There is a trend happening when it comes to the matter of talking about love and money.
You may have noticed it as well. Heck, it may even be a bandwagon you’ve jumped on.
It’s a trend, however, that I find disturbing. Because I believe it is causing couples to miss the whole point of the purpose and intent of talking about love and money.
Paul Carrick Brunson, one of the people I follow on Twitter, who works as a modern-day matchmaker and is the co-host of LoveTown on the OWN network, shared a link to, “Bad Credit: A Deal Breaker for Many Singles.” It reminded me of a related piece that appeared in the New York Times almost a year ago – “Perfect 10? Never Mind That. Ask Her for Her Credit Score.” There have been countless other articles like these, recently — articles that put a spotlight on a particular number: one’s credit score.
My problem isn’t with the question of asking about someone’s credit score. That is certainly important information to (eventually) know.
My problem is with the timing and the seemingly associated judgment without context. Continue Reading…
I thought I’d wrap up this current love + money series with a little David Bowie. Specifically, his song, “Let’s Dance.” Yes, that funk-based love song from the 80s.
There are like a bazillion songs in the world, yet this is the one that popped to mind when I thought about love + money being:
- a dance
To make love + money work well, you need two people who are in sync more times than not; two people who are both willing to take the lead and willing to follow – and who know which role they are in, and when it’s best to be in that role for the sake of the relationship.
- a medley
A medley – whether you’re talking about music or something else – really boils down to a mixture. At the end of the day, the same is true when it comes to love + money…you are mixing together the histories, goals, aspirations, expectations, hopes, life-visions, dreams, habits, choices, preferences, etc. of two people. Ideally, you want that mixture to produce a harmonious end result!
- an on-going exercise in managing opposites, contrasts and contradictions
The opening verse of “Let’s Dance” says it all! “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues…”
- a commitment
Being the child of a musician and having played an instrument for seven years, one thing I know about music is that you never stop practicing! I also know that discipline is deeply embedded in even free-form music.
To make love + money work, you must be willing to practice demonstrating love (as the other person needs it, not just purely on how you wish to give it); you must be willing to practice money (in other words, have a teachable spirit that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to managing your finances); you must be willing to embrace commitment as the container that holds practice and discipline together.
Gosh…you have no idea how many people literally wince when I mention love + money. It conjures up almost every emotion, but fun! But what is dancing, if not pure, unadulterated fun. Especially if you let yourself cut loose!!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this love + money series, which began with my piece – “This Thing Called Love.” (If you missed it or any of other related posts, click here to catch up!) I hope in these weeks, I’ve given you something to think about, as well as something to experiment with and try.
What are you composing?
When I think about ALL the elements at play when it comes to love + money:
- your beliefs, thoughts, behavior about and with money; your family background; your own choices; how you are influenced by society, etc
- the numbers
- your structure + systems
It really is all a dance…
Thanks for letting me groove with you!
p.s. enrollment is now open for – Master the Language of Love + Money. This program is for you if you want to have the right conversations and make the right decisions – in order to rightly manage how money shows up and impacts your romantic life! Click here to register!
One of the reasons I conduct surveys is to get out of my own head and world. It gives me a chance to see the many facets of money through the eyes of my clients and potential clients, not as I or my professional peers do. It gives me a chance to validate some of my assumptions, as well as to have others challenged. It gives me a chance to discover what I’m missing that I don’t know I’m missing.
Weekend before last I randomly approached total strangers in my neighborhood and asked them to share what came to mind when they thought of love and money (the focus of these posts the last few weeks). This past weekend, on various social media feeds, I asked people to complete the following statement:
“The real reason money disrupts a perfectly good, or great, relationship is…”
If we’re not connected on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or we are, but you missed this, how would you complete the above statement? Leave a comment in the comment section (see link above).
The Great Recession Took More than Money & Jobs From Us
As I reflect on the responses to each question/survey, I couldn’t help but think: “Man, the Great Recession zapped more than money and jobs.”
Five years later and the stock market is at an all time high, with the Dow crossing the 15,000 threshold for a brief moment; unemployment numbers look better; the personal debt-to-equity ratio is a wee-bit better (for most); and savings and investment accounts are on the rebound (for most).
But something is missing.
During a conversation with a member of my accountability group (yes, I have a coach; belong to a mastermind; and have an accountability group), I realized what the missing factor was. And, it hit me like a ton of bricks. As I was sharing my financial goals and tying those goals to the “what is my money for” factor, she asked very calmly – “Where’s the fun?”
OMG!! In listing how I would address my seemingly ever-increasing responsibilities and obligations, I didn’t include self-care in the form of fun. Pitiful, right?
Yet when reflecting upon the survey responses, the missing factor was noticeable in both what was said, as well as what wasn’t.
Are you, too, so mired down in responsibilities and obligations and working, working, working that you’re overlooking the fun + money factor, as well?
I’m not talking about the occasional dinner, or cinema or theater or concert outing. I’m talking about the practice of including fun, entertainment, and excitement on a regular, consistent basis – as a natural part of your personal self-care routine, not as an occasional treat to celebrate something special.
The Great Recession may have been needed to get our collective attention and to reign in some irresponsible behavior and choices (and regulations). And, it certainly did a great job of reminding you and me about the gift of discipline and discernment. But at the same time, I believe it also robbed a great many people of what it feels like to be carefree and to spend money in a way that brings joy, fulfillment and excitement. To quote Dr. Jeff Gardere*, “most people don’t understand the significance of money to our happiness.”
What does fun have to do with love + money?
If you’re wondering how does fun connect to this love + money series, here’s how: If the only time couples come together to talk about money is when there’s a crisis or a transaction to be decided upon, well, then, of course, money is going to feel like a dreaded to-do. With that backdrop, there’s no room for more expansive conversations about money that speak to possibilities, empowerment, dreams and fantasies.
It’s time to move the needle! Responsibilities and obligations will always be present. The key is to not allow the need to meet them to become the only thing that your money is feeding. It’s time to make certain the happy-factor and fun are also present as you manage the many facets of your money…and life.
p.s. if you missed last week’s webinar – Money, A Menage a Trois – I’m hosting another live session tomorrow (Wednesday, May 8th at 8pm). If you want information and tips that are practical, useful, results-oriented…and doable as you work to manage the various ways money can disrupt a perfectly good, if not great, relationship, you’re going to want to spend an hour with me. Click here to register.
p.p.s. Dr. Jeff Gardere is one of the many fantastic guest experts sharing his wisdom, insight and practical to-dos in the Master the Language of Love + Money program!
Ooh, I’ve been looking forward to publishing this post for awhile. I’m excited to share some news…I’m excited about what this moment (a year in the making) signifies for the road ahead.
I am writing to share a few small, subtle shifts that will impact how I serve you.
But first, some context…
As I’ve shared from time to time, I’ve been working with Stephanie Pollock, business activator & leadership coach. This time last year, she and I embarked on a journey with me having no idea, really, where it would lead. I was simply crystal clear that: a) something needed to change, and b) I needed help. It was time to redirect the “ship” and reach my tipping point.
To say that working with Stephanie has been (and continues to be) a blessing beyond measure is truly an understatement. Little did I know back then that my choice to work with her was an act of self-love – both for my business and me personally.
While I am writing to share with you some important updates. This isn’t just about me. My hope is that you’ll dig beneath the surface and ask yourself: “Am I so focused on making the BIG moves, decisions or (fill in the blank) that I’m overlooking the power of making small, subtle shifts?”
Small really is the new significant!
As you may have noticed, we have a new online home and a modified home-page. Yay! We haven’t done a complete design overhaul and a few pages still need to be updated; all that is forthcoming. But after ten years, I decided to retire sterlingchoices.net and migrate to jacquettetimmons.com.
No, this isn’t a vanity project (although I do have my vain moments…who doesn’t?). However, this choice is about me owning my message, mission and gifts in a way that is different when presented behind a company-branded website.
Introducing a new framework – the Financial Intimacy Academy
My clarion call that money is about both the numbers and human behavior has always been quite loud. And, I’ve never shied away from my belief that you have to layer on top of that social, political, economic, and familial factors. While I’ve worked diligently to make clear how I help people manage the obtuse intersection of money and life, there’s evidence that there’s room for improvement.
To that end and to strengthen my communication of what I do, how I can serve you, and what results you can expect from working with me, I’ve created the Financial Intimacy Academy. I’ve streamlined my offerings under this umbrella as follows:
- Financial Jam Session
- Beyond the Numbers
Both options exemplify my 5-step coaching process; both options will give you clarity and a customized, action plan for your finances (and your life). What’s different is how we reach the end result. Click here to learn more about the Financial Jam Session. Information for Beyond the Numbers will be available soon.
Got Unmanageable Debt?
Then you’re going to love Out of the Red, Back to Black, a (mostly) self-study program that addresses both the mindset and money elements of debt. Managing both sides of the debt equation is especially critical when getting out of debt is going to be a long-term process!
Are you a self-directed investor investing in mutual funds?
“What the Hell Should I Do With My 401(k)?” not only provides an “Investing 101″ primer, but it also takes you through the 7-criteria for selecting a mutual fund and how best to create a complementary portfolio of mutual funds.
Want to master the language of love + money?
Yep, it is its own separate language! And coming April 15th is a three-month, virtual experience for couples – Master the Language of Love + Money: Learn How to Get the Strategy & Communication Right For the Life-Style You and Your Honey Desire.
This is perfect for you and your sweetie if you don’t want money matters to sabotage your relationship and/or interrupt your life-style. Stay tuned for more information about this experience for couples of all stripes.
Small Tweaks. Massive Satisfaction.
I am SO thrilled about these subtle shifts and what it means for you: more options for working with me; more price points; more exposure to my posse of awesome experts who will help me advance the message of moving beyond the numbers (either through program/event collaboration or guest posting), to name a few.
As you can see, the above are indeed small tweaks. However, the work that went into seeing the need for them and creating the infrastructure to give them life was anything but small!
I didn’t know where my work with Stephanie would lead specifically, but I knew beyond a doubt that the purpose of my work with her was to – in the end – offer you products and services that will help you achieve the deepest desires of your heart. And let’s face it, money is an integral tool for making that happen!
Of course, I benefit from this evolution as well. I get to step further and deeper into my zone, which sets me up to operate at my most maximum capacity with and for you.
Now, back to my question from the beginning: Are you moving forward making small, subtle shifts? Or, are you waiting for the earth to move beneath your feet – thereby giving more power to some BIG moves, decisions or (fill in the blank)? Leave a comment and let me know!
p.s. I’m speaking at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit on March 1st. If you are attending, please make sure we connect face-to-face!
p.p.s. gotta give a shout out to my dear friend Alexia Vernon for our weekly calls…everyone should have an accountability partner as fantastic as you.