When I was 13, everything changed.
It wasn’t just my body or the deepening of my voice. Something else was happening, too: My parents were getting divorced. And for the first time in 15 years, my mother was returning to America’s workforce.
“I got a job today,” she told me one day after school.
That was a shocker. All my life, I had never seen her work, much less spend her own money. So when she reminded us to finish my homework that night, dropping hints that her master’s degree was the very thing keeping me fed and clothed, I had no doubt I would go to college.
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I’ll never depend on any man, I thought. I want to support myself.
And like millions of other children whose parents got divorced, I began to discover that money and our values around it, for better or worse, play a pivotal role in shaping our financial lives. Whether we choose to become risk takers, compulsive shoppers or nervy hoarders, it’s all in the way we view things.
And while some beliefs may drive us to foster a career and invest, certain negative beliefs can hold us back and plunge us deeper into debt and despair.
Does divorce play a role in the way we spend and save? There isn’t much quantitative evidence out there, but many financial experts and psychologists feel that divorce does impact our money beliefs long after the settlement.