In terms of being a man, I feel most inadequate around my finances. I did not have much direction, any direction really, as I was growing up. As a result, I am approaching fifty and I feel so ill-equipped to handle my personal finances and retirement needs. Is this something the men in your groups deal with?
Behind the Eight Ball
Dear Eight Ball,
Becoming “financially mature” is an important and often—discussed topic among the men in our BetterMen groups.
Not receiving the fathering we wished we had shows up in many ways for men. Sometimes it’s about self-confidence, being disconnected from other men, or experiencing doubt when it comes to relationships. For many of us, it’s about not having had the positive role model to show us how to be responsible with our dough.
The topic recently came up in one of our groups and it led to weeks of discussion regarding personal budgets and the sharing of experiences and solutions among the men. In fact, once a couple of men revealed their personal financial challenges, it gave permission to some of the other men to open up and “get real” about their “secrets” concerning money.
Budgets were passed around and the men began to meet outside of group to teach each other and learn from each other. Soon, the men gained greater confidence as they figured out solutions to their financial challenges, instead of remaining stuck in the problems.
Men need the support of other men who are willing to be honest and willing to hold them accountable to their commitments. In this case, several men made new commitments to live within their means, to set goals for savings and investments, and to be the CFO’s of their families. One man committed to visit a financial planner.
If we don’t ask for help, we won’t get it. These “financially maturing” men learned once again that our needs are varied and shared with most other men, and that the best place to get help is from those men.