If money is the answer, what is the question? Is money an incentive, reward, a goal or just a necessity? Money is what you need to buy your first car, pay for college or a down payment on your home. It is what you earn in the form of a pay check and it is what you need to pay for an apartment, food and clothes. I get it, money is for acquiring things! What is money to you?
What do you think about money usually starts early. It is strongly influenced by your parents and experience. If you grew up in a family that mismanaged money, it could negatively affect your attitude. Maybe, your parents grew up during The Great Depression which certainly affected a whole generation and their attitude about money. It influenced my parents to avoid the stock market and debt. It did not prevent success, but influenced their attitude. They had only one mortgage in their lives and never had debt.
How does your money attitude influence how you handle money? I look at debt differently than my parents because I have a different experience and it affects my money attitude. I approach money and spending conservatively because of my experience. I learned very early to save my money for the things I wanted. Eventually, I saved for my first home, first investment, investing in rental property and investing for retirement. My attitude shapes my spending, saving and investing. My attitude shapes my judgment, plans, goals and retirement savings. It influences everything!
Money can affect everything! More couples argue about money than anything else. It can even affect your health. Since my parents went through The Great Depression, they focused on success more than others. Life is a balance of work, life (family/friends) and health. If you focus on one to the detriment of the others, you will have problems. I saw my parents put considerable effort and time into their businesses with very little time for much else. Did it affect their health? I don’t think so, but life was out of balance with their work. Life is richer because of those other things besides work.
Taking time to enjoy life is why we earn money, isn’t it? How do you enjoy your life? Do you spend time with your family, travel, play sports or just participate in activities. What is important to you? You need to decide what is important that gives you meaning. If I do not do many of the things I enjoy each weekend, I feel I wasted the weekend. I think all of us need things to make the time worthwhile. It may be sports, entertainment or family activities that provide meaning. It gives us a healthy outlook. It is the choices you make that make you happy or not!
Shopping, Gambling and Alcohol
Do you think your attitude affects how you look at shopping, gambling or alcohol? I do! Can you participate in any of these activities and not succumb to the dark side? Everything depends on attitude and character traits. How do you handle your impulses? Are you an impulse buyer or do you use lists? Can you gamble without getting into trouble? How do you handle these things? I think I gambled maybe a dozen times in my life, but always set limits. I view gambling as entertainment and not an investing or jackpot situation. Business risk is very different from gambling because you put more into your choices and it takes longer to see the results. Gambling is a wager on an event with an uncertain outcome with the expectation of winning additional money in a short period. It has almost no relationship to an investment.
Your attitude about money permeates everything. Have you thought about it? Maybe you should! Does your attitude affect your goals? If you think more money is the answer, have you thought about the question? Money will not make you happy, but lack of money will make you very unhappy. I think your goal is to spend less than you earn and save for retirement too. This is nothing new, but attitude about money can prevent you from reaching your goals. Another reason to think about it, if money is the answer.
Photo by: Philip Taylor PT
Money is the answer.