I was told a story the other day of a couple under going a separation and the fact that the one spouse had likely not considered the full consequences of that decision in terms of money. The fact that the separation would like force them both into a significantly reduced lifestyle didn’t appear to register (at least at that time). I sat there in almost shock during this story since it literally would be impossible for me not to at least consider the money part of the decision.
Then again, I like money. So for me I tend to consider the financial aspects of my decisions on a fairly regular basis. In some cases, I might just not let the money drive the decision, but at least it crosses my mind. I would guess for other people who don’t like money, that they spend a lot of energy trying to avoid dealing with it. These people often don’t know how badly they are in debt and are scared to open their bills. Then taking it to the other extreme there are people who LOVE money to the exclusion of enjoying their lives or are so caught up with collecting more money they turn into cheapskates who won’t spend a dime extra even if it saves them an extra $1 in the long term. Neither of these love or hate relationships with money are helpful in the long run.
I think a healthy relationship with your money starts when you like it (at least a little bit). That way you are interested enough to care for your money by feeding it (savings) and will still remember to clean up after it (taxes). You don’t have to like cleaning up after your money (after all no one likes cleaning the kitty litter box), but you do have to do it. Also when you are at the ‘like’ stage with your money you are not afraid to yell at it when need be (or your adviser) if it doing something dangerous to itself (like wanting to invest 100% of your RRSP into a IPO).
Your money if you treat it right will grow up and defend you from the unexpected in life. It may only start off the size of a small kitten, but give it time and it should grow into a lion or tiger and be able to take down that evil beast called ‘work.’ On the other hand if you fail to feed your money enough you will end up with just a house cat which is cute, but not big enough to take down the work beast without some help. Or if you feed you money too much you end up with your beast that you have no control over and you are the one who ends up being the pet instead of the master.
In the end you should strive to like your money, regardless of how old you are. Even if your money is still small in your 40’s you still have time to grow a lion. After all, anything will grow fairly quickly with the proper feeding and care. It just takes the right attitude. So do you like money?