Let’s Talk About Money – First Things First

By Benjamin Temin

Let’s talk about money.  

Welcome to financial wellness.  

This is the first blog in a series that we are really excited to introduce – for you, your family, and your future. It is part of a larger initiative here at Jewish Community Services to broaden the conversation about how we see ourselves, how we make choices, and how we can start or continue to enhance our overall well-being.  

The reality of experiencing financial hardship and all the associated stress and negativity has been more prevalent this past year, but it’s not a new thing at all. The goals of this series – Let’s Talk About Money – are to explore how we make financial decisions, identify the connection between money and our physical and emotional health, and chart a path to self-discovery. It’s a journey! And I’ll be with you the whole way – offering tips, tricks, and advice for healthy financial habits and having effective money conversations with your loved ones.  

The first step on the journey is to look internally and reflect on our own financial habits and circumstances.  

Any process of self-discovery involves thinking about where we came from and what our influences are. Think about your first “money memory,” both what it meant to you then and what it means to you now, looking back. Was it making a lemonade stand as a kid with friends on the block? Opening a minor savings account at a bank with a parent? Playing monopoly? Syble Solomon, Executive Coach and Founder/Developer of Money Habitudes, identifies five sources for our financial habits and attitudes (aka habitudes): 

  1. Parents or significant people around us 
  2. Culture and society 
  3. Religion and spirituality 
  4. Media 
  5. Our unique personality and experiences 

How have these influences played a role in your financial life? How often do you consider these influences when making financial decisions? Where have these influences steered you right and wrong? Is your current financial approach working for you and helping you achieve your goals? 

Asking these questions is not always easy, but it can be a great opportunity for growth and charting a course for successas well as preparing you for the more complex conversations with family and significant others. 


Read Part 2: Let’s Talk About Money with Partners

Read Part 3: Let’s Talk About Money with Kids

Read Part 4: Let’s Talk About Money with Teens



Benjamin Temin is a Coordinator for Economic Sufficiency at Jewish Community Services

JCS is a comprehensive human services organization providing a broad range of services that meet the diverse, multi-dimensional needs of individuals and families throughout Central Maryland. To learn more, visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.  

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