I also dare to ask, “Who is in control of your life?”
Right now, you’re thinking, “That’s a stupid question! Of course I’m in control of my life”! My husband would say the same thing, but, oftentimes, the things we say and do might reveal a different story. One of the main ideas behind Financial Peace University is, Take control of your money instead of your money controlling you. When you have debt, overdrafts, poor money management and so forth, then your money is controlling you. I’m good with that, since I’m a total control freak. I WANT our money in OUR control! (OK, it’d mostly be mine, since I’m the household banker.) Damnit, I’m ANGRY at our situation! I’m MAD at our paycheck-to-paycheck existence, the fear of a financially crippling emergency and not having any savings (except our girls’ college funds, which we refuse to touch). This anger makes me ready to attack it head-on, to seize the financial bull by the horns and hogtie that bastard!
My husband, unfortunately, is in a different place. His locus of control is external. Stuff happens to him that he can’t control, and instead of being proactive, he becomes reactive. Sadly, what tends to happen in situations where an animal has an external locus of control is, they give up. They soon learn that, as long as they believe they cannot change anything, that nothing WILL change, so learned helplessness sets in, and there is eventually no action at all. (You can read more about Martin Seligman‘s research into learned helplessness here.) I realized this tendency in him after thinking about two comments he made this week as we were launching into our first official month with a budget.
Comment #1: “We could do this if I got paid more!” What the…? He just got a pay raise going into this year. It’s not what we get paid; it’s what we do with it. This comment told me he was looking for an excuse not to try.
Comment #2: “Gas prices went up $0.11 in four days, so already our budget is blown.” So WHAT!?!? So we have to adjust the budget; no big deal. So, if we blow the budget, that creditor we wanted to pay may fall “below the line.” Life will go on.
He needs to get mad. He needs to get ANGRY! He needs to be ready to conquer our finances just as I am and work with me on planning and saving and earning. It’s time for him to take each and every one of those dollars he makes, slap it around a bit and say, “Who’s ya daddy!?” Because I’m already making those dollars my bitches!
My apologies for the harsh language; I tend to be crude when I’m ANGRY.
- Locus of Control (English Version) (preconflictcontrol.wordpress.com)
- Money management tips for beginners (christianpf.com)
- Spend Less Than You Make (engageyourmoney.com)