Marty Martin is used to hearing people worry about finances: “I don’t
understand money.” “I’m not good at math; therefore, I’m not good at money.”
The associate professor of management at DePaul University knows that people
often have fears, anxiety, depression and conflict about money. With this in
mind, he wrote “The Inner World of Money: Taking Control of Your FinancialDecisions and Behaviors,” a book that addresses the psychology
behind handling finances and offers tips for better money management.
Martin, one of the nation’s few psychologists who also has a master’s degree in
financial planning, noticed that money problems were mentioned often among the
clients he works with when consulting with wealth management firms. He found
that literature mentioning money was “very dense and very academic,” so he
decided to write an approachable book on the subject. Martin shares four main
ideas from “The Inner World of Money” that can help people manage their
- Create an overall life plan to inform your financial plan. If
you graduate at age 22 and want to retire in your 60s, you would have to plan
to work—and save—for another 40 years. However, if people in your family live
until their late 80s or 90s, “you should plan financially to make sure you
don’t outlive your money,” Martin says.
- The sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be. Martin
encourages everyone to get in the habit of setting aside a certain amount each
week, even if it’s only $5. Similarly, make it easy to save. Use automatic
deposit for part of your paycheck so you don’t have to physically transfer
money in order to save.
- Take care of your health to create a financial payoff. Having
good psychological and physical health could increase your earning capacity
over time by allowing you to do better work, which could lead to new
opportunities or a raise. Better health also could decrease out-of-pocket
expenses for health care.
- Recognize the emotions behind money. “When most people
spend money, it’s not really rational or cognitive—there’s an emotional
component to it,” Martin says. People should be aware if they are spending
money to show off social status, to gain approval, to solidify a relationship,
or to feel less anxious or depressed.
Martin encourages anyone with money anxiety to learn more about the topic.
“There are many things that we’re knowledgeable about that we never took a class
for,” Martin says. He recommends free money management software, financial
literacy books and online resources including the National Endowment for Financial Education,
the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“The Inner World of Money,” published in April 2012, is Martin’s first book.
His second book, “Taming Disruptive Behavior,” will debut this year and will
address workplace bullying in the healthcare field.
“I really like to do research that’s going to make a difference in the lives of
people,” says Martin, who is also director of DePaul’s Health Sector
Concentration program. “I never really know whether it does or it doesn’t, but
my intent is to do something that generally helps individuals or