Your Brain and Money 

 May 21, 2021

By  Ted McLyman


Did you ever run into a store to pick up milk and bread and spend a small fortune on stuff you didn't plan to buy? And, to make things worse, when you got home, discovered you forgot the milk and bread!

Don't worry. We've all done this, or something similar - maybe, even worse. And there is a reason this happens.


Your brain is infinitely complex and does fantastic things. Unfortunately, working with money is not one of them.

Your brain's biology is ancient. Its structures and functions evolved over eons for one purpose - to keep you alive and pass on your genes. And it's pretty good at this. However, your brain isn't as good at taxes, managing credit cards, or investing for the future.

Consider this, money, or a form of money has only been around for a few thousand years. Compared to your brain biology, it is a new cultural invention. And, to compound the problem, what we call modern society, has only been around a few years.

In short, the behaviors that kept your ancestors alive in the forest don't work well in today's digital world. Your automatic, nonconscious, emotional feeling brain doesn't perform well at the mall, with social media, or searching for deals on the web. Your biology, beliefs, and culture are likely making you broke.

Rational spending is the exception, not the norm. Don't you believe me? Check your bank statement. Are you genuinely rational with your money?


Accept that you are human and that you will always behave human with your money. 

  • Your money behavior is a reflection of your money beliefs and culture.
  • 95 to 99% of your spending is automatic, nonconscious, and emotional. 
  • Know that you have a natural desire to conform to your cultural and social norms, and you will spend accordingly.
  • Discover your natural Money Temperament and manage your behavior - not your money. 


Discovering your Money Temperament will unleash your Money SuperPowers and make you a better spender. And you will reap the emotional and economic benefits of Behavioral Financial Wellness. 


Understanding your relationship with money and creating a one-size-fits-YOU money mindset is easy to do. The sooner you start, the better the outcome. 

Action: Discover Your Money Temperament and Unleash Your Money SuperPowers

Think about, or better, write down your answers to the questions below.

  1. What are your money beliefs?
  2. How does your culture influence your spending?
  3. How does your social circle influence your spending?

Meet Ted

Ted McLyman, Author, MPA, MS

Author | Entrepreneur | Business Owner | Speaker | Trainer | Lt Col, USMC (Ret) | Ironman Triathlete

Over 30 years of award-winning experience, helping individuals and organizations achieve peak performance.

Founder MyApexx Behavioral Solutions Group and Pathfinder Coaches Academy; Director, Behavioral Finance, and Advisory Board Member at www.DreamSmartAcademy.com; retired financial advisor/agent; economics instructor, US Naval Academy; Aide to the Under Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management; Head, Marine Corp Training Management Division; Commander, USMC Financial Management School; artillery officer; Executive Office, Battle Assessment Team, Operation Desert Storm.(www.tedmclyman.com www.pathfindercoaches.com @tedmclyman)

BA Social Relations, Colgate University; MA Public Administration, Pepperdine University; and MS Performance Technology, Boise State University.

Authored three books on behavioral finance, money temperament, and spending behavior. Ted's author site: www.TedMcLyman.com

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