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Source: American Behavioral Scientist, Jul/Aug92, Vol. 35 Issue 6, p756, 15p

 Money, Marriage, and Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
 by Bernard Poduska

   Abraham Maslow (1954, 1955) was one who questioned the assumptions
   that pain avoidance and tension reduction motivated most human
   behavior. He believed that if we are to investigate the prime movers
   of humanity, we must focus not merely on avoidance behavior but look
   at seeking behavior as well. Whereas pain avoidance and tension
   reduction often lead to behavior that could be characterized as the
   easy way out, for most it is not enough to merely remain inert until
   threat prompts an avoidance response. Maslow believed that the
   significance of our lives constitutes more than just the sum total of
   our avoidance responses. It is the striving for growth, happiness, and
   satisfaction that seems to inspire us to go beyond the minimal effort
   to sustain life and to put forth the effort required to enable us not
   only to improve ourselves but to improve our lot in life as well.

   The need to strive toward fulfillment and enhancement that Maslow
   advocated appears especially well suited to explaining why some
   married couples are fairly satisfied with how their financial affairs
   are managed, whereas for others, the degree of dissatisfaction with
   their financial situation leads to divorce. In many eases, the married
   couples who are satisfied have been able to establish a budget that
   provides not only for the maintenance of life but for the enhancement
   of the quality of their lives as well.

   Just stopping the foreclosure, getting out of debt, or having enough
   food on the table is not enough for most couples. The majority need to
   formulate a financial management plan that goes beyond being able to
   stay alive--one that helps give meaning to life. Frick's (1971) view is
   similar: Meaning plays a major role in goal setting. Without meaning,
   even after having achieved a particular goal, many are left with the
   empty question "What difference does it make?" Couples who have not
   formulated meaningful goals often feel frustrated and discouraged,
   wondering what difference it makes whether they work harder or not.

   When couples are faced with the fact that they are unable to make it
   on one salary, the decision is often made to have both partners enter
   the labor market. Unfortunately, many find that even with a second
   income, they're still not making it. The whole treadmill process makes
   their efforts seem futile and meaningless. Weisskopf-Joelson (1968)
   maintained that personal meaning "lies in a belief system that
   provides structure and significance to one's life" (p. 373). Maslow's
   hierarchy of needs is capable of providing this kind of structure, and
   even though there is debate over the ability to test empirically
   Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" (Mathes & Edwards, 1978; Wahb &
   Birdwell, 1976), this hierarchy can still provide a model by which the
   role that finances play in a marriage can be better understood.

   Maslow proposed that human needs can be arranged in a hierarchy of
   potency and priorities, the lower needs being more potent and
   therefore tending to take precedence over the higher ones in need
   gratification. According to Frick (1982), "For Maslow the
   gratification of each need in the motivational hierarchy is a
   biological prerequisite for attention to the next higher need" (p.
   36), which means a lower level of needs must be satisfied before a
   higher level can be satisfied.

   As most readers probably know, Maslow's hierarchy is composed of five
   levels. The lowest level concerns one's physiological or "survival"
   needs. The second level deals primarily with safety needs and the
   third with love and belonging needs. These first three levels are what
   Maslow termed "deficit needs," whereas the remaining two levels,
   esteem needs (Level 4) and self-actualizing needs (Level 5), are
   "growth needs." Maslow agreed with Allport (1955) in the distinction
   that "deficit motives do, in fact, call for the reduction of tension
   and restoration of equilibrium," whereas "growth motives . . .
   maintain tension in the interest of distant and often unattainable
   goals" (p. 67).

   This distinction seems to be of particular importance to couples who
   have been managing, or more precisely, mismanaging, their financial
   affairs by either distorting the needs of a particular hierarchical
   level or by attempting to bypass needs of a lower level in preference
   for those of a higher level. In either case, the end result is that
   tensions are not reduced in the lower levels, and tension is not
   maintained in the higher levels. Such might be the case, for instance,
   if a husband were to buy his wife 25 pounds of potatoes as a birthday
   gift. The husband informs her that because she had been complaining
   about how the food budget was not providing enough money to feed the
   family, he decided to buy her a gift that would be practical. The gift
   of potatoes may help satisfy her survival needs from Level 1 but be
   woefully inadequate with regard to satisfying her love and belonging
   needs in Level 3.

                          LEVEL 1: SURVIVAL NEEDS

   From a financial standpoint, satisfying the Level 1 survival needs
   involves a wage earner's ability to meet the fundamental needs of
   food, clothing, and shelter--the basic needs of the family.
   Unfortunately, far too many couples treat the monies allocated for
   food as a flexible part of the family budget that can be thought of as
   the "Peter" that can be robbed to pay "Paul" when money gets tight. As
   a consequence, many families, especially low- and fixed-income
   families, tend to buy food with the money that left over after paying
   the rent, utilities, and other fixed bills such as car loans and
   monthly payments on credit cards.

   From a hierarchical perspective, however, many of these contractual
   debts arc acquired in an attempt to satisfy needs from a higher level
   than the survival needs. According to Maslow, the higher levels should
   not be addressed until after the survival needs are satisfied. It is
   important that marriage partners recognize such discrepancies when
   they are setting up priorities regarding the allocation of resources.
   Basically, they are being asked to recognize the unreasonableness of
   buying a new microwave oven (because everyone has one) and then,
   because of the payments, being unable to buy food to cook in it.

   Providing adequate food for the family is paramount to the family's
   physiological and psychological well-being and must not be seen as the
   first place to cut corners. Besides, a food budget that is too austere
   may prove to be not only nutritionally insufficient over an extended
   time but may indirectly lead to higher dental and medical expenses.


   The austerity factor must be considered whenever a food budget is
   being developed. A budget cannot be too austere because with a "bare
   bones" type of budget, even if the food allotment were sufficient to
   sustain life, the quality of that life may be of such a low level that
   a family's psychological survival needs could not be satisfied. In
   other words, how long would a person want to go on living at a
   subsistence level? A budget that eliminates everything but the
   essentials is a budget that is destined to fail. Neither man nor
   families can live on bread alone. Therefore, to increase the chances
   of a budget succeeding, it should, whenever possible, allow for
   favorite foods and nostalgic dishes, as well as holiday specialties
   and traditional ethnic or religious meals.

   When dealing with the psychological survival needs, family values,
   traditions, and rituals need to be considered as well as income. As
   human beings, we give value and symbolic meaning to both objects and
   events, and as a result, certain things may come to symbolize or
   represent something special to us. This phenomenon is especially true
   of food. From infancy, food is frequently associated with feelings of
   love, security, and well-being. Favorite foods, special preparations,
   and rituals often become an integral and essential part of food
   consumption. For example, consider the difference between a family in
   a low-income apartment eating frozen TV turkey dinners on Thanksgiving
   Day and a family sitting down with grandparents and loved ones for
   Thanksgiving dinner after a morning of being surrounded by the smells,
   flavors, and the socialization so often associated with preparing a
   Thanksgiving dinner. Both could say that they had turkey for
   Thanksgiving, but most of the psychological survival needs would not
   have been met in the first situation.


   Over the past few decades, the cost of living has steadily increased
   to the extent that family incomes sometimes have had a difficult time
   keeping up with these increases. Nevertheless, the median income of
   the single-wage-earner family increased by almost 30% between 1955 and
   1986 (including an adjustment for inflation). In 1955, the median
   family income for a single-wage-earner family was $17,693 (in 1986
   dollars); in 1986, the median income for these families had risen to
   $24,390. Yet even with these kinds of increases in income, families
   appeared unable to maintain themselves without going into debt. As a
   consequence, more and more families began relying on a second income.

   For many married couples, the addition of the second income held with
   it the hope of getting out of debt and being able to enjoy some of the
   "extras" in life. As a consequence, by 1987, over 61% of all mothers
   were employed outside the home, over 57% of all families had both
   husband and wife working, and women made up over 51% of the U.S. labor
   force (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1989). The median income for
   dual-income families grew to $44,666 in 1986, or two and a half times
   what was being earned (again in 1986 dollars) that 1955 parents were
   using to raise their families. Unfortunately, even with the addition
   of a second income, families continued to go deeper in debt. (Since
   1970, consumer debt has increased from $131.6 billion to almost $730
   billion by 1988).

   A partial explanation for such a paradox can be found in the
   difference between what is earned and what is actually realized from
   the second income. Due to job-related expenses, such as taxes,
   insurance deductions, retirement contributions, dues, extra clothing,
   and child care costs, only about one half of the second income is
   actually available for family use. Hanson (1991) pointed out that
   those in the upper-income group will lose about 68% of the gross
   earnings from a second income, the middle-income group will lose about
   56%, and lower-income families will lose about 46%.


   This depiction of "real" earnings has been especially discouraging for
   the women who are in the paid labor force for 40 hours a week and also
   have to put in another 32 hours a week working at home. In spite of
   technological advances, there is still a great deal of work that needs
   to be done in the home, and both the perceived quality of the marriage
   and individual happiness depend on how fairly these responsibilities
   are distributed (Yogev & Brett, 1985). Unfortunately, research
   indicates that wives who are employed outside the home contribute more
   to homemaking chores than do their husbands (Abdel-Ghany & Nickols,
   1983; Bernardo, Sherhan & Leslie, 1987) and that individual incomes
   strongly influence the division of labor in the home (Hiller &
   Philliber, 1986). Kamo (1988) found that "the more a husband earns and
   the less money a wife makes, the less the husband's share in domestic
   work" (p 198).

   Much of the discrepancy that exists between the amount of housework
   being done by husbands and wives appears to stem from the perception
   that the "women's movement" was just that: a women's movement, whereby
   the women moved and the men tended to stay right where they were. Many
   wives naively assumed that because they had changed, their husbands
   would change, too. In contrast, most husbands saw no reason for a
   change in themselves. After all, they now found themselves in a world
   where they not only had everything they had before (someone to raise
   the children, clean the house, prepare the food, and so on) but, in
   addition, they now had someone earning money to help pay the bills.
   For many husbands, the issue was not who would do the housework but
   how his wife might earn more money.


   Wives who attempt to earn more money, however, often find themselves
   in a catch-22 situation: The more they work, the more likely the
   marriage will end in divorce. Yeh and Lester (1987, 1988) found
   through a survey of census reports for the continental United States
   that the higher the proportion of married women working full-time and
   the lower the proportion working part-time, the higher the divorce
   rate of the state. In states where a greater percentage of wives
   worked part-time, the divorce rates were lower.

   This relationship between the amount of hours that married women work
   and divorce rates is supported by the research findings of Spitze and
   South (1985). They found that the number of hours that wives worked
   outside the home had a greater impact on the probability of a divorce
   than did the size of her earnings and that this relationship was
   strongest among middle-income families and in families where the
   husband disapproved of her employment. As a consequence, the wife's
   efforts to make more money not only does not decrease family
   indebtedness but actually seems to increase the chances of her
   marriage ending in divorce.

   What often happens next is analogous to the white rat experiments in
   which two rats are placed in a cage with a floor that can be
   electrified. When the rats arc first put in the cage, the electricity
   is off, and the rats merely explore their new surroundings. After a
   period of acclimation has passed, the electricity is turned on and the
   rats begin to leap up and down, trying to escape the pain and
   discomfort. However, within a short while, they stop trying to escape
   and aggressively turn on each other. They bite, scratch, and maul each
   other as if to say, "I'm in pain. You arc here. Therefore, you must
   have something to do with the cause of my pain." Of course, the other
   rat has nothing to do with the fact that some researcher with a morbid
   curiosity turned on the electricity, but proximity is often all that
   is needed to qualify as someone's scapegoat.

   A similar phenomenon appears to occur among husbands and wives: "I'm
   in pain. You are here. Therefore, it must be your fault." The blaming
   and fault-finding that emerges from this point of view can be not only
   damaging to the relationship but destructive to individual feelings of
   self-esteem. As Crump (1992 [this issue]) pointed out, "We do not
   fight with weapons. We fight with property" (p. 671). The main events
   in such fights can be witnessed in almost any divorce court.

                           LEVEL 2: SAFETY NEEDS

   The primary challenge facing married couples in meeting their safety
   needs is knowing what it is they fear and whether or not these fears
   are based on reality or just imagined. Safety needs deal primarily
   with providing direct and indirect protection of oneself, loved ones,
   and property. In a direct sense, families face the problem of
   acquiring adequate protection against disease, accident, and crime as
   well as the need to provide adequate security for their property and

   For most families, property and assets translate into what the family
   calls "home." Being able to come up with the rent, build a house, or
   pay the mortgage is often paramount to maintaining a sense of
   well-being. How safe a family is from being evicted or how likely the
   couple will face a foreclosure is often directly related to the amount
   of income that the couple is able to earn compared to the size of
   their indebtedness.

   Although most lending institutions recommend that home buyers limit
   their liability to no more than 25% to 30% of their income, it is not
   uncommon to find home owners with mortgage liabilities in excess of
   50% of their income. In cases where there appears to be excessive
   mortgage liability, at least some of the excess would be attributable
   to attempts at bypassing survival and safety needs in order to satisfy
   esteem needs.

   According to Rector (1989), the reason for this kind of excess resides
   in changes that have taken place with regard to how much we are
   spending rather than changes in how much we are earning: "We have
   experienced not a decline in earnings capacity but a profound upward
   `revolution of expectations' in living standards; . . . we have
   largely forgotten the actual income levels and standards of living of
   the preceding generations" (p. 522).

   Eggebeen and Hawkins (1990) found that many mothers were entering the
   labor force not so much to provide basic family needs but to provide a
   higher standard of living. According to these researchers, "when
   married mothers cite economic motives for their employment outside the
   home, they are referring to standard-of-living preferences rather than
   basic economic necessities" (p. 54). As a consequence, couples no
   longer appear to be merely trying to "shelter the family" but trying
   to satisfy esteem needs by obtaining higher social status.

   When buying a home, renting an apartment, or leasing a condo, the most
   important question to consider is "What is sufficient?" Being able to
   answer this question is essential to being able to satisfy
   physiological safety needs as well as psychological safety needs.
   "What is enough house?" . . . "enough money?". . . "enough security?"


   Many people become preoccupied with attempts to gain a sense of
   security through acquiring material possessions--land, money, and
   other "things." Others seek security by attempting to perpetuate a
   particular socioeconomic way of life. In most cases, families try to
   achieve a sense of permanence. But because land can be lost, money can
   be stolen, and socioeconomic positions can be precarious, some
   feelings of insecurity will usually persist.

   Notice, however, that married couples are most often trying to achieve
   a feeling of security rather than actual security. As a consequence,
   it is often a very fine line between providing what is needed to
   satisfy a couple's physiological safety needs and what is required to
   satisfy their psychological safety needs.


   One of the primary distinctions between physiological safety and
   psychological safety is that physiological safety deals mainly with
   external threat, whereas psychological safety deals mostly with
   internal threat. Internal threats are, for the most part,
   self-generated, most often from a "what if" world manufactured by each
   member of the family. What if I lose my job? What if I cants keep up
   the payments? What if I don't get the raise? Even though most of these
   fears will never be realized, the stress from the worry is very real.

   Satisfying safety needs depends a great deal on a couple's ability to
   deal with the world as it is and not with how it might be. Life offers
   few guarantees; therefore, security is most likely to be found in the
   knowledge that one will never be totally secure. To cope effectively
   with the unexpected, it is more advantageous to develop greater
   self-confidenec and flexibility to deal with what does happen in life
   rather than focusing on attempts at controlling what might happen in


   In Reality Therapy, Glasser (1965) proposed that if a person fears
   something and can do something about it, he or she should do it. If
   not, forget it. Glasser appeared to advocate that clients act
   responsibly to effectively satisfy their safety needs. This means that
   if a major source of stress is the fear that creditors will find out
   that a spouse has been laid off from work, then call the creditors and
   tell them of the situation. Ask the question "What is the worst thing
   that could happen?" If a couple feels that they could cope with the
   worst that could happen, then why fear it? If they do not think they
   could cope, then there is a need to develop greater self-confidence.
   In some cases, it is helpful to recall how effectively they have coped
   with difficult challenges in the past.

   Having couples develop an accurate perception of their strengths and
   weaknesses is crucial to achieving sufficiency within the
   psychological area of the safety needs. As mentioned earlier, the
   primary objective in satisfying safety needs is to have each
   individual come to know whether or not his or her fears arc real or
   imagined and to learn how to cope with them effectively. Keep in mind
   that a sense of safety will come from confidence in being able to deal
   with one's fears, not in denying them. In many cases, some of the
   greatest financial threats to the family are those that are
   self-generated. Therefore, in order for family members to stop
   generating fear, he or she must become aware of the internal threats
   that create these fears, such as feelings of inferiority and
   inadequacy and of being unlovable. Once they feel reasonably secure in
   these areas as well as the other areas associated with the safety
   needs, they arc ready to expand into Level 3, love and belonging

                     LEVEL 3: LOVE AND BELONGING NEEDS

   To meet one's love needs, a person must first feel safe enough to love
   without demanding reciprocation. If an individual loves someone and
   that person rejects this love or fails to love back, that person
   has--tragically-- missed an opportunity to experience being loved.

   Unfortunately, in many marriages, love is seen as a commodity that can
   be bought, sold, and exchanged for goods and services. As a
   consequence, a great many marriages have ended in financial disaster
   due to attempts at buying love. In such instances, there is a tendency
   to substitute gifts for feelings and to substitute money for time.
   Busy parents, for instance, frequently go heavily into debt in an
   attempt to compensate for guilt feelings associated with not being
   able to spend as much time with their children. In many cases, both
   the parents and the children come to believe that money and things arc
   the equivalent of love. Unfortunately, this kind of situation is
   likely to become more prevalent in today's world of dual-income
   families, reconstituted families, and divorced or separated parents.


   Satisfying the love and belonging needs is even more difficult when
   the dual-income family is a dual-career family. One of the distinctions
   between a dual-income family and a dual-career family is that in the
   dual-income family, those employed typically view work as a source of
   economic security without an organized sequence of intellectual or
   promotional sequence in mind. In contrast, the person who is career
   oriented views work as a developmental job sequence with clearly
   formulated goals and time frames for reaching certain milestones
   (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1971).

   In addition, dual-career families tend to experience greater financial
   stress than either single-wage-earner or dual-income families
   (Rapoport & Rapoport, 1969, 1976). Additional sources of stress
   include difficulties finding a satisfying balance between parenting
   and career development, concerns about personal identity and
   self-esteem, and financial jealousy between spouses. (Price-Bonham &
   Murphy, 1980).


   The two management systems most commonly used by dual-income/ blended
   families arc the shared management system and the independent
   management system (Heath, 1986; McCrae, 1987; Pahl, 1983). Under the
   shared management system, both partners share in the managerial tasks.
   Both incomes are deposited in a joint account, and both partners
   discuss allocation issues and try to arrive at a consensus for
   distribution of funds. It has been found that marriages in which
   partners had equal control over financial decisions, either by making
   joint decisions or by agreeing to assume responsibility for specific
   [asks, had the least amount of conflict (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983;
   Schaninger & Buss, 1986).

   The main problem associated with the shared management system is the
   element of trust, or more accurately, the lack of trust within a
   relationship. Many of today's children are being raised in families in
   which the parents have divorced and remarried only to divorce again.
   As a consequence, there are fewer examples of trusting relationships
   in which no one felt exploited. With these kinds of perspectives, it
   is difficult to trust in the durability of relationships.

   The blended families (stepfamilies) that result from remarriages in
   which one or both partners bring children from a previous relationship
   have become an ever increasing part of the American way of life. Over
   17% of all households with children are blended families (Glick,
   1989). In interviews with couples who had remarried, researchers
   asked, "What issues or concerns did you discuss before you married?"
   The most frequent topic mentioned was "children from a previous
   marriage," followed by "finances" (Ganong & Coleman, 1989). Because
   the financial demands of a blended family are typically more complex
   than in an original marriage, the problems associated with the
   management of resources is correspondingly more stressful (Messinger,
   1976). As a consequence, more and more individuals have developed the
   belief that the only one you can really trust is yourself, and
   therefore you had better play it safe when it concerns protecting your

   One way of playing it safe is to use the independent management
   system. In this system, each spouse deposits his or her income in
   separate accounts, they agree that neither spouse shall have access to
   all of the income, and specific financial obligations are assigned to
   each spouse. For example, one spouse would be responsible for paying
   the mortgage and the other for paying the utilities. Each spouse would
   be responsible for his or her own car payments, insurance payments,
   and car maintenance costs.

   As a consequence of this separation of tasks and responsibilities,
   however, there is a tendency to develop a "yours, mine, and ours"
   attitude toward the distribution of income (Jensen & Jensen, 1981).
   Unfortunately, when this attitude becomes extreme, it creates feelings
   of emotional distance (Glickauf-Hughes, Hughes, & Wells, 1986). Again,
   one of the more measurable outcomes of such a perspective would most
   likely be divorce.

   Unfortunately, more and more couples are trying to satisfy their
   belonging needs through consumption rather than through contribution.
   However, if the truth were to be known, it is more likely that these
   individuals are attempting to satisfy safety or esteem needs rather
   than love and belonging needs. Should this prove to be the case, it is
   important for a couple to refocus on their efforts to satisfy Level 3
   by having them concentrate on relationships rather than things and on
   giving rather than getting.

                           LEVEL 4: ESTEEM NEEDS

   In attempting to achieve sufficiency at Level 4, individuals must
   consider both the need for self-esteem and the need for spouse esteem.
   A person will most likely satisfy self-esteem needs through developing
   his or her full potential. By developing individual talents, a person
   becomes more capable of making contributions and therefore is more
   likely to achieve a sense of significance and relevance; as a
   consequence, such a person is more likely to experience a sense of
   self-worth and self-respect. Spouse esteem, on the other hand, usually
   comes when a person's contributions are recognized and appreciated by
   his or her partner.

   Crucial to achieving sound financial practices, as well as a sense of
   personal fulfillment at this level, are the couple's intentions. Are
   their intentions to express their self-worth or to impress each other
   with how much they think they arc worth? Self-worth is often expressed
   through what a spouse can or cannot do and at what skill level. In
   contrast, impressing one's spouse is often expressed through what he
   or she can and cannot buy and at what price.

   The need to impress others is most often found in individuals who wish
   to gain acceptance by those they perceive to be at a higher
   socioeconomic level than the one they perceive themselves to be at
   (note the apparent failure to achieve sufficiency in Level 3). In such
   cases, couples may engage in what is commonly referred to as
   "conspicuous consumption," acquiring goods and services not because
   they are needed but because they are expensive or because others in
   the group already have or want them. These individuals tend to see
   themselves as inadequate when compared to those they see as
   successful, and as a consequence, they are constantly trying to prove
   themselves to others.

   Again, as at the love and belonging needs level, the issue is between
   contribution and consumption. For the insecure individual, the primary
   question is "Am I earning enough?" believing that his or her spouse
   will stay in the relationship only as long as the income is high
   enough to make it worthwhile. The inherent problem with this
   orientation is that it often becomes very difficult for a spouse to
   distinguish between being valued for what kind of person he or she is
   and being valued solely for what kind of income he or she can bring
   in. The questions often arise about whether the couple is staying
   married because of their accumulated assets or because of feelings of
   affection and the quality of their relationship. If it appears that a
   couple would rather not even address such a question, then Levels 2
   and 3 may not have been resolved adequately.

   Another source of dissatisfaction is the dependency that many couples
   have on the things that money can buy. They frequently come to believe
   that their self-worth, their self-esteem, rests on the figures found
   on a balance sheet rather than on the mutual respect and affection
   found in an intimate relationship. Fortunately, there are many
   individuals who do not adhere to the belief that people are worthwhile
   only if they have lots of money; such individuals are considered to be

                         LEVEL 5: SELF-ACTUALIZING

   As a self-actualizing couple, each spouse has grown to realize a great
   deal of his or her potential. Each will have achieved sufficiency in
   the levels of physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging
   needs, and esteem needs. They are now better able to be for the sake
   of being and do for the sake of doing. For example, one spouse may
   choose to be a sculptor because he or she wants to be a sculptor--to
   sculpt for the sake of sculpting. Such a person does not work for the
   purpose of winning a prize or solely to earn money but rather to
   experience his or her creative abilities.

   For couples who are self-actualizing, work is often perceived as a
   medium for self-expression. They may very well earn a living, but it
   is an inner satisfaction they seek rather than fame or fortune.
   However, the ability to earn a living through a form of
   self-expression is usually made possible only if they have truly
   satisfied their lower needs; otherwise, their work may still be
   dedicated to seeking tribute, recognition, or material gain.
   Developing a means of self-expression is an expansion of efforts to
   maintain lower-need levels and not a substitute for these efforts.
   Self-actualizing people are often better able to recognize and accept
   the realities of life and the fact that they will not be able to be,
   do, or have everything. They therefore tend to be as efficient as
   possible with their time, energy, and money in order to achieve a
   balance in the allocation of their resources.

   In contrast, some individuals remain preoccupied with thoughts of
   becoming rich and frequently indulge in daydreams about what life
   would be like if they were wealthy. As a consequence, their
   expectations of how much money they will make, as well as how quickly
   they will make it, tend to be somewhat unrealistic. Such individuals
   tend to spend money they don't have and as a consequence often incur
   large debts. However, rather than facing up to the reality of the
   situation, they frequently develop elaborate, and often complicated,
   manipulative techniques to maintain the appearance of being able to
   live at a given economic level.

   Self-actualizing people are not "superpersons" but rather individuals
   capable of responsibly expressing their individuality as fully as
   possible. Self-actualizing individuals are more able to accept not
   only who they are being but when they are living; that is, they are
   not likely to attempt to be someone they are not nor to live in the
   past or too far in the future. Their budgets tend to reflect these
   values. Credit is used sparingly so as to avoid an overcommitment of
   today's labors to the payment of a debt resulting from yesterday's
   consumption. Rather than comparing themselves to others and spending
   competitively, self-actualizing couples tend to concentrate more on
   self-improvement and devote their monies toward this end. Rather than
   being overly involved with wishful thinking and fantasy, which often
   lead to the development of unrealistic expectations and unfulfilling
   life-styles, self-actualizing individuals tend to organize financial
   goals so that whatever is necessary and sufficient has first priority.

   It would seem paradoxical for individuals to strive to be
   self-actualizing while simultaneously acquiring an unserviceable debt
   load or to be able to satisfy love and belonging needs while
   encouraging loved ones to buy whatever they want in hope that it will
   be enough to prevent them from leaving the relationship.
   Self-actualizing couples are more likely to solve their financial
   management problems by focusing not only on their financial needs but
   on their personality needs. Applying Maslow's hierarchy of needs
   permits both the temporal and emotional needs of a family to be
   synthesized into one uniform, integrated approach to establishing an
   effective, fulfilling pattern of behavior that applies to all aspects
   of their lives.

                            WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

   There is no doubt that the 20th century has been one of change and in
   many ways, one of progress. As to how much the American family has
   progressed or benefited from this change is a matter of great debate.
   At the turn of the century, in a primarily agrarian society, the needs
   of the family came first in deference to the needs of the individual.
   As we prepare to enter the 21st century, the needs of the individual
   appear to come first in deference to the needs of the family. An
   individual's worth used to be measured more by what he or she could
   contribute, whereas in today's world, an evaluation of individual
   worth appears to depend more on what he or she can consume. During the
   20th century, we may have become a society that loves things more that
   people, and as a consequence, many have come to believe that
   relationships are undependable and that all we have to do is acquire
   more things in order to be happy. As a counterperspective to such a
   belief, l propose that we all contemplate the adage "You can never get
   enough of what you don't need because what you don't need can never
   satisfy you" (Poduska, in press).


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   By BERNARD PODUSKA Brigham Young University

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   Source: American Behavioral Scientist, Jul/Aug92, Vol. 35 Issue 6,
   p756, 15p.
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