Money is complex. As much as we like to think it’s simply about math–dollar and cents–it’s really about so much more.
Historically, our economic models have centered around a rational model. That model depends on the fact that all human beings will act on their best economic interests at all times.
We know this isn’t the way things play out in real life.
Humans tend to react emotionally rather than rationally. Our finances are not immune to this behavior.
Behavioral finance looks at money through the lens of what we actually do rather than what we would do if we always acted in our own self-interest after running the numbers. Because let’s be honest–the vast majority of the populace doesn’t bust out their calculator before busting out their credit card.
Money vs Morals
This guy named Jesus once said it’s easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven.
Some people say that “Needle” was the name of a gate in Jerusalem. It was difficult to get through, but it could be done if you unpacked the camel.
Other historians argue that the gate that was the Needle did not exist in Christ’s time.
The point is not to give you a history or religious lesson. We claim no religious priority or superiority here. Rather, the point is that people have recognized for a decently long time that money can corrupt. It can motivate us to do things against our moral standards as we use logic to legitimize greed and blind judgement of our fellow human beings–especially when they are less privileged than we are.
I’m super interested in this topic. I think it’s an important one to remain cognizant of as we build our own personal wealths, so we explore it frequently on Femme Frugality.
Intersectional Women’s Finances
When you’re a woman, you’re disadvantaged financially, and no one’s giving you a handicap. While things have improved significantly for women economically in the past centuries, they are not yet equal.
This is especially true for women of traditionally marginalized populations, which is why Femme Frugality runs an on-going series on Intersectional Women’s Finances.
Thinking Deeply About Money
Is economic rationality what determines our markets? Or does behavioral economics have a stronger sway on our economy? Click here to explore the discussion.
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