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IF I THINK ABOUT MONEY SO MUCH, WHY CAN'T I FIGURE IT OUT? by Arlene Modica Matthews

IF I THINK ABOUT MONEY SO MUCH, WHY CAN'T I FIGURE IT OUT?

Understanding and Overcoming Your Money Complex

By Arlene Modica Matthews

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-68278-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 From psychoanalyst Matthews (Why Did I Marry You Anyway, 1988)--an engaging, lucid analysis of the uses, abuses, and intricate significance of money on the individual level, in love and marriage, families, friendships, and working relationships, throughout history and in present-day society. Money as filth, money as food, money as security blanket: These attitudes, reflecting our experience of infancy, exist on the deepest stratum of what Matthews describes as ``the five- layer money complex'' shared by nearly everyone. The second level, the familial, is shaped by the overt and tacit messages about finances that we absorb from our parents while growing up. The third level, the societal, is formed by our schoolmates and peers, by advertising, by the messages of religious and charitable organizations. On the fourth level reside our emotional reactions to the technology of money: cash, checks, credit cards, computerized transfers, etc. The fifth level determines the degree to which we are swayed by the enthusiasms and, often, madness of the crowd--whether we are ``contrarian'' or susceptible to ``pack-think.'' Matthews provides questions designed to identify the distortions in one's own money complex at every level, and offers recommendations for how they can be corrected through various forms of therapy, if individual efforts to get a grip prove unavailing. Capping it off, she gives advice for parents on how to instill healthy attitudes and effective financial-coping skills in their children, and suggests some sensible ``laws of money'' to live by. Does justice to the complexity and fascination of its subject.