The Joseph Group

The Many Ways to Think About Money

April 26, 2024

To Inform:

I (Theresa) grew up one of 6 kids in rural Ohio. From a very young age, I learned that we had “just enough.” My life was very simple but felt very rich. Everyone was always required to help out around the house/farm with upkeep. We were encouraged to work odd jobs, such as bailing hay or babysitting, to make a few extra bucks for certain things we had our eyes on. As a child I had no idea the impact that my parents would have on the way I view money today. My attitude towards money has been shaped drastically by the way I was raised.

Dr. Brad Klontz, a financial Psychologist, financial planner, and professor who studies the psychology of money, has determined that everyone has attitudes towards money, some may even have a mix of attitudes! These attitudes, good, bad, or indifferent, shape how each of us view and think about money. These can be based on the way we were raised or specific life experiences. Thankfully, understanding these beliefs can help you improve your money behaviors and financial health!

The four attitudes, called “Money Scripts,” are as follows:

  1. Money Avoidance
  2. Money Worship
  3. Money Status
  4. Money Vigilance

Money Avoidance – Money creates a sort of anxiety and can lead to avoiding thinking about it. Often this attitude is associated with the belief that money is evil.

Money Worship – Belief that money is a critical part of happiness; money can solve all problems and there is never enough. More money = more happiness.

Money Status – In this scenario, our self-worth is tied directly to our net worth.

Money Vigilance – Constantly concerned with saving money. This belief states that money should be saved, not spent.

To some extent, I think we all have a bit of each in us. If we strive to find purpose with our money, this will create the balance that we all desire.

While these underlying beliefs are important to be aware of and understand in yourself, at The Joseph Group, we believe your “Money Script” does not define your financial outcome. Our wealth planning philosophy revolves around a Purpose, Plan, and Portfolio model. This is specific to each of our clients. Together we work to define the purpose of your dollars.

Once you have a handle on what you want your dollars to do for you, we use your financial plan to discuss realistic expectations and timelines. From there we utilize your portfolio to achieve the discussed purpose/objectives. This allows us to take your “Money Script” into consideration but makes sure that it does not define your future outcome.

We love to help our clients think about planning for specific goals and how to achieve them. If you ever have any questions about your plans, please contact us.





Written by Theresa M. LeChard, CFP, Senior Wealth Advisory Associate