Money Habitudes®


A perspective on the curriculum byLois A. Vitt, Ph.D.,Founding Director,Institute for Socio-Financial StudiesCharlottesville, VAMoney Habitudes

As every personal finance teacher knows, the topic of managing money can make some people’s eyes glaze over. They know it is important and necessary, but they would just as soon have a root canal than plan for or follow a budget. Even if you told them that it is possible to like the process of becoming good money managers, they aren’t likely to believe you. But they’re wrong.The surprise is that getting smart about money can be full of fun, self-discovery, and adventure. And that is just what Money Habitudes®: How to be Rich in Love and Money will help you accomplish with and for your students. Following the lessons in your teacher’s guide will soon inspire students to tap into their own money psychology: step-by-step with facts and enjoyable exercises, until—voila! They “get” their strengths and weaknesses and “see” their values, and that’s not all. They re-discover their financial role models, recall what they learned from them, and understand how they formed their “habitudes” in the first place. For many, it just isn’t possible to become emotionally savvy and competent money managers without laying this necessary groundwork.Adventure, of course, always requires curiosity and determination. So to enjoy the process of becoming financially capable, your students will first need to be curious (“What do I need to know and do?”) and determined enough (“Where do I start?”) to become smart about money. If they come into your course without these traits, soon enough they will acquire them. That’s the promise of Money Habitudes® and it delivers! Students learn that knowing how to manage, save, and invest their money is giving themselves a gift of self-efficacy. They experience that inner spark of excitement when they discover, “Yes, I can do this!” and “Yes, I want to do this!” And little else can be more satisfying for your students than that—except, well, managing their finances successfully in a romantic relationship.Anyone who ever worked on a project with a schoolmate, a co-worker, or the boy or girl-next-door, can recall that however boring or difficult the project, just working together on it made the job easier and fun to do. The key in joint money management is always communicating honestly and respectfully. Working together—while establishing valued goals and benchmarks—then practicing to get it right is how mutually satisfying money relationships happen. Again, Money Habitudes® delivers. Exercises prod students to think critically and to develop the relationship skills that can make jointly managed finances enjoyable and rewarding for years to come.This Guide does not promise students a high credit score or perfect relationship, but it will help them lower, or better yet abandon, money stressors that are rooted in childhood and lurk as future anxieties and relationship destroyers. As such, it goes beyond the numbers—a necessary place to build real financial security.Lois A. Vitt, Ph.D.