Far too often wants are driven by the desire to have what others have.  This desire is referred to as keeping up with the Joneses.  Whomever, the Joneses, are should have little or no influence on your spending.  What others do and have should not control or even influence what you purchase.  Achieving your financial happiness and well-being should be far more critical.  Defining yourself is not what you have or what you own; it is who you are that matters.  In the long run, the high confidence that you develop from gaining financial self-mastery will mean far more to you than a few new things at any given point in time.  Make who you are and what you want to become be the determining factor in what you want.


A bright young woman of 35 once laughingly said that she likes to go shopping because, for her at least, it feels like retail therapy.  By this, she meant that shopping makes her feel good.  She quickly noted that she fully realized that was faulty thinking and that feeling good was not always the same as being right.  She said that excessive spending had caused her charge cards to blossom and her savings to decrease.  She now limits the amount of shopping she does to the amount of cash in her pocket.  Living on a cash basis may not provide the same “therapy”, but it does limit her debt and the financial pressures that came with her earlier habits of overspending.


Personal joy and true happiness can come from many things.  Lasting feelings of pleasure come from your family and other meaningful relationships.  Financial goals and objectives, useful hobbies and recreation, life-building skills and talents are far more gratifying than purchasing something new that will lose its value and importance over time.  Emphasizing essential things will help stabilize your financial judgments and help you avoid the temptation to buy something unnecessary and add to your financial obligations.  Remember, only you can determine what is essential in your life.  You make those decisions.  Acting upon this principle can save you from economic disaster.


Making money matter is not about worshipping money.  Money is a dynamic commodity that can make your life better or add misery to your life.  If you want to have money, take care of the money that you have.  Manage it; care for it; preserve it.  Business consultants often advise their clients to handle all financial matters relating to cash at once.  That includes safeguarding it, banking it, and controlling it.  That advice is also useful for individuals.  Taking all of these actions will help you become more money-management conscious.  Take care of your money, and it will take care of you.

to be continued…..

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