Discover Your Relationship with MONEY

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Lying on his deathbed, the rich, miserly old man calls to his long-suffering wife. “I want to take all my money with me,” he tells her. “So promise me you’ll put it in the casket.”

After the man dies, his widow attends the memorial service with her best friend. Just before the undertaker closes the coffin, his widow places a small metal box inside. The widow’s friend looks at her in horror. “Surely,” she says, “you didn’t put the money in there.”

“I did promise him I would,” the widow answers. “So I got it all together, deposited every penny in my account, and wrote him a check. If he can cash it, he can spend it.” -Anonymous

Money…we’re good (possibly too good) at spending it, we might be pretty good at saving it, but how good are we at managing it? Describe your relationship with money. What is it like? We’re not posting your answers on our refrigerators, so be as honest with yourself as possible. A few more questions, too. How well informed are you about your family’s finances? How often do you review your bank statements, stock portfolios or retirement accounts? What, if any, credit cards or real estate are in your name?

On Twitter, personal finance guru Suze Orman noted that stay at home moms shouldn’t forget to think about saving for retirement. So, how are you saving for your retirement? It is important for us to take stock of our financial picture and be an active partner in our finances. With so much already on our plate, it is easy to sidestep the drudgery of balancing checkbooks and other financial chores, and leave them to our spouse or financial consultant to manage. But where does that leave us? In the dark, when we need to see the light.

Money, like any relationship, has its ups and downs, but what we may want to ask ourselves is: “What’s the payoff for me to take a more active role and be in the know of my financial picture? What might be holding me back from doing so?” We don’t mean to get Freudian, but we each have unique beliefs, hopes and fears about money that often help or hinder the relationship. What are yours? Explore them. And while it’s unlikely that you’ll come across an offshore bank account, chances are you will discover a better understanding of one of your more important relationships.

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