The word Mantra comes from the Hindu and Buddhist religions, representing a repetitive chant of word or phrase. For those of us in the North American culture, the use of mantra loosely refers to a set of beliefs or phrase tied to motivation. It's our mindset.I interviewed a client a number of months ago, and it became clear she was strongly driven by “productivity”. Productivity is a very North American word – something that our culture values. “Time is Money” comes to mind immediately. However, sometimes a productivity mantra is too narrow. Here is an example of how my client’s money mindset sabotaged her money behaviors.
The High Stakes Moment
Judith is a well-educated, award-winning professional in her industry. She also consults, writes books, is a mom to 2 kids, and makes time for fitness, her girlfriends, her husband. Superwoman should be her middle name.
Productivity to her means “pushing the peanut ahead” – getting to the next step of achievement based on her personal vision and providing for her family. Paying attention to bills and paying them on time doesn’t fall into her definition of productivity. When she and her husband went to purchase another house, her credit score shut them out.
Two Things Were at Work:
- She was never sure her bank account balance was enough to cover the bills, so she hesitated.
- She had no designated time to review the family finances with her husband. If it was in front of her it was paid. If it was set aside, it was lost in a sea of emails.
There is tremendous pressure for women to be “super”. We put that pressure on ourselves, and we put that pressure on each other. And, the splitting of child care and household chores for a working couple still falls more squarely on women more than men. Productivity is a natural behavior to adopt to get everything done.
When Your Mantra Costs More than it Serves You
The hours required to finally get a mortgage were significant - think of the hours x her consulting fee. The increased interest rate on that mortgage due to her low score was the equivalent of wiping out a large portion of their consulting fees for a year. Time used to earn revenue was erased by time not used to pay bills. Productivity is no longer broad enough to serve their needs. Is your mantra still serving you?
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Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Behavioral Cents, LLC and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.
Carrie Rattle is a Master Money Coach & Founder of Behavioral Cents. Using her 30 years of banking, credit cards and brokerage experience in multiple countries, she inspires women to change everyday money behaviors and begin their journey to wealth. Good money behaviors deliver life success. firstname.lastname@example.org.