Matt Goren and Michael Thomas, Co-Hosts of NPR’s Nothing Funny About Money radio show.
In this episode, Kathleen asks Matt and Michael about the danger in comparing your financial behaviors to others. As three financial educators who believe that money is more than numbers, listen in as the emotional side of saving and spending is explored. Learn tips for letting go of money shame and living a more authentic and value-driven financial life.
What You Need To Know:
Stop comparing your financial habits to others. Outward appearances may look different than reality. How you use money needs to align with your values, not your neighbors’ values. If Tom next door wants to work longer hours to afford a sports car, then that is his prerogative. You may want to work less and take the bus to work. Both are valid and acceptable.
Context matters. You may feel bad you are not saving money at the same rate as your friends, but maybe their situation is different. One of your friends has a home, but did they pay for it or was it a gift from grandma? Get curious and break money silence. These details may really change how you feel about yourself.
Invest time in identifying what makes you happy. If you have lost sight of the experiences and things that make you happy in life, take a short timeout. Observe your spending and saving habits. Ask yourself, what motivates you to use money in this way. What has the best return on investment in terms of joy? Your relationship with money is just that – your relationship. It really doesn’t matter what others are doing, as long as you are taking care of yourself financially.
Matt J. Goren, Ph. D. is the co-host of Nothing Funny About Money, an adjunct professor of personal finance in the financial planning program at the University of Georgia, and a community counselor at the Aspire Clinic. His work focuses on the interplay of emotion and money management, particularly for low-income and young people.
Michael G. Thomas Jr. is an accredited financial counselor and 4th-year Ph.D. Financial Planning Candidate at the University of Georgia. He has co-created and facilitated financial literacy programs for kids and adults as well as given a TED talk on the importance of financial empathy. Michael co-hosts an NPR affiliated radio show, Nothing Funny About Money.
Check out their podcast, Nothing Funny About Money at www.nothingfunnyaboutmoney.org.