crackers at christmas

It's nearly here and I almost didn't notice. The New Year, I mean, not Christmas. I only hope that 2010 is going to be good one, not just for me but for everyone else.

What? New Year Resolutions? Swim to France. Write a book on cars. Marry Gerard Depardieu (Update: sorry Gerard - you blew it by not talking to LeCRAN). That gets me off the hook for not keeping them because they were going to be impossible anyway.

However. Next year needs to be a turning point. Money is usually a word that makes me grip things hard and go white at the knuckles, and to tell the truth I'm tarrrrd of feeling that way. Worn out. On my knees. So for all you people who are also sick of the white-knuckle-ride through yet another year, and for me to have a good old stab at cracking the secret code of fluffy happiness, I've started on some articles about money and why we haven't got any.


No, not the "just save £500 a month, cut back to two crates of Krug a month and everything will be fine" or "speak to your financial advisers about stocks and shares and invest heavily in gold and rare dust from Mars" kinda stuff. Oh, and none of the "make a chart and work out your outgoings and  while you're at it do a rhumba with the Easter bunny" guff, either. That comes later.

No, what comes first is working out why people have a blind spot about money and why they've always struggled. I always have, have never known how not to, and it's only at this advanced age (over 50 and that's all you're getting) that I'm beginning to understand why, so with a little help from here and there I'm wanting to end 2010 solvent, out of debt and with a little heap of cash mounting up in the bank.

That gives me twelve months, with some time at the beginning to unpick some of that old destructive conditioning.

This is no mean feat, by the way. Like many others in the same rowboat, I get a physical, very visceral feeling of dread when it comes to dealing with money issues. Sometimes it's fear, as though I'm in a dark, closed room and somewhere in there is someone or something waiting to physically damage me.

I can track it all back. I know where it comes from and why, but the how - the prospect of unpicking it - feels about as easy as it might be to unpick all the red threads in the Bayeux Tapestry without ruining the pictures. It's not about assigning blame, either. This is about changing the way I deal with money so that I'm not affected or driven by what's gone on in the past. It's about time I drove the bus.

Phew. So that's my 2010. How's yours looking like from your end? About as much fun? Keep in touch.

Here's the link to the first article I prepared earlier. It'll answer some of those burning questions like "why do I feel like I'm being dragged over sharp gravel when the bills come in?" and "financial psychology. Isn't that when those "sell your gold" adverts come on and you laugh at the prices they're offering?". Well really. Who are they kidding.