“Looking closely at money does seem to open up more questions than answers”
Even so, questions are important, and discussing money, so we can lose some of the potential stress and misunderstandings surrounding it, will be of great value (excuse the pun).
Often when seeking to understand money, we’re given advice and guidance that relates directly to its management: how best to save, invest, earn etc. All well and good, however, there is something of fundamental importance, that’s often overlooked: The Psychology.
Time and money bear a close correlation. For example, we want that new car, bike or pair of shoes, but don’t currently have the cash available. So rather than waiting, until we’ve saved enough, we borrow. Buy now pay later. You might think fair enough. If we’re prepared to pay the interest on the loan, we’re able to enjoy the goods now, rather than later. But what is the psychology behind this thinking.
“What is buy now pay later really all about. Is this a lack of patience? Is it just a social thing? Or is it that our wants are greater than our needs?”
I’m able to compare my own experience of being young and broke with someone who is currently just starting out in life. When I was sixteen I didn’t have the cash to buy the moped I desperately needed, so, with my father acting as guarantor, I borrowed. It turned out to be a mistake – I borrowed more than I could afford – and my father had been foolish to allow it. He’d been unable to advise me otherwise. In comparison, I’m aware of a young man who, even though his earning capacity is restricted, has successfully managed to save enough money to buy his first moped. He’s also now saving for his next bike; a bigger one. He has no debt. To be able to put the words young and patient together, in the same sentence, is a very rare thing.
“We can know this is down to several potential factors”
Firstly he hasn’t been able to borrow money (no guarantor) or secondly he’s been cleverly advised out of it. The chances are, his beliefs – formed from advice and experience – have created a positive time/money correlation. In other words, he’s learned patience in its respect.
Of course saving for a moped is one thing, yet buying a house for example, would be an entirely different matter. With the property market as it is, it would be nigh on impossible for the average person to ever save enough to buy one outright. He or she would be so old, by the time they’d saved enough, that they’d never have the chance to enjoy it. Plus we have the problem of house prices always increasing way above the rate of pay increases. And isn’t that a curious thing? The gap between the rich and the poor ever increasing do you think?
“Anyway Let’s Not Get Distracted!”
That last paragraph does all hinge on our beliefs relating to home ownership. Provided we’re able to find a decent landlord we can be quite happy renting. If you’ve no concerns over leaving inheritance to family members (or cat charities,) then owning your own home, is in fact a bit of a nonsense. We can all be sold on the idea of having no mortgage in retirement, but that can be offset, with the belief that retirement is a complete nonsense too. Retire from what? There are many ways we can stay as wage earners in old age. Society actually requires input from the older generation. This is in much the same way children (mostly) benefit from knowing grandparents.
We could go on and on with the debate over money, yet there is one simple answer to removing much of the stress surrounding it. I touched on this earlier. It’s that thing of our wants being greater than our needs. Once we can reach a point in our lives where our wants match our needs we’ll be in a favourable position. The sooner the better. This is the time/money correlation in its essence.
“Doing this involves some cleverness”
If, at the age of sixteen, I’d been a little more canny and wise to the world, I could have avoided much of the stress and difficulties I’ve experienced ever since. If someone had said to me:
“Look kiddo, here’s the thing, you’re being fucked over by your own wants and your wanting is being driven by your beliefs on happiness.”
“Right now you believe the only root to your happiness is that moped, right? Okay, so what would need to happen for you to find this freedom and happiness without it?”
That last question would certainly be a mind-bomb for the average sixteen year old. It would probably be the case, that suggestions from someone I believed in and respected, would’ve been necessary. Perhaps, if such a person had introduced me to an inexpensive hobby, things would have worked out differently. Perhaps, if it’d been explained – in clear and simple terms – that happiness and freedom must begin in the mind, and never outside of it, things would have been very different.
All in all, there’s no getting away from the facts of life: We will always need sufficient money to cater for our basic needs and independence. Without that we’ve no chance of happiness, and to add to our misery, illness is potentially around every corner.
“So to close”
Hopefully this has opened up your mind a little to the subject in hand. I would question the belief that money buys happiness. Without our basic needs being met, we’ll be unhappy, that’s a given. However, our attitude of mind, mentality and belief system, has great bearing on the amount of stress and unhappiness we might experience around the subject. It’s really worth pondering on the time/money correlation. Surly it’s the case, the wiser we are and the sooner we find this wisdom, the happier we will be from the offset?
You can find out more on beliefs through workshop attendance and by typing in the search word ‘beliefs’ into the appropriate box. Your application form can be found here.