Money Can’t Buy…What?
Ah, money. It’s the root of all evil, right? Or is it what makes the world go ’round? Think of the energy we put around money. What is it for you?
- out of reach
- a black hole
Is Money Simply Your Insecurity?
In the book Ask & It Is Given, this description is laid out:
When you do not have enough money, you want more. But, we want you to understand that the distance you will be traveling is not the distance between “not enough” money to “enough” money, but instead is the distance between a feeling of insecurity to a feeling of security.
The feelings and emotions we have around money, I feel, are a direct influence to our relationship to it and its impact in our lives. Maybe it’s not so much about the money in the bank or our investments – but so much more about the perceived security we feel by having it. And that’s just that – it’s perceived. If my bank account gives me security, but in the process I’ve sabotaged the marriage I had due to my neglect of the relationship…then maybe it didn’t really ensure my security at all. At least not my emotional security.
Last night we watched the Netflix Original Gaga: Five Foot Two. While it wasn’t the most impacting documentary we’ve seen, one thing stood out. It was Lady Gaga in the dark, crying about her loneliness. For every big break in money and fame she accomplished, it was one more broken relationship. She cried about how she was touched all day every day, but still went home alone. She hasn’t found security in her money – if anything, her rise to the top has added to panic attacks, depression, anxiety and insecurity, as her worth is based on her album’s success. She aches for the loss of relationships as she sees how difficult it is to juggle fame and money and an intimate relationship.
What Is The Magic Number To Make It All Okay?
I have seen people slaves to money – no matter if they have $1,000 in the bank or $1,000,000. There isn’t a magic number of what will really make you “happy.” There was a study that tried to prove that $75,000 was the “magic number.” This was the happiness factor for households, and if you could meet that, you were generally in a good place.
But as this article shows, this is so subjective. Take into account the cost of living in your area, the fluctuation of our economy, and the lifestyle you live, and this amount can go all over the place. I’ve found that people tend to live at or above their means – if you make $30,000/yr or $150,000/yr, unless you are intentionally setting money aside, you will live at what you have or stretch for more.
Shift Your Perspective Before Your Bank Account
In the podcast this week, I talked about the game Cashflow and how it shifted my perspective around money. I had the pauper mentality of everything being a matter of “can I afford it” vs. whether it was actually a worthwhile investment. When I made that shift, it wasn’t that I started spending frivolously; I simply had a different relationship with money, and it made all the difference.
I stopped buying the things that were simply a “deal”. I stopped only going to the Dollar store and loading up on the little $1 items I didn’t necessarily need, and started shopping for quality items that would hold up for longer periods of time. I looked at our food expenses and didn’t measure it by “we can’t afford to eat out”, but “what is the healthiest option for our family?” And as my mind shifted to what was truly a good investment for my family, I found myself buying less of the frivolous stuff, and investing in the things that moved me toward the positive feelings I wanted in my life.
What Word Can Replace “Money” In Your Mindset?
Comedian Whitney Cummings writes a brilliant little article about her own financial illiteracy, and how one simple word change shifted everything for her. In it, she stated:
Until that point, I didn’t know the way I managed my net worth was a reflection of my self-worth. What I spent my money on was either a positive or negative contribution to my future safety, sanity, and ability to feel free.
She did one simple word shift. She changed the word “money” to “freedom”. No, money isn’t the root to all freedom. Like I mentioned above, money can make you feel like a slave to it, where you are constantly working for one more dollar amount. But for Cummings, she recognized that money contributed to her having less worry and stress, which created space to bring in other emotions – like security, sanity, and feeling free.
What does money give you? How does it impact you positively or negatively? How do you perceive it in your overall success?
Make The Switch
Replace the word “money” with freedom or happiness. What difference does this make in your mindset?
- Is it worth spending some of my freedom to not have to make a big meal tonight?
- Should I use 50 units of my happiness to help a friend who repeatedly can’t find it on his own?
- Is this little trinket worth 20 units of my happiness (how much happiness will it truly give me in exchange)?
- Does this house – and the mortgage – justify the freedom I feel from living here?
Money doesn’t give you all the freedom or happiness in the world. But if you look at exchanging the terminology to one of these, it may make your decisions a little easier.
What’s your word?
I’ll leave you with a few quotes on money…rethink your mindset:
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. –Ayn Rand
It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. –Seneca
Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant. –P.T. Barnum
Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” –Joe Biden
If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough. –Vicki Robin
Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. –William A. Ward
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. –Albert Einstein
Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present. –Roger Babson
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. –Eleanor Roosevelt
If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed. –Edmund Burke
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Henry David Thoreau