Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Money Habitudes

Lena Baron
June 22, 2011
GRADE: 50/50
“Good job.”
Assignment #3
Money Habitudes

I have really enjoyed learning about the Money Habitudes concepts within a marriage. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and a happy and healthy marriage. However, like many married couples there are times when money issues creep into the scheme of things and the Money Habitudes has opened up our eyes and understanding.

My Money Habitude is focused mostly around Targeted Goals. I believe this is my hearts desire. However, I am also equally focused on Free Spirit. In my opinion, these two Habitudes are opposites of each other, which can lead to frustration if I don’t find a balance.

Out of the advantages of the Targeted Goals and Free Spirit habitudes, I often make an intentional financial decision based on values and desired long-term outcomes. For example, I have decided to continue to take college courses in the Fall. This is a financial decision because it adds debt to our finances as well as a source of income during a semester when my husband will be building a Massage Therapy practice and won’t be able to bring in a steady income. Because we value the fact that I am home with our three young children and we have chosen to home school our oldest, I made my decision to continue my studies in order to stay home with them instead of seeking outside employment. This decision was also made with the long term intentions of learning how to become a better wife and mother now, and if need be in the years to come I will eventually earn the degree in order to help other people with the knowledge that I will gain.

This example also shows how I use the advantages of my Free Spirit habitude by my willingness to adapt easily to new situations. My husband’s massage practice was an unexpected turn of events. The nursing program he was going to attend in the fall canceled its program thus forcing us to draw up a new plan for the year.

When considering the disadvantages of my Money Habitudes I come back to my comment about my Money Habitudes being in conflict, which causes disadvantages. One of the advantages of having a Free Spirit habitude is having faith that others will provide. In my position as a wife and mother, I don’t think it’s fair for me to have the careless attitude that I have. My husband and I do have an understanding that he will pay the bills and take care of things. But I often find myself clueless about our money situation until we don’t have any. Then I find that my Targeted Goals habitude advantages and disadvantages come into play and I am demanding reasons for our lack of money. If I gave more support, I’m sure it would help ease some stress off of my husband and help me understand where we’re at financially and the direction that the path is heading.

Truthfully, my lack of mathematical and budgeting skills is what has left the finances up to my husband up to this point. My goal, notice the word goal, is to find a budgeting system that will help us reach our goals instead of leaning on our Free Spirit tendencies.

This leads me to the Money Habitudes advantages that I feel are missing from our financial situation. Security is missing in our financial habitudes. We set goals, but I lack the skills and my husband lacks the action (sticking to a budget) in order to reach those goals. We desperately need a budget. Security is not one of my strong Money Habitudes, nor is it my husbands. However, we both have strong Targeted Goals habitudes. Generally, we both know the overall status of our bank account amount. We both know the general timeframe that money will be deposited into the account and when money will be withdrawn. However, we lack the everyday expenses budget and the determination to stay within that budget to help us stay ahead.

Which leads to another advantage that is missing from our life, we do not have accessible money in case of emergencies. We understand from experience how important a cushion of savings can be. When I was pregnant with our twin daughters, they were diagnosed with a problem with their placenta. The only doctor that could solve the problem was in Seattle Washington. We had to purchase plane tickets and fly to Washington all in one day. We had some money set aside, but not enough to get us through all that was required. We had to rely on credit and family in order to make due. You would think we would learn from the mistake. We need a better plan and more action.

Gratefully, I do not have the disadvantages of the Status Habitude. This habitude is least like my husband or me. I am so glad that we don’t feel the constant stress of keeping up with others. Nor do we get into debt to maintain appearances.

In order to gain more balance within our financial situation I need to continue to pull from my Targeted Goals strengths by setting realistic goals and making wise purchases that will retain their value. I also need to bring more Security into our finances by establishing and following a budget plan. This will lead us to be able to enjoy the advantages of our Free Spirit tendencies, such as sharing generously with others. As well as bringing in the spontaneity of enjoying the fun life on occasion.

My husband and I have very similar Money Habitudes. His are based on Targeted Goals and Selfless. Mine are Targeted Goals and Free Spirit. The fact that my husband, Leif, is Selfless and I am a Free Spirit, is most likely why he has taken on the finances in the family. His selflessness leads him to take on the burden by himself. My free spirit goes along with this plan.

However, the conflict comes when the money runs out. Because we are both focused on goals, we naturally have plans and goals. However, we lack the Security habitude to make all of these goals happen. Luckily, we are both hard workers and responsibility isn’t an issue. The issue comes with the lack of care we put into our finances on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

This Money Habitudes exercise has already been very helpful for Leif and I. We recognize our strengths and weaknesses now. This has led us to seek out help in our every day finance plans and security weaknesses. 

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