I Grew Up when I Integrated the 5 S.I.D.E.S. © of Money into my Life

The 5 S.I.D.E.S© of Money Theory has served me well. But it didn’t happen overnight.  When I was a kid I was given an allowance. With it I felt a sense of responsibility. I was now like my older brothers who of course, knew what to do with their money. I would follow their lead (not really knowing what their behaviors were). They were older. They must know the right thing to do with money.  With an allowance I felt a sense of ownership. I had crossed over from the world of playing with stuffed animals and crayons to being trusted with something grown-ups and even more importantly, my parents used and seemed serious about. Surely I would also follow their lead. And finally I felt a sense of freedom. I could do what I wanted with this money. And what exactly did I want to do with this money? I wasn’t sure but I knew I had to be wise so my parents and brothers would be proud of me. I couldn’t spend it ALL on candy and comic books.


With my first allowance, my Mother gave me a savings book. She told me that I would have to save some of my allowance. Although initially disheartening, as soon as we went to the bank, and the teller treated me like a member of special “club”, I was hooked. As soon as I learned that with every dollar I saved it would gain interest, I was a believer. Even more, I wanted to add to the savings to have it grow faster. I wanted money!


But at the same time there was a pull tugging me to another direction. I wanted to know what my brothers spent their allowance on. I quickly found out. My brothers loved comics. With their big box, big enough to pack a refrigerator when empty, I found a massive collection of comic books. It was fantastic. I had early reading material at my disposal. I found my favorites and with my allowance wanted to continue the habit which I was picking up and my older brothers were getting out of.  So I bought comics and with comics had to come candy. So I bought candy. Overtime and without a lot of introspection, more of my allowance went to comics and candy and less to savings. I rationalized it by asking for money for Christmas and birthday, money I would put into savings to make up for my own lack of allocating my allowance.


This behavior became a habit and one I continued until I was the one dependent on my own earnings. Then I saw the consequence of spending so freely. I didn’t have enough money for what I wanted. I began to save ferociously and spent only on necessities like rent, food, and personal items I felt would last a long time. If I wanted an expensive or special item I would ask for it for my birthday or I would save for it. I used cash and did not go into debt. Before long I had the savings element down…as a belief.


One Christmas, as a young adult, I came home with a brilliant idea: instead of giving each other gifts for Christmas I wanted to give our gift money to a family chosen charity. Well, that idea landed with a quick dismissal and a big thud. That wasn’t going to happen, not at the expense of gifts my brothers had planned or strategized and petitioned for. However, what this experience made me feel was ostracized about giving. That part of my 5 S.I.D.E.S. © of money went underground for years.  When I gave, and it was often, I gave anonymously. And I saw how it greatly benefited the people I wanted to impact. I became a believer in giving as well.


I did not learn about investing until I decided to go into the financial world where I earned four robust financial certifications from two colleges: Certified Financial Planner©, Certified Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Certified Advisor to Senior Living. For twenty years I learned about money as an investment tool and how to position it for my goals. I loved my work and contributions to the industry. But I left for reasons best left for another blog or conversation. I learned the great benefit to investing one I am ever grateful for. I am a believer here as well.


Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know I understand that money is not an easy tool to deal with. When clients come to me in a state of anxiety about being out of control with their money, I see how our early habits still impact us today and how little we are taught about productive behaviors with money. I know that belief and experience have a huge role on money habits.


I believe we need to cultivate the systems and activities that as individuals and as a society make it easier to integrate the 5 S.I.D.E.S. © of money into our lives. This money pentagon is a crucial element to a significant live as individuals and together as a community of constant companions.


How do you allocate your money in the 5 S.I.D.E.S© of money pentagon? What needs strengthening? Talk to me. I would love to hear your comments on this because money is personal and money can be difficult to properly allocate.


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