, Get Your Money Straight!" is deep. The author, Glinda Bridgforth, presents a very compelling case that financial problems are intertwined with our own emotional problems. Now, this may not be news to any of you; but it was very intriguing to me. I mean, it's not rocket science or anything; but sometimes it's the simple things that are hardest to see and figure out.

In the first chapter, Glinda suggests that the first step to getting your money straight is by making peace with your money. The way we handle money usually tells a story about our emotional state. When I relate her ideas to my personal life, I find a lot of truth in what she is saying. How many times have you been frustrated with a situation and tried to treat it with a good dose of shopping? There have been many times that I've been frustrated with my financial situation. It felt confining and made me feel as though I was being denied things that I wanted. My remedy? Shopping!! "I'll show YOU who's in charge!" I thought as I piled unneeded products into my basket. Oh, I felt a great sense of FREEDOM as I walked out of the store with my bags in hand. I felt even BETTER as I unpacked. Then reality hit. And I found myself even more annoyed and frustrated than I was before I went on my "Freedom" escapade.

There are also some that throw money at other people's problems because it satisfies their emotional need to be "important" to others (or a particular someone). "Codependency" is the term used in this book.

Glinda guides you through her own personal life and experiences not only to proclaim her credibility but to also let us know that we are not alone. The first assignment she gives in her book is to write a letter to money and then write your money's response. I found this to be very interesting and thought, "what the hell, I'll give it a try". So, at the risk of being too transparent, I share my letters below. Maybe you can relate...

Dear Money,

I have always viewed you as a necessity to live successfully and comfortably. I have put the weight of my existence on you. My relationship with you has been the barometer of my success. Yet, you seem to be absent in the times I need you most and barely give me just enough of you. Chasing you is tiring, frustrating and at times depressing.

Money's Response:

I have made several attempts to be there for you. When I try to be there in your times of need, you cast me away on worthless things. I'd much rather be used to lift heavy burdens from your shoulders. But you take me for granted and act as if I will always be around. I won't stay in a place that does not value me.

After writing these, I realized that having money is EXACTLY like having a relationship. So, I agree, so far, with this book. The first step to repairing my financial situation is repairing my financial relationship. Per Gilda, doing this would require determining what type of relationship you have with your money and why you have that relationship.

What are your thoughts? Are you bold enough to try this exercise?

To join the book club in this reading, get your copy of "Girl, Get Your Money Straight.