I am not good with money. I say this straight out, but as I do, I recognize that what I mean is somewhat murky. So, to clarify: I am not good with money not because I spend it wildly but because thinking, writing, acting about money fills me with such anxiety that I can barely tolerate it.
That means that I deal with money issues in my life either not at all or with lightening speed and minimal consideration. I know this about myself and I know, chapter and verse, how my bank balance, life style and peace of mind have suffered. Yet I feel helpless to do anything about it because doing something requires the kind of attention that produces that intolerable anxiety. It is your basic vicious cycle, only now guilt and shame have been added in.
I know that we only do things when we’re ready to do them, and maybe now I’m ready to do something about the way I deal with money. And maybe because, as I also believe, the universe gives when we’re ready to receive, a publicist contacted me a while back about reviewing a book called The Money Code written by financial analyst Joe John Duran. I said yes–and promptly forgot about it.
When the book arrived during the holiday rush, I sorta kinda looked through it and thought, this might make a good New Year post. So I put it in the stack on my desk–and promptly forgot about it. But now we are well and truly into 2013 and it is time to make good on my commitments, I am at last reading The Money Code and finding it–well, perhaps this was what the universe knew I needed after all.
Duran, who is a founding partner of United Capital, one of the our fastest growing wealth counseling firms and a frequent TV commentator, is on a mission to change the financial industry, not the least of which by empowering people to make better, more informed financial decisions. This book, his third, is part of that effort.
It is a slim volume with a nice clean layout but even so, I approached it with trepidation. I have, you see, a Really Bad Attitude toward self-help books. The cause might be the subject of another (amusing) post, but right now it’s important only so you know I looked at The Money Code with a really jaded eye. What I found was–well, gee, straight talk. Grammatical sentences. Lively writing. And this:
“Ideally, making decisions about money would be a solely intellectual exercise. But I have come to know–both as an individual and a financial professional–that decisions about money are almost always emotional ones, too. And our personal histories and perspectives will affect not just how we make decisions, but also their quality.”
That could have been written in a paragraph that started “Dear Jane.” It is, in fact, part of the Introduction to the book.
I read on and what I found was that Duran has created a frame tale within which to place his approach to revising one’s financial life. He has created a character, Jack, who is the reader’s stand-in for a journey through the six lessons that make up the Money Code. Each chapter covers one of the lessons and each lesson requires the reader get involved in the process. Hokey? Yeah, I know. But take my word for it, it’s not. Duran is a good enough writer to have created a plausible, interesting story, and I was hooked. As the back of the book copy put it, “The Money Code is a modern tale of one person’s journey to uncover the five secrets to living his one best financial life.”
I’m going to follow Jack’s journey on my own, and to keep me honest–and honor my 2013 intention to “go deeper”–I’ll be sharing my journey here on MidLifeBloggers. Want to join me? You could buy The Money Code. Or win a copy and a $25 Visa Gift Card to go with it. Either way, I’d love to have some company on this journey.
To enter this MidLifeBloggers giveaway, you must
- tell us in the Comments which of these four questions about your financial wellness seems most true:
- Do you avoid making decisions about money?
- Do you feel as though you’re missing something in your financial life?
- Have you made money decisions you’ve regretted and then repeated the same mistakes?
- Does talking about money with the people you love make you feel uncomfortable?
- Only one entry per person, please.
- You must be 18 to enter, but really why are you even reading MidLifeBloggers if you’re not in midlife?
- On January 22, 2013, the magic of random.org will select the lucky commenter. That means you have until 11:59 p.m. on January 21, 2013 to enter.
- The winner will be announced on this site on January 22 at which time I’ll need your snail mail address so that The Money Code and your $25 Visa Gift Card can be sent to you.
Update: The gods are chuckling–the winner of the Giveaway is Ann Tracy (go read her comment if you want to see what tickles the gods).