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Archive for April, 2012

Money Missteps


It’s almost impossible to live without, but for some it’s also hard to live with.

While many people have healthy relationships with money, others demonstrate some very dysfunctional behaviors in the way they handle money.

If any of these examples apply to you, it may be time to think about employing some of the suggested solutions that follow.

The Money Adulterer

The Money Adulterer is having an “affair” with money. Just as an extramarital affair is about secrets, so is a money affair.
Making financial decisions that affect other people in important ways without discussing those decisions or withholding fiscal information they have a right to know are classic signs of financial disloyalty.
If you have credit cards your partner does not know about, if you hide bills and balances, you are most likely exhibiting the behavior of a Money Adulterer.

The Money Hog

The Money Hog believes decisions about money are theirs and theirs alone. They do not consult others about money decisions and become defensive and even hostile when their money agenda is challenged.
If you believe no one but you can make good decisions about money, you may be a Money Hog.

The Money Bully

The Money Bully is first cousin to the Money Hog. The Money Bully uses money as leverage and as a way of controlling others. Money Bullies believe “allowances” for other adults are a good idea though the concept should never apply to them. They believe withholding or making others grovel for money is appropriate, especially if the person has displeased or disappointed them in some way.

The Money Santa

The Money Santa is the polar opposite of the Hog or Bully. The Money Santa loves to make people happy and hates to see them unhappy. They are generous and lavish to a fault. They love providing “the good life” for everyone. The problem may arise when they want to provide for a generous lifestyle but can’t afford it.
While the loans and credit card debt may be piling up and their credit rating may be suffering, they are unwilling or unable to give up the illusion that they are capable of functioning as a nonstop ATM machine.

The Money Avoider

The Money Avoider hates to talk about money. Money scares them. Talking about money makes them anxious. They often are not paid what they are worth or don’t charge what they deserve because talking about money is just too uncomfortable.
They prefer having other people deal with the day-to-day handling of money choosing to avoid the subject as often as possible.

The Money Child and Money Parent

The Money Child is the Money Avoider on steroids. They are often partnered with a Money Parent. They don’t know how much their partner makes—that’s the job of the Money Parent. They don’t ask how much things cost—also the job of the Money Parent. They don’t know how much it costs to run their home or their business. (I have lost track of the number of times I have asked someone how much it costs to live each month and the answer is “I don’t know.”) When they want something, they are often confused or resentful when they are told “no” by the Money Parent.

The Money Vaporizer

Money has a chemical reaction when it meets the pocket of a Money Vaporizer—it vanishes. Money Vaporizers don’t like and are not comfortable with money so they rid themselves of it as soon as possible. The more they make the faster they spend. They might have been taught negative lessons about people who have money and/or may feel undeserving of it for some reason.
Their bottom line: if it’s not there, it’s not creating a problem.

What to Do?

The money issues that have just been articulated may appear very different but there are common denominators in effectively dealing with these issues.

Many of these behaviors are either mirror images of or our reactions to what we learned about money growing up. The behaviors are often times deeply ingrained habits and many are motivated by fear and lack of awareness.

The first step in dealing with problems of this magnitude is establishing open lines of communication between yourself and the affected parties.

If you are the person with the issue, you need to be honest with yourself, not in a judgmental way but in a matter of fact manner—this is the behavior and these are the consequences.

If you are the affected person, you need to confront the other person with a spirit of concern and with the goal of understanding the behavior and moving toward a solution.

Money can be an emotionally charged subject. The key to reaching a place of accommodation is mutual honesty and respect. Taking such an approach will go a long way to establishing a dialogue and correcting your particular money missteps.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488