We have these unwritten and often unspoken contracts all over our lives; with friends and neighbors, with business associates, with companies, with relatives and lovers, with ourselves and, yes, even with money.
I’ve had several clients talk to me about “broken contracts” with their spouses. What they really mean is that there was an agreement that was either ignored, neglected or broken. This lapse, for these clients, meant that the contract was broken. And once the contract is broken, there are often far reaching repercussions.
An irony of this is that often none of it gets talked about. The actual initial agreement
isn’t talked about. The breaking of the contract isn’t talked about. Even the repercussions aren’t talked about.
We all have this going on all the time. It’s about expectations, isn’t it?
Many times in life I have had the experience of noticing when the contract, big or small, got broken. Here’s an odd (at least to me) example that might help clarify this.
You meet someone at an event and they give you their card. You later call the number on the card. Turns out it is a cell phone number. They answer the call with a certain urgency in their voice and say something like “oh, it’s you, I’m at the dentist, I can’t talk now”. Awkward, to say the least. This is an example of a “two-fer”. The contract is broken on both sides. How is the caller to know that the person is at the dentist and busy? And the person receiving the call assumes that they need be left alone at the dentist.
Ah, so it’s about expectations and assumptions. Both of which get us into trouble when they aren’t made clear.
Now, turn this contract concept to you and your money. Trust me, it’s there. You expect certain things from money that it doesn’t necessarily deliver. You made a “contract” with money when you were very, very young. You’ve expected money to perform and you have been very disappointed when it doesn’t create the expected results from the original contract.
Please consider this. You haven’t actually outlined for yourself, or money, what the contract was. And you certainly haven’t revisited or renegotiated it.
On top of it, your contract with money is actually a contract with yourself. Money only does what you tell it to do. It doesn’t actually spend itself…you decide where it goes. And it certainly doesn’t earn itself…it comes in based on your efforts and choices. Even when your money makes interest, it makes the interest based on your investment choices.
Bottom line, review your contract with yourself. What did you expect, what did you assume, and what would actually work better.
The most important agreements at keep are the ones with ourselves. When we don’t keep them there is hell to pay.