Happy New Year

by Charles Richards, Ph.D. on January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, and welcome to my first blog. Starting 2012 with the publication of my book, The Psychology of Wealth, promises to spark many conversations and some soul-searching this year about prosperity in its many forms. I’m looking forward to having these conversations with you. Of course, a new year is a great opportunity to set new goals and resolve to upgrade our financial ways. As a psychotherapist and eternal optimist, I’m familiar with these earnest intentions. So how do we make them stick?  As with any positive change in behavior, one key is to become more conscious of our actions. It’s easy for many of us to fall into unconscious behaviors when it comes to money. To help make your 2012 resolutions about your finances more than wishful thinking, I recommend first taking an honest, conscious, and compassionate look at your financial habits.

How conscious are you of how, where, and why you spend your money? Do any of these unconscious habits sound familiar?

•    You find items that you forgot you had purchased and that you’ve never used or worn.
•    You purchase things without knowing how much you’re paying.
•    Your credit cards are maxed out, and you can’t remember what you bought.
•    You have a TV/DVD/CD player in every room, but you have trouble paying your bills.
•    You are still making payments on things you no longer own.

If you identify with any of these unconscious behaviors, take heart! Next time, I’ll talk about how to turn them around. I’ll suggest specific ways you can take control of your relationship with money, spending, and debt. In the meantime, I wish you a happy, healthy—and prosperous—New Year!

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