By Melanie Hasty-Grant


Having been a marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor for 11 years and now in the wealth planning and investment business for more than 17 years, I can say I have some
hours under my belt when it comes to understanding how people think and feel about their money. It is by far one of the most emotionally charged issues in many people’s lives.

People fight about it, lose relationships with their spouses or other family members over it, incessantly worry about it, use it as a tool for power, feel guilty about it, and to top it off… it is often a taboo, off limits subject. It’s like a secret (hush, hush) dirty little subject that people aren’t supposed to talk about. When I meet with folks in my office, they often ask if their situation with money is “normal”. They ask because they have no other way of finding out because no one talks about it.

So that is why I have decided to write this column. My intention is to break the silence and start a real discussion about the how, what, and why’s with people and their money. Since it is the New Year, I thought I’d kick it off with throwing out some Financial New Year’s Resolutions.

So here goes…

  • Resolve to become conscious of your financial state. In other words, know what debt you have, what interest you are paying on it, what your current expenses are, what your budget is, if you overspend and where, what investments you have and why, how much you are contributing to your retirement, is it going to be enough, open your statements! Become aware of your finances again.
  • Become aware of your relationship to money. What feelings do you have around money? (Fear, guilt, resentment, etc.) How does it come into play in your relationships with your spouse,
    children, extended family and friends? Who in your household makes decisions about money? Is what you are doing working for you?
  • Take action. If you keep doing the same old thing, you are bound to keep getting what you always got. Many people are so afraid of making the wrong decision that they do nothing. Not making a decision is also a decision. Take action. Get all of your investments in one place. Have them reviewed by someone who knows what they are doing. Attend a seminar. Read a financial book. Stop hoping and start doing. Make this a great year! Happy New Year everyone.

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Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities offered through Cetera Advisors Network LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.