Money As A Treatment For Lifestyle
How do you view money? I used to have a terrible relationship with money. It’s hard to say where it came from. My parents didn’t know how to manage money well so I didn’t learn any money management skills from them. As a family we used to routinely get cash advances on credit cards in order to pay bills, especially mortgage payments. Then again, I was a very needy spendy brat of a child growing up.
In college I wasted a lot of my student loans on crap I didn’t need and I didn’t even drink in college… what a shame! Medical school wasn’t any better. My good friend and study buddy used to take his nasty ass Starbucks cup from the previous day to get a $0.50 refill the following day, while I used to spend my student-loan-money on watches and fancy pens. Why the shit did I want a Movado watch? A Mont Blanc pen? — probably because I thought I deserved it, I was living a stressful life so I earned something nice.
What Money Is And What It Isn’t
I have developed a much healthier relationship with money. I no longer fear it. I understand it and realize that it’s a tool and not a resource. It’s also not a prize or a reward for working hard and being stressed out.
Food serves as a good comparison. In the west we celebrate around food and go out for dessert to mark a special moment. This has lead to some health problems surrounding food. It’s no longer just a compound to give us energy and maintain our health, it now must look pretty, have depth and layers, be served in a particular way… kind of absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I love my condiments but if I start viewing food as a luxury I will no longer appreciate it for what it’s meant to do. Because I have taken away its intrinsic purpose and meaning I eventually get confused as to why I’m even consuming it, gluttony replaces need and binge eating or other food disorders set in.
Hoarding = Wasting
Wasting money is just as bad as hoarding it. Money is hoarded by some perhaps because their life is unstable or they are unhappy with where they are at in life. They are saving for that “what if” moment. These individuals are usually the cheap sort, not the frugal kind. They hold onto money with every bit of their energy… however the law of the universe is that the more you are unwilling to part with something the more likely it is that it will part with you.
Most of us spend money inefficiently. It is used to buy things which are advertised to us. We use it to buy things we may need or things we want. A popular belief is that traveling is important in order to attain worldly knowledge so a ton of money is spent going from one norovirus resort to another. Reading is viewed as something intellectual and important so book after book is bought to line a bookshelf.
We buy saran-wrap and aluminum foil. We buy trash-bags, paper-towels and tissue paper. We buy one type of detergent for clothes, another for dishes, another for the floor and another for the windows. We have more kitchen tools than many food-trucks. And of course we buy vitamins thinking they will help our health and we have 6 different cold-and-flu medications in the medicine cabinet.
“I work hard and play hard!”… I’ve read this statement so many times on dating profiles. It should read “I over-work to make a lot of income and spend as much of it as possible to justify working a lot!”.
Money, A Tool For Achieving Freedom
Money has one purpose, to buy freedom. You should accumulate it by working at something you enjoy. Plato said every human is born with an inherent proclivity for a specific job, doing that job would make for an efficient society. Sorry Plato, I don’t agree. Positive energy flows out of you when you work in something you enjoy, something you are passionate about. You will complain less, you will make more money with less resistance and you will excel at it.
You should use money to buy things you need. You should learn what money can do for you in whatever society you live in. You should not be afraid to lose it all. If you only have one source of making money then it is easy to be afraid of money. So learn other ways of making an income. Or build a strong social network so that if you need financial help you have something in place for that situation. More importantly, you should understand that you can grow your own food, that you can live without a cell phone, that boredom can be overcome without electronics and transportation didn’t always have 4 wheels.
Money isn’t the root of evil. Selfish action without awareness and consciousness is what creates evil. If our society didn’t work with money and worked on a barter system we could enact the same evils by refusing to barter with certain groups of humans. And money isn’t precious and doesn’t need to be revered any more than feared. It’s a tool which is only effective if handled by a fine craftsman-woman.