Most people haven’t had any training about how to manage their money. That is mostly because it is such an amazingly taboo topic that no one wants to talk about it.
But what if you want to learn more about how to deal with money? And what if the idea of
taking a class that has the word “Finances” in the title makes you run for the hills? Well here’s a radical idea: design your own class, one that includes chocolate…lots of chocolate!
In a novel I was recently reading (“Home Safe” by Elizabeth Berg), the heroine found herself in a money knot. Her husband, who always handled the money, has died. She doesn’t like the idea of hiring someone else to handle her money. And here’s what she’s thinking: “Her plan now is to take a class, just as soon as the right one comes along. ‘Managing Your Personal Finances’ does not appeal. ‘Soothing Advice Plus Chocolate for Women Who Would Prefer Doing Almost Anything Else to Managing Their Finances’ does.
I absolutely know she’s not the only one that feels that way. Many, many people do. Somehow, the vast majority of people who run ‘Finance’ classes are not the ‘soothing, chocolate supplying’ type. They are the brass tacks, crunch numbers folk.
And most of us don’t need classes about Finances, we need classes about money. It’s the day to day money things. Saving, budgeting, and spending: using and handling your money effectively. That’s what matters, and that’s where we need the help.
So why not design a ‘class’ for yourself that does that. Before you’ve decided I’ve just lost my mind, indulge me a little. If you were going to design a class, any class, what are the steps you would take? Perhaps something like:
What do I want to know? For example I want to know about Credit Cards. Great! Now this can leads to what you might call the class. The title for the class might be ‘Credit Cards, Friend or Foe?’ or ‘Credit Carding For Me’.
Now make a list of all the things you want to know how to do around credit cards. And please make sure to include some items on your list about how you ‘feel’ about credit cards, and what your ‘beliefs’ are about credit cards. All this money stuff, be it credit cards, saving, budgeting, whatever, has components of emotion and beliefs in it. If you think it’s just about following procedures than you’ll be lost. If that was all it took, well then we’d all be doing it, right? Notice the woman from the book wants soothing AND chocolate. She didn’t just want instructions, and neither do you.
Okay, so now that you have a list of questions and topics, how do you actually create the class? I’m going to suggest two options: by yourself, and with others.
By Yourself: research existing classes, books, on-line resources, etc, using the items on your list. Call people who are doing classes and ask them if they cover what’s on your list. Call finance pros and ask them the same things.
With Others: form a group, meetup, etc with the goals of creating a forum for the topics in your list. The group will be a wealth of untapped information and energy. People can research and bring back knowledge.
Either way, once you are truly clear about what you want to know how to do, it will be much easier to find it. And you can always supply chocolate. Make that a priority, that there is always something that makes it silly, soothing, easy and fun.