Why do we get emotional—uptight, fearful, overbearing, guilty, secretive—around money decisions? What is it about money that makes otherwise rational adults behave foolishly—buying high, selling low, overspending, lying to their spouses, equating their self-worth with their net worth?

Spencer Sherman has a name for it: money madness. It consists of the money messages we have absorbed from our childhood or life experience that prevent us from acting rationally around money.

“Money madness is alive and well at home, at work, at play and in the bedroom,” says Spencer. “And it has consequences: it stresses us out, poisons our relationships, and keeps us from making as much money as we can.”

Some of the money madness behaviors include:

When we become aware of these subconscious behaviors and challenge them, we can transform all aspects of our money life: earning, spending, saving, investing, doing business and giving.

One of the first steps Spencer recommends is to determine your Financial Intimacy Quotient—how naked you are willing to get with your partner around money issues.

Next, he introduces the Rainbow Portfolio™, an asset allocation strategy for investing that can achieve high returns over time without your having to watch the markets.

He then offers strategies to expel money stress from your professional life: how to sell anything, including yourself, and how to ask for money free of all the emotions that hung you up in the past.

Further chapters show how to take the pressure off spending decisions, from buying a home to heading to the mall, and how to come up with a sensible giving strategy that fulfills your need for contribution.

The final chapter is designed to help you find your personal definition of enough—what you and your family need to live the rich life you want to live—based on your Actual Net Worth™, which includes human assets such as health, friends and family, untapped skills, creativity and philosophical perspective.

Engaging, practical and funny, this book is ultimately about healing a wound in your life, enhancing your sense of well-being and finding peace of mind. But the other great gain that comes with freedom from money madness, says Spencer, is that you will make more money!

“When the craving is over and the stress is removed, when we are free to do the things we love and feel sufficiency right now, we perform better in every way—and we earn more.”

Are you ready to free yourself of money madness? Spencer promises your relationships will blossom, your business will grow, and you’ll be living a life that is more abundant than you ever dreamed.

Hardcover, 256 pages, $24.95;
Broadway, 2009