Excerpt: 'The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge'

Through the process they've used successfully with their clients, Ted Klontz, Brad Klontz and Rick Kahler have penned "The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge: 5 Principles to Transform Your Relationship With Money" to help with your financial woes.

Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "an innovative effort that combines experiential therapy with nuts-and-bolts financial planning," the book provides a practical plan for achieving financial wellness.

While Scrooge may seem to be an odd source of financial wisdom, the book focuses on your relationship with money and how to improve your money behaviors by using the five essentials of financial prosperity.

Read an excerpt of the book below.

As warped as Scrooge's behavior may seem, his actions make perfect sense when viewed in the context of his beliefs about money. Several hidden beliefs are at the root of Scrooge's misery. For example, Scrooge believed "You can't trust anyone with your money." He didn't even trust his loyal clerk, Bob Cratchit. We can see this clearly in the first chapter of A Christmas Carol:

"The door of Scrooge's counting house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk."

Scrooge also believed that you "Don't spend money on yourself or others." He lived this belief to the extreme. He barely heated his office and lit his sparse apartment with a single candle:

"Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it."

These and other similar behaviors certainly appear severe, but not when you look at his perspective of the world. In view of these underlying and mostly unconscious beliefs, Scrooge's actions are perfectly logical, at least from his perspective. In our work, we have come to believe that every financial behavior, no matter how seemingly illogical, makes perfect sense when we understand the underlying beliefs. Scrooge's excessive behaviors merely reflected what he believed to be true. We call these powerful beliefs money scripts.

Money Scripts

Very early in life, people begin to internalize messages about money's purpose—how it works, what it promises, its overall significance—and develop their relationship to it. Since children can't fully grasp adult reality, they translate what they see and hear into unconscious rules about life, including any internalized messages about money. These messages about money, or money scripts, don't necessarily reflect reality from the adult perspective. Instead, they may represent only a distorted or partial truth as seen through the eyes of a child. As children grow into adulthood, they often behave as though these partial truths are absolute truths. They may find themselves unable to change destructive behaviors that, at a very basic level, somehow feel right and make perfect sense.

Think of a money script like the script for a play with several roles in it. The script is written by one person, and a specific role in the script is memorized by another person—an actor who plays one character in that particular play. If the actor memorizes the script and executes his lines well, the result will be exactly what the playwright intended. However, if the actor attempts to use the same script for any other role, or in any other play, the results will be disastrous. It is the same with money scripts.

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