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The Money Nerve

Navigating the Emotions of Money

Robert Wm. Wheeler, CPA

Many people have a love-hate relationship with money. We all want it, and we all need it, but we don’t always know how to handle it.

When we begin to explore our beliefs, blocks and unconscious stories about money, that hinder us from creating the life we choose, we begin to create a whole new relationship with money and our finances.

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The Money Nerve: Navigating the Emotions of Money

What Is The Money Nerve?

How emotions underpin our relationship with money (and how that relationship, in turn, affects all aspects of our lives) is the basis of The Money Nerve. Each of us has a “Money Nerve” and it’s our mission to help you see how your Money Nerve affects your financial decision making.

About the Book

The Money Nerve: Navigating the Emotions of Money takes on a fresh new perspective by integrating simple psychology with personal finances. This book helps readers explore their money mindset by identifying and changing outdated belief systems that linger in the unconscious mind creating unhealthy financial habits.

Author, Robert (Bob) Wheeler CPA, takes the reader on a journey of self exploration to identify financial fears, worries and emotional traps that keep us stuck in a cycle of financial stress and anxiety.

This book provides simple tools, practical advice and mindful exercises to develop healthy money habits for financial success. You may also discover unexpected benefits in other aspects of your life.

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to take control of their finances and achieve true financial freedom.

What’s Inside?

Set a Brand New Course

Begin to assess your financial mental map.

Come to Terms With Your Money Nerve

Identify your fears.

Envision Your Financial future

Take time to dream about your future.

Making Emotional Adjustments

Take control of your Money Nerve.

Explore Your Money Nerve

Which emotions trigger your Money Nerve?

Assess Your Budget

Where are you financially, honestly?

Your Financial Journey Ahead

Prepare for your financial road trip.

Find the Financial You

Become conscious & actively partipate in your finacial future.

Empower Your Financial Relationship

The book also offers practical advice on how to look for financial support, having difficult money conversations with others, talking to children about money and much, much more.

Embrace Your Financial Relationship with Money

For what it was … what it is … and what it will be.

 

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Introduction

 

Your Money & Your Life

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to worry less about money and focus more on financial freedom? A healthy relationship with money is freedom. It’s time to become aware of your personal decision-making process in order to create the new financial you.

How emotions underpin our relationship with money (and how that relationship, in turn, affects all aspects of our lives) is the basis of this book. Each of us has a “Money Nerve,” and this book will help you see how your Money Nerve affects your financial decision making.

Reconciling your relationship with money allows you to make wiser choices throughout your life. While you reconcile your relationship with money, you may also discover unexpected benefits in other aspects of your life.

 

Inherited Responses to Money

 

Growing up, my grandparents always gave my siblings and me money. They filled our piggy banks and bought us new fishing poles. They even bought each of us grandchildren a car when we turned sixteen. We didn’t complain. In essence, they were saying, “Pick us as your favorite grandparents.”
When I was a young adult and my grandparents needed some help around the house, I spent a weekend in their yard fixing things up. At the end of the weekend, my grandfather tried to give me a hundred bucks, which I politely refused. My grandparents were very confused and hurt. They could not comprehend that I simply wanted to spend time with them because I loved them.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized what my grandparents were really trying to say. My grandparents were really saying, “We don’t feel worthy of your love, but if we give you lots of money, will you pretend to love us?” I was totally taken aback and saddened by that thought.

What I came to understand is that my grandmother grew up feeling insecure and unworthy of attention. The only way she could convince people to love her was through bribery, she thought. She taught my mother the same lesson, which not surprisingly trickled down to my siblings and me.

I still have the occasional impulse to splurge or use money to solve a problem. Now, though, I understand my emotional response to money and am able to make more conscious choices.

 

Emotions & Money

 

Some people say they don’t have any emotions about money. And then they start talking about money … and the floodgates open. I developed the Money Nerve idea by working as an accountant, financial advisor, and business consultant for over twenty-five years. I am thankful to the many people and businesses that I’ve helped who have, in turn, helped me.

I have spent years sitting across from my clients—most of the time feeling more like a therapist than an accountant. What I have realized is that many people have money issues, and because they think they are supposed to know how to handle them, they are ashamed to ask forhelp. I see business owners, other CPAs, lawyers, therapists, doctors, and others in major financial crises.
I am no longer surprised when clients come in, start talking, and break down crying. There is a lot of fear and shame surrounding money. We need to start admitting without shame or embarrassment that we may not have been taught how to handle money (or that we may not know all the answers). We need to bring our money issues out in the open and start changing our belief system about money.

Many people are in denial because they don’t want to deal with their financial situation. I had a conversation with a client that went something like this:

Client:

I was more upset about coming to see you today than I was about finding out whether or not I had terminal cancer yesterday.
Me:

Your priorities are messed up. It’s just money.

Client:

I didn’t want to come to you. I almost canceled. Now I’m glad I’m here—you always make me feel better. I know you’re always going to help me and hold my hand. I’m not sure what I was afraid of.

Me:

This is only about money. Do you hear what you’re saying?

Client:

I know, I know.

Huge companies like Fannie May, Freddie Mac, or Lehman Brothers were built on the illusion of wealth. When the time came to pay up, however, their house of cards came tumbling down. It should come as no surprise that the individuals who make up these companies have the exact same problems as their companies. Many people’s lives are also a house of cards, an illusion. If major corporations are having problems, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to have financial problems. However, there is no 700-billion-dollar bailout for you. You have to help yourself.

Visualize Change

 

Are you where you want to be financially? If you’re not open to change,

you want to stay exactly where you are. Truth is truth.

To change your path, seek motivation to begin the journey. As you do the work contained in this book, you will begin to see change. You will be better equipped to recognize the path you are on and begin to understand and enjoy it.

This book is a stepping-stone to understanding different aspects of your life. It is really about reprogramming your brain. The data you are using might have come to you when you were seven years old. You are not seven years old anymore; it is time to reassess the information you absorbed when you were young.

We have all unconsciously downloaded misinformation into our brains. We now have to consciously begin identifying our early money programming memories and work to change those beliefs. You have picked up this book—and possibly others like it—so you have already started the process of self-discovery. The more I’ve learned about myself, the more I’ve understood the impact that even the most seemingly insignificant events have had on my life.

As you read the following chapters, you will have many opportunities to visualize your own future. The exercises have been created to help you reframe your own financial life. You will get the most out of this book by spending the time necessary to visualize and complete each exercise.

I believe that one of the most important ways to bring about change is through visualization. This technique involves envisioning your future as you want it to be (rather than as your current reality). You may see yourself with an abundance of money or paid up on all your credit card debt or driving a new car. If you can’t visualize how your future could be, it is difficult to believe you can take the necessary steps to get there.

When you visualize, let go of negative judgments of yourself. Picture the person you would like to be without worrying about how you might stop yourself from getting there. The point is not to fix yourself; the point is to embrace yourself.

Perhaps you’d like to be an NBA basketball player, but you realize you may be too old or too short to make it. Maybe you could be an announcer or recruiter. Maybe you could find another way to become connected to the sport. Look at your dreams and put them into the context of reality. Accept your limitations without labeling them as bad. And if there is a way to expand your limitations, all the better.

You may look at some people and think they live a charmed life. Those same people may, in turn, look at you and think you are the one who has it together. I work with some clients whom others consider to be extremely fortunate. Here’s the reality: they are not any different than you. In fact, you may be in a better place financially than they are.

Part of my reason for writing this book is to let you know that it’s not just you having financial difficulties. You are not alone. Don’t apologize for what you are about to uncover. Other people have money problems. How do I know? Because people trust me with their financial truth. It’s hard to lie to your accountant. There are people with money and people without money, and you can’t always tell them apart. Numbers don’t lie, but people do. Trust me, I know.

So don’t apologize for your vision or for the things you want. Some of us have been taught that it is selfish to want more money or a nicer car. You have every right to want to fix your finances or to live in abundance.

 

How to Use This Book

 

I’ve organized the following chapters to give you information you’ll use to complete a series of exercises. The exercises are designed to help you identify your own Money Nerve. It is best to read each chapter and work through the exercises before moving to the next chapter. Take your time.

Many of the exercises will draw on your abilities to visualize both your past and your future. Some will ask you to delve deeply into your relationships. Some will cause you to confront your worst financial fears. All of them are crucial components to identifying your Money Nerve—and lead you down paths that will help you gain control of your finances and create your own definition of financial success.

You Deserve a Healthy Relationship With Money.

You Have Earned It—Literally.

Are you ready to receive it?

Did You Know …

Each year, the American Psychological Association (APA) surveys people across the United States about stress: its sources; its intensity; and how people are responding to stressors, both mentally and physically. In 2022, in particual to money and stress, their research concluded that:

 

%

of people in the USA aged 18-25 report money is a significant source of stress

%

of people in the USA aged 26-43 report money is a significant source of stress

%

of people in the USA aged 44-57 report money is a significant source of stress

%

of people in the USA aged 58-76 report money is a significant source of stress

Now lets dig a little deeper. In our own Money Nerve Quiz, on Money Saving, Money Avoidance & Money Emotions; of the people that participated in the quiz, our results show that:

 

%

of people strongly agree that they are frustrated that they are not where they envisioned themselves to be financially

%

of people strongly agree that they feel their childhood influenced their views on money in a negative way.

%

of people strongly agree that they avoid looking at how much money they spend each month.

These are just a few of the emotional blocks many folks encounter with their finances. Getting lost in the noise of our mind is part of the journey, but it’s important to have an idea of where you want to go. Think of your mind as you would a navigation app. A navigation system helps you know where you’re going and keeps you on track when your path gets unclear or confusing.

Take a small step and start moving towards your finacial future rather than away from it.

 

What Does Your Realtionship to Money Look like?

 

The Money Nerve Book Reviews

{This book will help you think about who you are and how and why you manage your money the way you do, at different stages of your life, so it is a great book for people of all ages. It does have some very good budgeting advice, but the book is much more than a "boring" guide to managing your finance, because it gets to the heart of of why we make good and bad financial decision! Very easy reading and it has some useful exercise to complete.
Bob Burnett
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Excellent read. Moreover, a great tool in understanding money, your beliefs, attitudes and emotions around $$$ and, most importantly, discovering the power and resources to recreate your financial world and live the life you want.
Thomas Hennessey
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Amazing book, totally changing my life and really getting to the core of my money issues. Easy read I would recommend to all ages.
Jessica N. Ratcliff
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{I wrote about THE MONEY NERVE for Passover for the Jewish Journal. Mr. Wheeler's book really inspired me. I cannot wait to take one of his workshops and put all the principles into practice. I highly recommend this book.
Lisa Niver
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{“The Money Nerve” is an empathetic look at the issues and situations that often trigger pain in our dealings with money issues. The different aspects of Wheeler’s colorful background as a certified public accountant, a standup comedian, mountain climber, and lifelong meditator all feed into the grounded and insightful advice he offers with a light touch. The book looks at the attitudes towards ourselves and towards money that we’ve picked up from parents, peers, teachers, employers, and, of course, the media. He provides illuminating exercises to discover where we have negative thoughts that keep us from achieving financial freedom, and details practical action steps to move out of the situation. His advice is from a “been there, done that” perspective – never preachy and always empowering. This little book covers most of the little lies we tell ourselves, and could be a timely wake-up call for, oh, say 90% of us. Yes, he does believe in the Law of Attraction, but, as the joke says, “you need to meet God half-way” and do the work.
Miriam Knight
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{What’s not to like about The Money Nerve? I liked the personal stories; those just seem to bring an uncomfortable topic, like money, down to the more human level. I liked the Call to Action segments at the end of the chapter. These make you a participant in change, not just reading a book about what you “should do.” I find this type of coaching much more friendly to learning and Robert Wheeler understands this. Wheeler also interjects a bit of humor in the book, but you might think he’s a psychologist rather than a CPA. I think he’s a bit of both because he definitely understands the human psyche. Good reading for anyone who has issues with money (and isn’t that all of us?).
Lisa Thompson
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Great little book. The Money Nerve will strike a nerve with in you! The information in the book wakes us up to obvious but forgotten information. Stop feeling emotionally and financially trapped. Employ the easy to integrate techniques in this book and be on your way to financial solvency.
Monique Chapman
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{The Money Nerve was so inspiring that I had to stop reading so I could create a savings budget/plan. Once my budget was complete, I finished reading the rest of the book and am well on my way to savings and creating abundance in my life. Great reading and insights. I highly recommend it to all!
Lisa Andrews
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Sometimes books about managing money are so complicated & long. This easy-to-read book is packed with tips on "why" you spend money & then gives you the tools for learning new habits to turn dreams into reality! Great book!
A.Davis
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{I am so happy I got this book. It is so helpful and well-written. I have learned a lot from this book Two thumbs UP· I recommend this book to every one·
Michaels B.
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{This book will help you think about who you are and how and why you manage your money the way you do, at different stages of your life, so it is a great book for people of all ages. It does have some very good budgeting advice, but the book is much more than a "boring" guide to managing your finance, because it gets to the heart of of why we make good and bad financial decision! Very easy reading and it has some useful exercise to complete.
Bob Burnett
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Excellent read. Moreover, a great tool in understanding money, your beliefs, attitudes and emotions around $$$ and, most importantly, discovering the power and resources to recreate your financial world and live the life you want.
Thomas Hennessey
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Amazing book, totally changing my life and really getting to the core of my money issues. Easy read I would recommend to all ages.
Jessica N. Ratcliff
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{I wrote about THE MONEY NERVE for Passover for the Jewish Journal. Mr. Wheeler's book really inspired me. I cannot wait to take one of his workshops and put all the principles into practice. I highly recommend this book.
Lisa Niver
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{“The Money Nerve” is an empathetic look at the issues and situations that often trigger pain in our dealings with money issues. The different aspects of Wheeler’s colorful background as a certified public accountant, a standup comedian, mountain climber, and lifelong meditator all feed into the grounded and insightful advice he offers with a light touch. The book looks at the attitudes towards ourselves and towards money that we’ve picked up from parents, peers, teachers, employers, and, of course, the media. He provides illuminating exercises to discover where we have negative thoughts that keep us from achieving financial freedom, and details practical action steps to move out of the situation. His advice is from a “been there, done that” perspective – never preachy and always empowering. This little book covers most of the little lies we tell ourselves, and could be a timely wake-up call for, oh, say 90% of us. Yes, he does believe in the Law of Attraction, but, as the joke says, “you need to meet God half-way” and do the work.
Miriam Knight
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{What’s not to like about The Money Nerve? I liked the personal stories; those just seem to bring an uncomfortable topic, like money, down to the more human level. I liked the Call to Action segments at the end of the chapter. These make you a participant in change, not just reading a book about what you “should do.” I find this type of coaching much more friendly to learning and Robert Wheeler understands this. Wheeler also interjects a bit of humor in the book, but you might think he’s a psychologist rather than a CPA. I think he’s a bit of both because he definitely understands the human psyche. Good reading for anyone who has issues with money (and isn’t that all of us?).
Lisa Thompson
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Great little book. The Money Nerve will strike a nerve with in you! The information in the book wakes us up to obvious but forgotten information. Stop feeling emotionally and financially trapped. Employ the easy to integrate techniques in this book and be on your way to financial solvency.
Monique Chapman
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{The Money Nerve was so inspiring that I had to stop reading so I could create a savings budget/plan. Once my budget was complete, I finished reading the rest of the book and am well on my way to savings and creating abundance in my life. Great reading and insights. I highly recommend it to all!
Lisa Andrews
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{Sometimes books about managing money are so complicated & long. This easy-to-read book is packed with tips on "why" you spend money & then gives you the tools for learning new habits to turn dreams into reality! Great book!
A.Davis
Via Amazon Book Reviews
{I am so happy I got this book. It is so helpful and well-written. I have learned a lot from this book Two thumbs UP· I recommend this book to every one·
Michaels B.
Via Amazon Book Reviews

A Message From Bob

Robert Wheeler

Many years ago, I had lunch with a wealthy friend I had not seen in a long time. I insisted I would treat him for lunch. We had a fabulous meal at a fine dining establishment and I paid the tab with a credit card. To my dismay, the card was declined, so I provided a second card, which to my embarrassment and shame, was also declined. My friend then paid the bill, as I had no other credit cards. I wrote him a check to reimburse the cost of lunch and you guessed it! My check bounced. Humiliating!

I know the shame of not having money at the right time, not being able to pay my bills on time, have food in my fridge and have a positive flow in my bank account. I have felt my stomach churn, my blood pressure rise and the panicked feeling of humiliation, shame and personal disgust at my inability to handle money. Even as I became a registered CPA, I had not yet applied sound financial concepts to my own life.

We all deal with financial issues and choices every day. Most of what we learned about money came from our family. How they thought and reacted to money choices shaped our thinking today.

But, have you ever stopped to consider that maybe they didn’t know what they were doing? Maybe you set unrealistic goals based on other’s ideas and mandates. If you are overwhelmed with credit card debt, can’t seem to save money and feel hopeless and afraid just thinking about money – it is time for a change. Let’s conquer money shame and create a positive plan for long-term success.

You are not a failure. You are not unworthy. And, you are not alone!

With The Money Nerve concept of proactive intentions, followed by thoughtful actions, you can build a life of abundance. Walk toward the future with confidence and clarity.

Financially Fit Kids Book Series

Its never too early to teach kids about personal empowerment around money.

Mastering The Emotions Of Money #1 Powerful Self Study Online Course +6 Private Consultations with Bob Wheeler

Mastering the Emotions of Money

Unleash a new understanding of abundance. Transform money worries into money relief.

Mastering The Emotions of Money. The Money Nerve

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