The biggest money mystery – Why do I do what I do? (Part two)

Posted on: September 3, 2014

By Melanie Buffel, BA Psych, MBA candidate

Depressed woman

In part one we met Jill, a successful single women in her early 40’s who was laboring under debt and stuck in a pattern of avoidance and confusion with her money. She tried many times to create a budget but just couldn’t seem to make it stick. A big or unexpected cost always seemed to come up and lead her to overspend. She felt like the universe was conspiring against her, “This always happens to me!” One month it was her property taxes, the next month it was a vet bill and then a car repair and then her parents came to town and then and then…. Once the budget was blown for the month she didn’t see the point in being careful with her spending and would “treat” herself with a new outfit, a new haircut and dinners out to deal with the anxiety. Her VISA bill climbed and her sense of failure deepened.

The eight money archetypes, as defined by Deborah Price in her book Money Magic, offer a way to build our awareness of what fuels our money behaviours and transform our relationship to money so we can release the fears and live from a deep sense of abundance.

I shared the first four archetypes in part one. The remaining four types are described below. Do you recognize what archetypes Jill is operating from? Do you have a sense of what archetypes most influence your behaviour?

The Fool: You play by your own rules, live in the moment and are willing to take risks or financial shortcuts. You can get a little caught up in your own enthusiasm and your judgment can be negatively affected. Money can come to you easily but it goes away just as fast. Despite setbacks you are still optimistic that things will turn around but you can lack the discipline to pay attention to the details and really step into your own power.

The Creator/Artist: Your path is spiritual or artistic and you often struggle with the mundane demands of the material world. You love the freedom money brings to pursue your path without anxiety but you hate the fact that you need to spend time and attention on earning and managing money. Your beliefs can block the flow of money into your life and result in constant financial troubles. The key for you is to integrate your creative and material realities, acknowledging the value of both aspects of your life.

The Tyrant: You never feel completely at peace with your money even though you may be very successful financially. From the outside you look like you have it all but inside you are driven by fear. You fear losing control, not having enough. You use money to control people and events around you, feeling the power it gives you to direct the show.

The Magician: You have claimed your power to direct your money and your life. You understand how your thought and behaviour patterns affect your relationship with your money. You embrace the richness of your inner life and allow it to be expressed in your choices in the material world and you have a deep sense of trust that in the end all will be well.

As Jill learned more about the money archetypes she began to recognize them showing up in her relationship with money and driving her behaviour. Jill reflected on her past and remembered how stressed she felt in her childhood when she would hear her mother and father fight over money. The trauma she felt as a child translated into avoidance of her money situation and a feeling of powerless over her finances. She wants someone else to take over and just tell her what to do and help her feel safe and secure. This is the face of her Innocent and leaves her feeling powerless to make changes on her own. Her focus on blaming outside forces for her financial situation is the face of her Victim. It interferes with her ability to recognize her own responsibility in her financial choices.

As Jill’s awareness grew she began to recognize when she gave up her own power and laid the responsibility for her situation outside of herself. She slowly began to focus on her finances and engage in a more complete financial planning process for the year so she was not surprised by unexpected expenses and had savings to cover them. She noticed when her “all or nothing” attitude to sticking to her monthly budget showed up. She found ways to remind herself of the bigger picture and to take more responsibility for her choices. Jill is finding her Magician and is no longer expending all her energy on avoiding her finances. She is guided by her values and goals and building her confidence to make good financial choices.

I often tell a client that is struggling and looking to me for instant relief that I do not have a magic wand to change their situation. Truth is, the magic is inside of them and the alchemy of reflection and conscious action can transform their lives. As a Money Coach I feel very privileged to be a catalyst and a guide.

Melanie Buffel Bio box copy


Category(s): Money Coaching, Relationship to money
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