Chapter 1. Working Together

If you and I were sitting at Starbucks discussing the things you want to accomplish in your life, and how your financial situation is playing into that equation, I would start gushing about a form of financial management called Life Planning.

I would tell you how this is the only form of financial planning that I've seen bring lasting results to people. I'd also tell you that the reason I think it works so well is that it helps people figure out why they make the decisions they do about making and spending money.

I would also probably say something like, "Telling someone to stop overspending without taking a look at why they're doing it in the first place is like telling someone to go on a fad diet without looking at what's driving the overeating. They may be able to change their behavior for a time, but sooner or later, the reasons behind it will regain control of their actions.

After we discussed the merits of that logic, I'm sure I would start explaining "The Big Three." Those are the three major influences behind our choices about making and spending money:

The Big Three

  1. The lessons we learned about money when we were growing up

  2. The messages society tells us about money

  3. The messages we tell ourselves about money

At this point, I would shift into reporter mode and start asking you the most effective questions I've seen Life Planners use to help them discover the influence The Big Three are having on their clients, so that we could see how those factors are ...

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