I receive a large amount of unsolicited requests to review books; however, I only review a few of them. My unwritten policy is that I will review a book if it appears it may provide value to readers (you). Of course, "value" is a relative term that is quite subjective. On this blog, value may be loosely defined as something that enhances your life first, and possibly, your personal finances second -- a book that can aid in the objective to place meaning before money and purpose before planning. Now on to the review...
With an ambitious book title, such as "Mind Over Money," the authors Brad Klontz, PsyD, and Ted Klontz, PhD, place a substantial wall to climb before them. Fortunately, the father and son team scale this proverbial wall -- this potential impediment called the human brain -- and continue to cover ground far beyond it.
Mind over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health is another addition to the expanding business-finance sub-genre of behavioral finance, which is an ambitious endeavor in itself, if one considers other impressive works that are competing for shelf space in this hybrid of psychology and money.
For me, the first few chapters seemed to be a rehash of some of the recent psychology of happiness books, such as Stumbling on Happiness, and behavioral finance books, such as Your Money and Your Brain, which are both outstanding on their own merits.
Where Mind Over Money really began to win me over, and separate itself from the herd, if you will, is the focus on money disorders and what the authors call "money scripts" and how these perceptions and philosophies of money begin at a young age. I believe this paragraph almost completely sums up flashpoints (where money disorders and money scripts begin) and a large portion of the value that the book may provide the reader:
Our financial flashpoints, or intense emotional experiences relating to money, shape the money scripts -- or patterns of thinking and acting -- that we write for ourselves. And while each of us has flashpoints or experiences from childhood that shape our relationship with money, some of these experiences are more painful and traumatic than others. In our work helping people overcome the lasting effects of financial trauma, we've found that the more traumatic the flashpoint, the more serious the lasting effects. But the good news is that our responses to emotional trauma often follow specific, predictable patterns, and with careful thought and introspection, we can learn to identify, detect and overcome them.
Consider just a few examples of money scripts the book describes in the primary money disorder categories of Money-Avoidance, Money-Worshiping, and Relational:
Money Avoidance Money Scripts:
- It's wrong to have more money than others in my family.
- Most rich people don't deserve their money.
- I don't deserve to have money.
- Money is the root of all evil.
Money Worshiping Money Scripts:
- More money/things will make me happier.
- There will never be enough.
- Security is boring.
- I have to work hard to be sure I have enough money.
Relational Money-Disorder Money Scripts:
- Take care of your children now and they'll take care of you later.
- One of the ways to keep friends and family close is to give them gifts and loan them money.
- There will always be someone I can turn to for money.
- I don't need to learn how to manage money.
Do you have a money disorder? I'm convinced that all of us do to some degree and we owe it to ourselves and the people around us to identify them and remain mindful of them and thus enable ourselves to pursue a meaningful existence. Self-discovery, self-knowledge, and self-awareness are keys to financial success and any and all of life's pursuits beyond money.
For this reason, Mind over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health, can be a useful addition to your book shelf.
Related:Mind vs Brain Part I: We are only Human