We all have a relationship with money.
If you were fortunate enough to grow up in a dual-income household in which each of your parents earned money, excelled in their careers, and instilled values in you regarding money than consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
if your parents sat you down and invested in a conversation with you about the importance of earning, working, saving, and investing then chances are you are way ahead of the pack. Similar to a conversation about “the birds and the bees” not enough parents, teachers, older siblings, mentors, business leaders, are spending the time needed to educate the younger generation.
We have to pay it forward. It’s incumbent upon us as a society to educate our young people on the importance of having a relationship with money.
What is money? In its purest form it is simply a piece of paper. Nothing more, nothing less. In our culture and greater society, however, money represents a conduit or a bridge to something greater.
Money is a currency used to pay for essential goods and services vital to everyday life such as food, shelter, and transportation. Used wisely money will be the bridge to ensure that those three vital elements of survival are paid for in earnest.
Used unwisely, money, and it’s inglorious pursuit will ruin you financially, destroy relationships, and unravel your self esteem faster than you can say bitcoin three times.
Why? Well, if nobody ever sat down with you and educated you about the importance of frugality, fiscal conservatism, budgeting, taking care of your personal household economy first, well then that’s why you may be having difficulty.
And trust you me, the desperate and frantic mishandling of your personal money will negatively show up in almost all areas of your life, professional and personal.
Many in our country, irregardless of class, lower middle-class, working class, rich and poor, see money as a be-all and end-all, a solver of problems, and a feel-good solution. There is the notion that money is not everything, it’s the only thing. That’s fine, we are capitalists too.
However, draw up a T-chart, and on the left-hand-side write down what money means to you and on the right-hand-side write down what is truly important to you in life.
Things like family, friends, love, and health are common themes that money may be able to enhance but certainly aren’t necessary to accommodate. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs is the richest dead man in the cemetery. Great visionary, and may he rest in peace. But, the point is that until you define what money means to you will never be able to responsibly understand and manage it.
Did you grow up in a financially poor household and did watching a music video or movie star glorify your relationship with money because of it? Do you have the irresistible need to keep up with the Jones’? Do you feel angry with yourself if you are running low on money in your pocket? Do you spend money to acquire friendships and justify your SELF?
It wouldn’t be fair to judge you if you desired money to enhance your social status or allow you to possess fancy material items such as cars and jewelry.
That said, if you live outside of your means, spend twice as much as you earn, save nothing, know little about investing, and expect to be financially secure, well I think not.
As an adult and faced with money decisions all day along it would be worthwhile for you as an individual to sit down and even quietly meditate about what money means to you. Think clearly about the importance of money in your life and what it can and cannot do for you, should and should not do for you.
I asked Siri “What is Money” and she defined it as “any object or record generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given socio-economic context or country.”
Let’s not attach anything else such as vanity, jealousy, envy, greed, to our definition of money. Self worth trumps net worth.
Lastly, if you’re self worth is sound and your mind is strong then you should have no problem understanding how to cultivate a healthy productive relationship with money.