The One Thing I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me About Money
There is a reason that people spend their money so easily instead of saving it and it's something that nobody seems to talk about. Here is the one thing that I wish my parents had talked to me about with regards to money
We all have one thing in common. We want to feel good.
I have never met a person who wants to feel miserable, sad, unhappy or depressed but I have met a lot of people who are miserable, sad, unhappy or depressed.
It is part of the human experience and I would be a liar if I said I don’t ever have days when I feel one of these emotions. Truthfully, of late there have been a lot of days when I have felt pretty much all of them combined.
So how do we all deal with these feelings?
Some of us medicate ourselves with drugs, either legal or not, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or any other addiction. Then there are those that shop. Shop to fill the hole, to make themselves feel better. Perhaps hoping that the new dress, shoes, makeup, car or whatever the purchase of choice is, will make them feel like a better, happier, more worthwhile human being.
The truth is that for a short period of time we may make ourselves feel a little better. That is until the high has worn off. Then what’s left?
A hangover, debt, and/or feelings of guilt mostly.
Next we are looking for our next high, our next feel good moment.
The cycle continues.
In every case, regardless of our drug of choice, we have spent money to try to fix the problem. And has the problem been fixed? No, we are just in a vicious cycle of earn to spend to make the bad feelings go away.
So what if we did something different?
The truth is spending money is not going to bring you happiness. Happiness is not something we can feel continuously and that’s okay. We can strive for contentment, for taking pride in whatever we are doing, and for being the best version of ourselves we can be.
So we need to just stop. Stop the spending treadmill and take a look at what is really going on with our lives.
Money will never bring happiness as it’s not in it’s nature. But what it will bring is peace of mind, lack of financial worry and contentment.
When you stop spending unnecessarily something miraculous happens.
You start to accumulate money and that feels good. Because it makes you feel good you want to keep doing it and before you know it, you are looking for ways to save money.
You become more creative in what you do becasue you don’t want to waste your money unnecessarily. You prefer the feeling of having some security behind you to the short lived high of purchasing something.
You begin to feel content, more secure, proud of your accomplishments and you stop looking for the expensive highs and begin to look for the high of not spending or getting the best bargain.
The biggest lie of all.
We have been brainwashed into believing we need all sorts of things in our lives to make us happy and whole, the advertising industry is not a multi billion dollar industry for no reason. In truth most of us already have what we need. In truth there are way more options available to us than spending. In truth we are far more creative, capable and more than we have been led to believe.
If you have somewhere to live and access to clean water and food then you are indeed fortunate. Please take a look at the human conditions of the world for some sobering statistics. We need to stop believing that life as we know it is the same for everyone on this planet.
If you are reading this then you probably have more than you need. You have a computer and access to the internet…these are not necessities of life, unless of course you are like me and Mr Cents and rely on these things for your income 🙂
It’s time to make a change
Most of what we do in our daily life is done out of habit. The way you spend your money is no different. You may be used to grabbing a coffee on the way to work because it’s quicker and easier and you may prefer the taste to one from home.
But is it worth the $25 a week you are spending on it? Does it really make your life any better? Or would those $25 put away for a year, accumulating to $1300 make you feel better?
Learn more about the power of delayed gratification here.
So how can you make a start today?
- Firstly, you can make a commitment to yourself that you are going to STOP SPENDING.
- Secondly, you can take a look at your financial situation and get organised. It is better to know exactly where you stand than to bury your head in the sand and just keep going on as you are.
- Thirdly, research ways you can save money. My post on 50 simple money saving tips can get you started and then check out the rest of the site for more ideas on living a frugal life.
- Lastly, commit, right now, to having a no spend week. This means you buy nothing apart from the groceries you NEED.
Remember that none of us are perfect and we may stumble off course from time to time. We may buy the latte when we know we shouldn’t, we may have a drink or two, we may indulge in a meal out for a treat. That is all okay. The important message I am hoping to bring is that we don’t need to rely on spending to make us feel better when an alternative can offer a long lasting contentment that spending never will.
image via Getty Images