Money and Mental Models
Your relationship with money is first a mental model. You can’t be in control of your finances and get financially independent if you don’t have the right mental model about money.
I remember when I was a child, even though my mother was the principal bread earner, my father was managing family finances. Now maybe you are wondering if he was more instructed than my mother in this area. Short answer, no, he was not.
Both of my parents have perceived money as a bad thing (probably they still do the same). “Money is bad.” “You have to exchange your health and time for money”. There was no such concept as passive earning, or at least working smarter, not harder. Having a greater income always meant more labor for my family, pushing it harder, longer working hours, less time for the family. My parents have always been scared of anything related to finances, from using any type of financial application to actions with a greater commitment, such as applying for a credit. Having this mental model about money, stopped my parents from working together on their finances and from admitting that money is something they should learn about in order to improve their lives. I am sure they would have been in far a better financial position over time, provided they had done this.
Now going back to the story of my mother. She always perceived money as something complicated, something she does not want to deal with. So she preferred my father to be in charge of finances. Therefore, my parents had a common money pot, and whenever my mother would need money for something, she would ask my father for it, similarly to a child asking for pocket money. I also remember my mother being afraid to carry money in her purse. To her, that seemed like a real danger. Having witnessed my parents’ mental model about money, I realized why some people do not get to control their finances. They are simply scared of money and everything that it entails. Some people are so fearful of money that they prefer to watch passively everything that happens to their finances. However, such actions come at a very high price.
Now, while I do not know if I will be able to change my parents’ mental model about money, I do hope that I can help you question and identify yours. To all of you out there who think money is bad, I dare to challenge you. Money is good! Money is an extremely helpful resource. It helps people focus on their better parts. It allows them to do good in the universe, it frees up their time such that they can have the freedom to work on projects and causes that they really believe in and that they care about.