In an increasingly materialistic world, our definition of “needs” is a lot broader than it has been in the past. Our needs (or what we perceive to be our needs) drive our money requirements. However, for many of us, the more we get, the more we want – and enough is never enough. Our thinking around money is greatly influenced by the society we live in and the media we are exposed to. Often, it feels like we are on a treadmill.
The fact is, we get little time to think in our busy world, and deciding on our philosophy about money requires thinking. But it’s important we do, because if we do not have the ability to increase our income, we need to know how to manage our income and cash resources effectively. Our money philosophy is the difference between being the master of our money and being its servant.
To become its master, we must develop money philosophies about:
- Children’s education – public or private? Invest in IT devices?
- Supporting children after the age of 18 if they are not working full time.
- Supporting parents and adult siblings who have less income than us.
- Income tax – is it a redistribution of wealth or payment for the services we receive?
- Charitable donations – yes or no? And if yes, how much?
- Personal expenditure that can help other people, e.g. going to the dry cleaners or hiring a cleaner.
- Takeaway food – supporting a local business or laziness?
- Vehicle – $20k or $50k-plus? How often?
- Borrowing money – will I and what for?
- The size of the house we want – McMansion or utility?
- Holidays and holiday homes – beneficial or indulgence?
We need to decide on our philosophies about money because it is hard to change our money habits if the changes are incongruent with our values. So, ask yourself:
- What will I do to get money?
- What will I not do to get it?
- What will I do with it?
- What will I not do with it?
If you’re having trouble deciding on your money philosophy or changing your money habits, email me at email@example.com.