A friend of mine recommended a book, a while back that has given me tremendous insight in understanding of why the money or financial issue has been so difficult in my family. Money Drunk / Money Sober, written by Mark Bryan and Julia Cameron (also known for writing The Artist's Way), looks at the attitudes towards money and makes connections with addictive behavior. It's a really interesting book that I think might have relevance here. As a nation we've been Money Drunk.
My parents tried to teach me about the value of a dollar, but they never taught me how to budget. Instead what they taught me was as long as you have credit you have buying power. I can't blame my parents they were equally confused with their concepts of money from believing there's never enough or poverty conscious to rationalizon 'Ive been deprived in the past; I work hard and am entitled to what I want now.' I think part of this does come from a consciousness cycle of boom and crash that is part of the American history.
I'm sure that our problems today have a lot to do with how we think of money, a lot of emotion in that and fear and even some feelings of entitlement. 'I'm just as good as the Jones; so I deserve to have the top of the line refrigerator.' Or 'I'll be loved if I wear the right clothes, have the right house, drive the right car...' The place to work on the problem is to start with ourselves in our homes, and the real solution well be when we learn to value ourselves wholly (mind, body, and spirit) rather than define ourselves by things purchased on credit.
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