This is no surprise to anyone, but somehow I knew I had to blog about this today. Sometimes “Common sense is not so common,” said Voltaire.
I think the conflict we experience within ourselves and our relationships, especially when it comes to money (because it almost always comes down to money), is purely due to a basic misalignment of our goals and our priorities. Let me give you an example.
Some years ago I worked with a lovely young couple who were expecting their first child. They were up to their ears in student loans and somehow, at least it appeared that, they were actually living on love (or, a very modest income). They both listed buying a home, saving for retirement, and saving for their children’s education as their goals. They also both listed family and education as their priorities. The fact of the matter is, they both need to work full time just to pay down the student loans; they had to place their child in daycare in order for them both to work (and then, of course, pay for daycare).
Now don’t get all judgy…working to pay down debt is still putting your family first because you don’t want to burden them with debt. It’s just an example of how conflicts such as these cause our hearts to break and then cause us to both love and hate money in the same heartbeat.
Another example is a couple who are raising three delightful kids. They bought a lovely home in a lovely area and, of course, they love it. They also qualified for a mortgage while both of the parents were working full time. When one of them lost their job in the recession, paying for that lovely home became a huge source of stress. But they love the home! Priorities. I helped them continue to stay in the home they adore, at least for now, but they are having to cut back in all other areas.
If you are experiencing conflict in regards to your financial situation, I challenge you to look at where and how your goals are in conflict with your priorities and seek ways to get them aligned so that you can have peace.