The Financial Independence Blog

Healthy Family Discussions About Wealth Series (Part 1 of 3): A Fear-Focused Money Mind®

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In order to successfully move money to future generations, it is imperative to have greater insight into the emotions that drive financial decisions and to facilitate discussions about money values. By giving children the much needed financial tools to arm themselves into adulthood, you will help their self-esteem and give them tools to make better decisions, thereby greater confidence and peace of mind when entering the real world.

The way you make financial decisions determines your entire life, and 90 percent of our decisions are based on emotion. By understanding, and discussing, the different concepts of money management within a family, the greater the insight into the emotions that drive financial decisions. In Part 1 of this series, we take a look at the first focus: The Fear Money Mind®.


  • Seeks security and safety – Unfortunately, regardless of the amount of success they attain, they rarely ever feel secure or satisfied.
  • Struggles finding genuine peace of mind
  • Cautious & deliberate decision maker
  • Frequently delays enjoyment in order to feel protected
  • Experiences anxiety when making big financial decisions
  • Regret/loss aversion are common behavioral biases


  • This child has a secret stash of cash.
  • At this point, she/he may have no idea what they are saving for, but feels good in knowing the money is there.
  • This is the child, that when you suggest they use their own savings to buy that Abercrombie outfit or cool Minecraft app – declines and opts to forgo the “need.” On the one hand, we say “wow” that’s awesome, right? But it can lead to anxiety as a Fear-Minded adult.

Those with a Fear Focus can improve their decision-making by using tools that focus around an allowance – having a set percentage to save, spend, and donate. Maybe 60 percent they save, and 30 percent they spend, and 10 percent they donate to a favorite cause or charity at the end of the month.
There are ways to teach money skills to each Money Mind® focus, using different tactics for each. Using an “allowance” is a good way to help in developing these skills for children. By teaching the connection between hard work and earning money kids can adapt more easily and transition into adulthood. It teaches them discipline and responsibility.

As children get older, having them to outside “work” at your office, for a friend or neighbor can help build character by teaching responsibility, accountability, and the connection between work and earning.