Thu, 12 Dec, 2019

Money: Your master or minion? Part 2

The articles in this section are intended to showcase the mental makeup of the average human being under different circumstances, in influencing money matters in their lives. Mental attitudes are key in altering the course of money decisions, one way for good and the other for bad. The rationale behind these articles is to bring awareness on these thoughts and processes in the mind that impact the way we look at money and ultimately handle it

11th August 2019, 02:55 Hrs

Marilyn Luis Dias

To recap, last week I wrote about:

@Money being a poor master but good servant. We must have clear financial goals leading us when spending our money.

@Money being a tool, that is to be taken care of, kept organized and ready to use when you need it most.  @Money behaving the way we want it to. Avoid overspending your money, without it achieving what is really important to you.

It is this last point that I would like to elaborate on in today’s article by talking about overspending and consequent acquired (bad) debt. Mounting, spiraling, out-of-control personal debt is tangible evidence of no budgeting in a person’s financial world.

It is also reflective of a person’s “money shame”, where not having enough means not being enough as a person and debt is incurred to cover up this big hole, creating in turn another dangerously big deficit/hole between what money one really has and what one actually spends.  

Certified Money Coach, Tammy Lally, defines money shame as “the intensely painful feeling of believing that we are flawed, and therefore unworthy of love and belonging, based on our bank account balances, our debts, our homes, our cars and our job titles.”

Equating your Net-worth to Self-worth is a habit made when households view money as an end in itself (‘More Money will make us happy’), often bitterly destructive in its consequences. What you spend your money on, shows what you really value in life-

Is it trying to fit in to a group or social strata,

Is it about keeping up appearances or 

Is it about setting a good example for your children regarding money responsibility

Or about achieving important financial goals like your child’s education and retirement?

Most of us can afford a comfortable, decent standard of living but many choose to live a life beyond their means by living in big, expensive houses, driving flashy cars, wearing outrageously expensive clothes and shoes. Why?

To cover up the shame of not being enough, of not having enough, compared to your wealthiest friends, you spend more than you earn and then you borrow to cover up the deficit. Then you have no money to spend on your ‘built-up’ lifestyle because all of it is going towards repaying the existing debt. So then, you borrow more to spend some more and the cycle never ends. In the end, you have nothing left.

This money-shame and consequent debt spiral requires some introspection as to why you spend, how you feel when overspending- does it make you happy? Or does it leave you feeling empty soon afterward.  

If you were brought up to believe that more money means more happiness then there will never be enough- not enough things and certainly not enough money.

Dig deep and acknowledge the painful emotions of your money history and beliefs. That being said, while the past is a nice place to visit, it is certainly not a good place to stay. Learn from your mistakes and begin anew, the right way – Budget and spend.  

Believe that you are enough and that you are blessed already. Don’t go looking for validation from Mr. Money. Money is here to serve you and not the other way around.

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