I came across a blog awhile ago that talked about misconceptions around money. One of the misconceptions is around what Money is…really…
If you google money on the web, you will get all kinds of statements around money.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
Money isn’t everything
Money is the root of all evil
Money doesn’t make you happy
Money is everything
Money is freedom
and the list goes on…
We love making (and spending) money. We adore seeing our paychecks get deposited into our bank accounts. But having to dish out that money…it can be completely fun, or completely depressing. Paying for heat or electricity, for example, is less that exciting. But a night out on the town, a new dress (or chop saw) can be pretty exciting. So what does money really buy you?
The simple answer is that is buys you anything.
If you look around your home, you will see all kinds of “everything”…in your closets on your dressers, tucked away in drawers and baskets. If you review your spending you will see money being spent for the stuff you’ve consumed…food, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, water, etc. Or look through your photo album (well, your phone, I mean, does anyone have photo albums anymore!?) and you will might see a trip or kids activities, or a night out. A whole bunch of stuff! Stuff that you bought because you chose to buy it. And this is where I am going with this post. Money doesn’t buy stuff. Money buys choices. This is a really important concept to understand, because everyday we make choices about where our money goes (or, by default, where it doesn’t go). What choices are you making? Are they in line with your goals? With what’s important to you and your family?
It’s really easy to go into mindless spending mode and nickel and dime it all away without really focusing on your true values.
Best example of this is being house poor. You buy a home, it stretches your cash flow to the point where you can’t go out and socialize as much as you would like to. You have this lovely home, but sitting there every evening is not fulfilling you. Maybe home ownership is not the best place for your money. Maybe apartment or condo living is better suited to support your lifestyle.
One of the sayings in the blog that I loved is “The purpose of money isn’t to fill your life with fluff and glitter (but I love fluff and glitter!!), it’s to maximize your choices.
Want to travel, own a home, enable one parent to stay at home, pay for your child’s education? You will need money going in the right place to meet that goal.
If you are stressed out over your finances, your money is probably going to the wrong thing. Or, you might be paying for past mistakes. When credit comes into the picture, there tends to be a whole lot of fluff and glitter. Future money get’s spent on a lot of stuff that gives you instant gratification, but perhaps not much that gives you lasting gratification. And before you know it, you are paying your future income (a LOT of your future income) to pay off past decisions. Limiting your ability to move ahead financially.
Resource page: (Getting out of) Debt Solutions
Track your spending and at the end of the month, put it into categories, and ask yourself…is this fluff & glitter, or is this something that really matters to me? If it really matters, keep it as a spending item. If it doesn’t it, ditch it. Even better, ask yourself that every time you make a purchase, pay a bill or watch something come out of your account.
Money doesn’t buy stuff. It buys choices! … what choices are you making?
Wishing you happy, healthy finances,
Mary Ann Marriott
aka Dr Debt