Prince Money Charming Ain't Coming

Were fairy tales part of your bedtime routine as a chid? They were mine and like most girls I loved the idea of Prince Charming rescuing the "sleeping"  (or otherwise unconscious) beauty so they could live happily ever after. Unfortunately, most of us princesses grew up and realized that even though a prince came into our lives, he didn't necessarily rescue us financially. In fact, sometimes, he was the one that needed rescuing. Too many women put off taking ahold of their finances still hoping or dreaming their Prince will come.

I still love a good story, including fairy tales, which I read to my granddaughters. But the illusion that somehow money will come to us if we just wait long enough is  a set up to not taking responsibility for our finances. It took me a long time to get this and I'm still a work in progress.

And, I, like some of you, had mixed messages. After my parents were divorced, if my mom got into financial trouble, her parents bailed her out. (Prince Charming...) Over and over again. That imprinted on my brain and I expected my husband to take care of me in this same way. He did, but it was an unfair expectation.

The early money messages we receive from family and culture can show up in adulthood as "money-worshiping money scripts," according to Dr.'s Klontz & Klontz (Mind Over Money). See if you relate to any of these:

* More money/things will make me happier     *If I just keep trying, my day will come," *"Security is boring,"  *"Life is short; live a little," or *"Spending money on someone is how you show love."

These scripts have a wave the magic wand element to them and are based more in fantasy than reality. In Deborah Price's language, (Money Magic) the "Innocent" archetype develops out of these beliefs and she is the one who sticks her financial head in the sand or pretends everything is ok when it isn't.

As we're discovering in this economy, money isn't the answer to happiness, it's just part of the storyline. Yes, enough money is essential to security and stability. Today a healthy partnership with money is the re-write of our early rescue fairy tales. Remember how at the end of Pretty Women, Julia Robert's character tells her Prince that she's going to rescue him right back?  That leads to a much happier ending.