This week I watched Lesson 2 and read its corresponding chapter – Relating with Money – nerds and free spirits unite in the book.
Dave is a funny guy. He has a knack of taking a tense topic and quickly defusing it. And if the topic of money is not tense then you’ve never had to pay a bill, a mortgage, or for an emergency room visit. I believe him when he says that financial stress is the reason behind many divorces.
It’s tough not having the money to make repairs, or go on vacation, or even buy the “optional” team sweatshirt because money is tight. Marc and I have been lucky, for the most part we’ve had enough money, but there have been some tough times. Handling a chronic (and very expensive ) illness, losing my work during the recession (depression) around 2009 and just trying to keep up with the many, many needs of growing kids. And now, we’re trying to juggle the high costs of college.
I think it’s fair to say that Marc and I will never get the chance to know that “new car smell.”
Chapter 2 is about the differences between men and women when it comes to money. This is a little over-generalized, I thought but once I let down some defenses (see? money is a tense topic) I started hearing what he had to say.
Men are nerds and see things as score card, they like to create charts and graph. They want things to be orderly.
Women are free sprits who like to immerse themselves in a situation in order to be able to understand it. They want to talk about things.
Of course some women can be nerds and some men can be free spirits, but for the most part, these generalities hold.
Take one wild guess who the free spirit is in our house? (hint see owns a Lego chicken figurine)
And take another guess as to who our nerd is.
Dave then gives rules to use when a family financial meeting is being held. Number 1 for the nerd is to “shut up” once you have presented the budget. Number one for the free spirit to Come to the meeting.
I’ve never really had things spelled out quite like this before. I can definitely see behaviors in Marc and myself that Dave has nailed when he talks about how people relate to money.
I’ve always sort of been, if we have enough that’s okay (and okay to me means I could buy a few books each month) I belong to the “What me worry?” club.
Marc would rather set up a system and then not talk about it, Ever.
We’re not going to change how we each relate to money overnight, but now that I have an inkling of what it’s like on his side and he has an idea of what drives me, I think we have a chance of changing a few things so that when we are old and grey we just might have enough money to both live on *and* buy a few books.
Chapter 2 also covered how to teach kids about money .My kids are older so they don’t need “compensation” (not allowance) but they do need to hear about how to save money and set up emergency funds. Since I’ve started this course, besides politics at the dinner table (New Hampshire remember) we’re also talking about emergency funds, savings and investing. Not pushing anything (because I live in a house of nerds), but I’m hoping that if I follow Dave’s process and steps, my kids might take notice and also begin to follow.
Baby steps, that’s what this is all about.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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