Understanding The WHY Behind Our Spending

All or nothing is how I usually roll.   Nothing different with my son’s financial education.   I enrolled in about 12 courses, downloaded about 6 audio books, reserved book upon book at the library, googled till early hours of each and every morning and spent every waking moment absorbing whatever I possibly could. My husband (who is in finance) patiently answered my zillions of questions (well, not always that patiently)

But, the most important ingredient was missing.  I didn’t for one minute think about the possibility of an emotional relationship with money.  Until a barista, probably 20 years my junior introduced me to this very concept.  My first reaction was  “oh boy, here we go with the woo woo stuff”.  I left the cafe indulgently licking the froth off my cinnamon soy cappuccino.

I have always done a lot of spiritual searching and questioning so of course, as hard as I tried, I could not let go of what she had said to me.  And after a couple of days it became really clear to me.  Until such time as I understood the emotional reasons behind why I spent my money in the ways that I did, or why I thought certain thoughts around people with or without money, nothing would change.

The WHY are the emotional reasons that drive us to make non-necessity purchases that we don’t need (and often can’t afford?). If we can just own certain items or look a certain way, then maybe, just maybe we will feel happy, excited, successful, less stressed, more beautiful, distracted for a bit or feel that we belong or fit in.

The WHAT is what we spend our money on – clothes, renovations, paying for everyone’s drinks and many more.

The HOW are our spending patterns – bargain shopping, stocking up (just in case), stressed-out shopping, lift-me-up shopping, I-deserve-this shopping, distraction shopping, secret shopping, habit shopping and so on?.

It has taken me a very long time but I can clearly see some of my why’s, what’s and how’s.  I am sure there are more lurking somewhere but I am delighted at my discovery so far?. If our children understand that there is a whole truckload of emotions that go with money, they may just avoid some of the more costly mistakes ?later on in life.

Let’s make sure that our children understand their WHY and better still don’t have a WHY around money.