Class notes

How-To with Christine Mathieu, BA ’91

Owner/Founder, Mathieu Center for Financial Wholeness

Illustration by Barry Fitzgerald.

Illustration by Barry Fitzgerald, MFA ’90

Christine Mathieu BA ’91.

Christine Mathieu, BA ’91

After the market crash in 2008, Christine Mathieu realized something: The conversations she was having with clients at her job with M&T Securities were changing. It wasn’t about investments and planning anymore; it was about fears and survival. She decided to branch out on her own to combine the calculations of economics with the introspection of psychology and life counseling.

In 2011 she opened the Mathieu Center for Financial Wholeness in East Aurora, N.Y. Her new role helped her rethink her own relationship with money, and she’s been helping her clients do the same ever since.

How to have a healthy relationship with your money:

Acknowledge the reality
When I ask people, “What is your relationship with money?” they look at me like I have nine heads, but money is more than just a piece of paper. You have thoughts and beliefs about money that shape your behavior, which affects your overall experience in life.

Find out where you stand

Now that you’ve accepted that you have a relationship, it’s time to analyze it. Who wears the pants? If you find yourself buried in bills and buying things that don’t really make you happy, then adjusting behavior isn’t enough—you need to change the way you think.

Jog your money memory

Our childhood memories of money have just as much impact as our experiences with young love and other monumental “firsts.” Understanding what made you frame that dollar bill or blow your allowance on trading cards can be a vital step in changing the way you think about money.

Rewrite your life
Take some time and write down your ideal relationship with money. Get creative with it. The process will help you figure out what you really want from your money, and writing it down will help make any decisions real.

Financial empowerment

Change isn’t going to happen overnight. Yeah, we’re making peace with our money, but this is really about self-transformation. Once you’ve made the decision to start the process, don’t forget to enjoy every day on the path to becoming the ideal you.