Nathan Dungan has more than 20 years of experience counseling people on money matters. His latest book, Money Sanity Solutions, aims to help families boost financial literacy. Here, his take on money and how to make the most of it.
An assumption in our society is that somehow, somewhere we learned how to talk about and handle money. But most people never got that education.
Ask yourself: Are you a spender, saver, or sharer? There’s no wrong answer. It just tells you what plan will make you successful. Money temperament has very little to do with one’s I.Q. or socioeconomic status.
Within families, there are extremes on the continuum concerning money talk. On one end is silence, and on the other end is a lot of shouting. We need balance.
People have felt huge amounts of pain around money—unemployment, home loss, spend-down of savings. There are things we can’t control. But we can control the narrative around your money.
Many times, money tension revolves around the conflict between ultimate goals and values and daily choices about spending. When you’re not living in a way that honors what you believe to be important, it causes unnecessary tension.
One good thing about the past few years is that we have had a financial wake-up call. But we’re creatures of habit. We have an opportunity to change. Clarify gray areas so you have a clear picture of your financial future.
Hope without a plan is denial. If you don’t meaningfully take action, your financial situation won’t change.
I do believe we have an opportunity to exhale a little bit. We’re not at the edge of the cliff, but we have to remember how we got here. We need to engage multiple generations in money conversations.