According to a study by T. Rowe price, 32% of parents say they sometimes lie to their kids about money, and 47% told the kids they couldn’t afford something when they really could.
A report from CreditCards.com finds that 13 million Americans have committed financial infidelity, by hiding a bank or credit card account from a partner, spouse, or significant other.
In addition to being the reason for lies—big and small—money is considered a leading cause of divorce, violence, and has prompted some to break communication with friends and family.
“Somewhere along the way the power we gave money outstripped its original utilitarian role,” writes Lynne Twist in her iconic behavioral finance classic, The Soul of Money.
“Money itself isn’t bad or good. Money itself doesn’t have power. It is our interpretation of money, our interaction with it, with a real mischief is what we find a real opportunity for self-discovery and personal transformation,” she writes.
According to Twist, there are three factors at play in the shadows of our financial behavior that can make us forget our values, and we need to be alert and aware in order to counter them.
1. There’s not enough to go around. We believe and behave as if there’s not enough. This mindset, and the never-ending treadmill it puts us on with regard to acquiring money, not only undermines any sense of financial well-being, but it’s hell on relationships and kills our natural humanity toward others. Once you step into the truth that you are enough, and that each one of us has a deep well of power and uniqueness, you’ll naturally discover more powerful ways of dealing with money.
2. More is better. This ‘lie of scarcity’ is simply the result of conditioning. ‘More is better’ is simply a symptom of a society that’s lost its way. Twist says there is nothing wrong with having more, but the mindset of this myth never gives us the satisfaction of looking forward. Adding that when we develop an appreciation of what’s there, what we have can expand, nourish us, and nourish the world. When we let go, beautiful things are waiting for us.
3. That’s just the way it is. Twist calls this the myth that holds the others in place, and allows us to not question them. There is a sense of resignation, there is ‘buy in,’ and we literally give up on pushing back against the real causes of our troubles—unrealistic fears of lack and scarcity.
Engage in practices that change our way of being. You can try new practices for saving, budgeting, and investing. Make your spending intentional and deliberate. Most important, design a vision for your life that reflects your own definition of prosperity, behaving in ways that nurture your relationships, create financial security, and clear your financial conscience.