First comes “Why,” Then Comes “How”

By, Nicole Crimaldi

It seems that there are thousands of books written about how to properly manage one’s personal finances. These books and experts preach about how much of your income you should be spending vs. saving, what investments will make you the most money, how to ideally set up your accounts, etc. etc. etc.

These books remind me of the thousands of books written about losing weight. What to eat, how much to work out, what miracle vitamin you should be taking…

Of the MANY personal finance books that are on my personal book shelf, none of them seem to address the fact that no matter how many perfect rules you know about managing your finances, the information is useless if you don’t have a good understanding about your attitude towards and relationship with your money first.

In other words, a severely overweight person can’t lose weight by reading books and memorizing health facts but, rather, by understanding WHY they over eat and why they have chosen a sedentary lifestyle in the first place. Until they understand the WHY, then accept and embrace change, the HOW is useless.

If you are struggling with over-spending, under-saving and/or constantly feeling enslaved to your bills, put down the personal finance books for a minute and try doing some soul searching first.

Here are a few questions you can start with:

  • What does having money mean to you?
  • What does NOT having money mean to you?
  • What did your parents teach you about money?
  • When were you first responsible for your own bills? How did this first affect you?
  • Think back to your first job and how your relationship with money has been since then.

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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