Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money
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Every day, women face new challenges that come with having control over, and responsibility for, their financial lives. Sometimes exciting, sometimes frightening, these issues always have an emotional side. Author and psychotherapist Dr. Kate Levinson offers fresh approaches to navigating the astonishing range of beliefs about the role of money in our lives, coming to terms with our feelings about being “rich” or “poor,” and exploring our inner money life so that we can put our feelings to work for us in a positive way. By understanding our intimate history and relationship with money we are better able to handle our money anxieties, solve our money problems, enjoy the money we have, and make room for other, more meaningful values.
need to excel in the world of finance, she told me that money was not emotional and that her dealings with it didn’t have any emotional baggage. Another woman in the financial field, Stephanie, a wealth advisor for a major brokerage firm, agreed that money is just money to her, though it wasn’t always that way. She told me, “In my first marriage my husband did not trust me financially, so he took away my ATM card and check writing privileges and would only give me a bit of cash every week to get
time. If it weren’t for the need for money, some of us would not have continued to show up at our jobs, finished school, or done things that helped us to develop all sorts of abilities and understandings of ourselves and the world. Questions about money as a motivator: What have you done for money that you otherwise would not have taken on? Were there ways this benefited you? Were there ways this was harmful? Are there experiences you have had or skills that you have learned because of a need
parents fought a lot about how money was spent in the family. But she needed to look at how she felt about her parents’ fights before she could locate her own comfort with spending and having. She emotionally recounted being pulled into their fights: My mother squirreled away money from her household budget to buy me whatever I wanted. I would hide the new dress or pair of shoes in my closet, wearing them secretly until they no longer looked brand new and they could pass underneath my dad’s
society is based on masculine principles. In financially traditional marriages, the man was seen as independent and the woman as dependent. But if you think further about it, it becomes clear that a man’s independence existed only if there was someone taking care of the children, providing meals, and creating a home. Thus, the unpaid work in the home by a dependent wife enabled and ensured that the husband could function independently in the outside world. If we include the wife’s work as
herself and reinforce her sense of being unlovable: I always had enough money to provide for my food and shelter, but I never saved anything. When I had extra, I gave it away, to ensure that I was always just on the edge with money. I think this was a form of perpetuating my mother’s punishment of me. It was a reliable way to always feel bad about myself. Susan worked hard emotionally to understand that the bad wasn’t actually in her, but was rather the result of her mother’s projections. She