Money: Who’s the Boss? Old Brain vs New Brain

Empress of Biz, Biz Tips:

Money? Who is the boss? Are you Impulsive? You see it! You gotta have it? Whether it’s that new flavor of Starbucks Coffee or the  bright new shiny red truck… if you want it… you have to have it!  Are you always running on empty because you broke your budget? Or are you staying on BUDGET?  What the **** is that?

What about your long range goals? Do you have them? Savings? Pension? Good credit? Bad credit? We all have a relationship with money. For some of us it is DISASTROUS!  There are a few who are really FRUGAL and know where every penny goes. And then… there is, the rest of us. We muddle along, buying lots of stuff, juggling funds, paying our bills and still trying to save something… but not enough to get us through a real difficult patch.

Often we feel conflicted about how we spend money… and may get into some pretty heated discussions with a spouse, partner, friends and family about money and how we think people should spend it or manage it.

When I work with my clients and their problems with money in their business, I hear numerous stories, excuses, and justifications for how they make their decisions on money and their bill paying and buying habits.  Like the recent decision of a client of mine who needed an additional truck for his business.

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His choice:

1. Buy the brightest RED shiny one with all the bells, whistles and gadgets.  Or?

2.Buy the used truck, in good condition with a good warranty which would do the job and save him $400 a month in payments.

No need to guess… we know which one he picked.

I have often found myself wondering why we do what we do with money.  Often I am the one that has to work with the client to solve the money problem and justify to the banker what has happened.  And that is NOT always easy.

Well, who can we blame this problem on? Aha! We can point the finger to our parents and how they handled money. Or? Can we blame it on our educational system for not teaching us enough about money. Or what about the government? It has to be their fault? They certainly don’t know how to handle money.

But wait… I have finally found the answer that makes sense! It’s our BRAIN’S fault!  Recently, I listened to an insightful discussion by Jean Chatsky on money and how our BRAIN sees money and plans to spend it. One part, “the OLD Brain” is wired for survival and instant gratification. Hungry, we eat. Cold, we seek shelter. Thirsty, we drink water, and etc. The other part… the NEW Brain, the “thinking part… is the one that seeks to solve problems and likes projects and long range goals.  This “thinking” part is often overruled by the impulsive part and we end up making decisions that run from ok to mediocre, to that was terrible and what the hell was I thinking.

So now what do we do? Continue our old patterns and just add the excuse it was brain that made us do it? Or do we learn how to manage our impulses and train ourselves to be good thinkers and managers of money. Of course the decision is up to you. But the choice is obvious to me… do I let my impulsive Old Brain run the show or do I let the New Brain be the boss. I know which one I choose. What about You?

S. I. Business Associates (SIBA) has been guiding small business to success since 1975.  Jo Ann Forrester, President, is a business growth specialist and partner in several business including S I Business Associates, Price it Perfect®, Blue Ribbon Award Winning Profiles and Celebrate & Share. She and her staff, specialize in helping small business grow. They have raised over $40 million dollars in business loans and investment for clients over the years. If you are ready to start, grow or build a successful company give SIBA a call at 412-440-6969.

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