A book review By Rashad Phillips
During the past decade, I can recall plenty of client stories, which confirm that emotions effect financial decisions. In my most recent read, “Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building A Healthy Relationship With Money,” Dr. Kay Levinson reveals the important connections between money and human emotions. The title of the book is somewhat misleading, because one might have the impression that this book is only for women. Sections of the book are centered around women’s issues with money, but men shouldn’t allow these sections to deter them from reading this informative book.
In western culture, men are encouraged to focus on masculine qualities (logic, rules, objectivity) and to suppress feminine qualities (feelings, intuition, sharing). And converse is true for women. After reading “Emotional Currency,” and completing the author’s exercises, hopefully both sexes will understand the importance of balancing their masculine and feminine qualities to make better financial decision.
Most financial education teaches us to evaluate financial decisions from a masculine viewpoint (using only emotion-less logical). In “Emotional Currency,” Dr. Levinson challenges the reader to examine their feminine qualities to learn how our emotions affect our business dealings. Levinson says, “Money has everything to do with relationship”. She states that money is an agreement we have with others that pieces of paper or metal coins have value. Levinson addresses how money can affect ones self worth. She states “We learn to use money to compensate for deprivation in our life, to use it as a salve for that which we have never had, or no longer have.” After such powerful statements, Levinson challenges the reader with a series of questions to force the reader to examine their emotional connections with money, their relationships, and their self worth.
Often times, my clients express great concern over how they don’t understand why their spouse or mate isn’t on the same page with them financially. Levinson addresses how men and women view money and financial matters differently. Levinson interviews a financial planner who says money is about relationship and sharing for women, while money is about power and position for men. Previous experiences have taught me that feminine qualities seek meaning in the financial transaction while the masculine qualities seek to meet strategic objectives. Levinson states that in relationships “Money is a convenient vehicle for expressing our psychological needs, often in unconscious and primitive ways.” The author encourages the reader to examine theirs early childhood experiences with money to gain insight into how money may affect their relationships.
The final chapters are devoted to providing the reader with solutions to Emotional Currency issues. The author concludes that knowledge about money is the antidote to fear. Levinson also suggest that the reader write a “Money Memoir” in which the reader details early accounts about their first memories of money. The Money Memoir will help the reader identify past emotional issues, which are usually roadblocks that prevent financial stability.
“Emotional Currency” is well worth the $14.99 suggested retail price. The book was a pleasure to read and was hard to put down. I encourage both sexes to read and discuss Dr. Kay Levinson’s latest work.
Rashad Phillips is a Certified Financial Coach and Tax Accountant. For additional information regarding this article, you may contact Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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