What do you notice when you scroll through the following images…
I could imagine it did not take you long to realize that color is a prominent theme throughout the following images.
You see colors are dominant in life, but the incredible thing about them is – if someone had never seen a color before (or, you are trying to explain the color to someone who may be color blind), how do you explain what a color really is?
It’s like this Vsauce video by Michael Stevens (love these Vsauce videos): Is Your Red The Same as My Red?
Now, I know you must be wondering what does color have to do with money? – and just as Michael states in the video above:
“…color is created inside our heads.”
This is the correlation in terms of personal finance:
Like color, money can also be an illusion that’s created inside our heads.
We share our stories, tips, strategies, pitfalls…and walk away thinking we have a mutual understanding. Oftentimes we do, but in reality – the way that I view money in my mind is probably starkly varying from how you view it in your mind (even if we have similar experiences).
In Michael/Vsauce’s video, he also explains how failure of language can lead to misunderstandings. This is strongly prevalent through society:
- When we have more money we’re supposed to feel happy.
- When we are in debt we are supposed to feel down.
- When we receive a windfall it’s supposed to be a pleasant surprise.
- When we incur an unexpected life cost we’re supposed to say “insert select choice word here” and turn to our emergency funds.
…but does this language always have to ring true in terms of personal finance? Or, is it just that we have been exposed to the following way too many times that we are expected to feel this way for each situation?
Because on the contrary:
I have seen that more money can also lend itself to stress, because expectations of lifestyle inflation are always there.
I have learned that debt does not have to consume people, and that they can begin to feel more empowered to take control of their finances regardless of past situations.
I have experienced that an additional windfall can cause confusion because my mind battles between whether I should pay my future self, or live in the moment now.
I have read that people have turned their unexpected costs into joyous life lessons that have set them up for a stronger future.
Now, how’s all that for confusion of money, feelings and language?
So let’s tie this all in here, because this may seem all over the board…
How we all view colors may be different in terms of perspective, feelings, and what our mind generates for ourselves. What can be incredibly vivid in color to one person, may be a few shades lighter to others. If neon color causes stress to one person, it could cause attractiveness and feelings of like to another.
Recognize that perceptions of colors are similar to the theme of what type of feelings and language are created around money to each person.
What you value spending and saving money for, may mean varying emotions to another. If indulging in the now brings happiness, someone saving for the later may feel the opposite. If winning the lottery would make your life, just know that someone feels investing & saving slowly will give them gratification. When learning of someone’s experience of debt, just know that even if you have not experienced it does not mean that your perception should be of hopelessness & powerlessness – they may be in a much stronger place than they have ever been.
The important part is that we discuss with transparency what our feelings and language are in terms of money because we have been exposed to so much grey area.
That way we can all come to a mutual understanding without discrimination, disdain, confusion, or anger. Each one of us has our stories, and that is why personal finances become unique. When we can recognize the feelings and language around money void of confusion, we can then support each other on our journeys and pathways of life.
When we eliminate confusion and find common ground, then we can bring colors to our conversations of feelings and language around money for a bright future.
Have you ever experienced confusion of explaining what money means to you in terms of feelings and language to others? How can we bring to light more color in our conversations to combat the grey areas we’ve been exposed to? There’s a lot to take in with this post – but I would love to hear your thoughts!