For most people, money and finances are more difficult to talk about than sex. Let the record reflect that I am neither a financial planner nor a sex therapist, but I am what you might call frugal (not to be confused with cheap).
How do you view money? Do you see it as something to spend? If so, read this carefully: Money is NOT to be spent; money is to be managed. Of course you spend it, but before you do, you need to be sure that you are allocating it for items that will bring joy to your life…not misery.
Financial woes are often the result of living beyond your means. In other words, you spend more than you make. Often, financial choices are based on the need for instant gratification, which really boils down to an impulse, not a conscious choice. Typically, there is little or no thought given to the future consequences of instant gratification, such as huge credit card balances or unsecured debt.
Sadly, retailers rely on this weakness. Rarely do we have to wait to buy anything since retailers are so accommodating with instant credit at zero percent interest for three years. The temptations are hard to resist, but you must.
Financial choices are prime candidates for the NEED vs. WANT filter. If you pause long enough to run financial decisions through this filter, you will soon realize that you don’t really want all of the irritants that come with the purchase. Sure, buying new stuff is exciting and liberating; but then you have to live with it, maintain it, pay for it, and stress over it for the next decade. Is that what you really want?
- Fear missing out on a sale?
- Hate to let a coupon expire unused?
- Compete with others in comparing possessions?
- Experience joy when purchasing something new?
- Become jealous when someone else has a new purchase?
- Find yourself in debt and struggling with finances every day?
As you can see, emotions play a key role in financial choices. Fear surfaces at the thought of missing out on a sale or letting a coupon expire. Competition flares when you compare your possessions with those of your family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Joy kicks in when you think of acquiring something new. Jealousy sparks when you see someone with something you wish you had. These are powerful emotions, to say the least.
Logic must be engaged when it comes to finances. You can’t let your emotions run away with your money. If you do, you will soon find yourself deep in debt…and clutter.
Financial freedom can be the cornerstone of simplifying your life. Without the burden of financial worries, you can soar!
P.S. Want to save money? Only pay with cash, not credit or debit cards.