|What does this have to do with money?|
|I can see in no way how this relates to money.|
|OK, maybe parents spend a little bit of money on their children.|
|Or maybe they spend a lot of money - I couldn't really comment either way.|
I read one such post by Alice Bradley, a blogger that I find delightful and quirky, a few years ago. The post was called "Semi-Fictional Phone Conversation with New Financial Planner" and in conversation, she reveals her fear of money. (link).
"Me: I know so little about money things, I wouldn't know where to begin.
[Financial Planner]: (laughs)
Me: No, seriously. Money are me scary. You see? Even my syntax falls apart." --Alice BradlyI was aware in an academic sort of way of the fact that with almost 9 billion people living on Earth, there is probably at least one person out there who is afraid or anxious about every single thing that exists.
Money is a thing so, statistically speaking, there would be someone out there who fears it. But much like winning the lottery or spontaneously conceiving identical quintuplets, they are not odds I ever expect to see played out.
|Or winning the lottery AND having the quintuplets.|
It was a revelation much like the time when I figured out that a friend of mine was terrified of my adorable, friendly, fluffy and completely harmless little dog.
|*Friend's face changed to protect the innocent.|
She remained unconvinced.
"Look, I can shove my hand in his mouth and all he does is squirm away."
No amount of trying to make my dog mangle my hand would ever convince her to change her mind.
Of course, I initially pictured a fear of money to be similar to my friend's fear of my dog.
But of course, it's more than that. We are not a dog-based economy; we trade in money.
|Well, most people.|
--Image from Wikipedia
Adults are expected to know how to manage money and face penalties and judgement if they can't figure it out. This skill of managing money, however, is presumed to be intuitive and gets very limited coverage in the school curriculum.
|Finances 101 - Lesson 1|
Right or wrong, when I hear "I'm afraid of money" I assume that the person is saying "I'm scared that I'm going to screw up this whole money thing, and then everyone will laugh at me and my pain."
When I hear that someone is scared of something, I always want to make that thing seem less scary somehow. Scared of dogs? Look, this one's all friendly. Scared of money? Let's make jokes about personal finance until it seems harmless (and even perhaps, fun).
|Except mice. Mice will always be scary.|
|"I'm here all night! ...or if you prefer, I could leave right now!"|
Where are the financial jokes about someone enjoying the feeling of a well-made budget? Or the satisfaction of finding out that your carefully chosen investments just raised their dividend payments? What about a joke about realizing that you have more money in your bank account than you thought was there in the first place?
Oh yeah, it's the reason that no one jokes about long term, happy, committed relationships. They're too boring.
|"And then she ate fiber to stay regular."|
Maybe, probably not.
I want everyone to want to talk about investment. I can't write off the people who are scared of money.
To those people, I offer this:
Yes, it's a chair. Consider it like a seat at the Let's Talk Investment table. I'll leave it empty just for you.
|"Look, it's not even biting me!"|