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!