voices in the family

Money as emotional currency

It’s tax season, a time for close examination of how we handle our money. Seems simple enough: we earn it, save it, and spend it. But how we do these things says a lot about the value we place on money and how we feel about it, based on a myriad of personal experiences.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb and his guests Kate Levinson and Neale Godfrey discuss building a healthy emotional relationship with money throughout the life cycle.

Kate Levinson, Ph.D., is the author of Emotional Currency. She’s a psychotherapist and couples counselor who leads workshops on women’s emotional and psychological relationship with money.

Neale Godfrey is a bestselling author of 26 books empowering children and their families to take charge of their financial lives. Neale created the topic of “kids and money” in the 1980s while she served as President of The First Women’s Bank and created The First Children’s Bank at FAO Schwarz in NYC. She is Chairman of Children’s Financial Network, Inc. and is CEO and President of Green$treet Commons, Inc.

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  • Ted P

    Listening to the money show today. My partner and I just had a lengthy, heated discussion about money this weekend as we are currently saving to close on a house this summer. I grew up in a single parent household on a shoestring budget and he grew up in a two affluent professional home. I stress over every nickel and dime spent as long as we have a balance on our credit card, car payments, and student loans while he has spent a lot mentally as we prepare to furnish our new home. Overall our net worth has risen 10-fold since we met 8 years ago, so we know we have the skills to be comfortable, but its frustrating when we argue over a few extra dollars out the door for small things…

  • http://www.emotionalcurrency.com Kate Levinson

    My suggestion is to talk about money when it’s not a heated subject. Tell each other money stories from your past. Ask each other questions. Listen deeply, without commenting or analyzing. Read “Emotional Currency”. (Even though it’s written with women in mind, many men have told me they’ve benefited greatly from reading it.) The more you understand what contributes to how you handle money now, the more you will be able to appreciate what you each need. And sometimes just seeing what’s operating underneath our behavior makes a shift in how we act, react, and in our relationship’s dynamics. Keep talking about it!


    I was amazed that you didn’t pick up with the woman who was physically sick from not being able to meet her bills every month…get help…but with WHAT money? she is already struggling and the solution is basically, add another bill to the problem. the only way most people know to get help is to pay for it. Where is she to go to get help? You didn’t even give her a suggestion of a place to get free help.

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