Most of our lives are spent working for money that we believe is going to change our lives. It is this money that will let us do the things that we want to do and own the items that we want and need. But the truth is that money is nice to have and it is necessary for your life but there are many other facets of life that are more important than money. Money can come and go, you can lose some and then go and get more to replace what you lost but there are other things in life that can never be replaced if they are lost. Time is one of the big ones. Not only the time itself but the events that are occurring during that time can also never be replicated. You will never be able to go back when you have the time and recreate a child’s first birthday or see that child take his or her first step. And when you realize that money is not the real end goal then you have just discovered the biggest piece of financial wisdom that you will ever want or need to be successful in life.
Stuff Is Not the Goal
Many consumers are obsessed with what they own, how much they own and how impressive it all looks to others. They really believe that owning this stuff is what makes them happy. But what they are not seeing is that this mound of stuff that is filling their house is really holding them hostage. Because of this stuff, you are up before the sun and headed to work every day. You work late, you work weekends and you miss out on family time, relationships with friends and family and events that will never happen again, like a child’s birthday or school play. And not only are you struggling to pay for all of this stuff but then you need to take care of it, dust it and have a house big enough to store it all. Would you rather spend all day cleaning an enormous house on Saturday or go to a movie with a friend, the park with your kids or spend a day just enjoying the company of an elderly parent or grandparent? How long are you willing to keep paying the price for all of that stuff you thought you wanted?
Don’t Be Defenseless
Another way that you can rob yourself of time and of peace of mind is by ignoring the need for a safety net in the form of an emergency fund. Things happen and you need to be able to pay for an unexpected car repair, an insurance deductible from an accident or even a medical insurance deductible from an injury or illness. If you have not created that fund and given yourself that backup plan then you could be about to spiral into deep debt over a bill that you can’t pay. You are tempted to use a credit card to pay it but then you will have another monthly bill to pay off and you can’t really afford that either. But you charge that card and figured that sooner or later you will find the money to pay the credit card company. But that day doesn’t come and the bill goes to collections. Now your credit is suffering and you are falling further and further behind. And this all started over a $1,000 deductible or car repair. You thought that you couldn’t afford to save for an emergency fund but now you know that you really couldn’t afford not to be saving that money. Don’t spend yourself into a corner or deep into debt.
Self-Control Is Huge
There are not too many things that you cannot buy on credit now. There are “buy here pay here” car lots, and electronics stores and stores that let you make payments on just about anything that you can imagine. But those are not items that you really need to live, those are items that you want. Learning the difference between wants and needs is going to let you make smart decisions and buy what you can afford when you can afford it. When you give in to the impulse purchases that you need to finance either through a store or by putting them on a credit card, you are being overcharged. Not only do you pay for the item but you are paying fees and interest on that item. But if you see something that you want, not need, all you really have to do is commit to saving for the item and then buying it once you have saved the money that you need. You are not paying extra fees or expenses and you still end up getting the item.
What Make You Understand This Financial Wisdom
We all work hard to provide for our family and to live a good life. But there comes a time when you realize that your life is not really your own anymore. You are focused on nothing but making money and having things. You have lost sight of the people, relationships, and experiences that make your life truly rich. Maybe it all became clear to you when you were missing an event at your child’s school or when you missed a birthday celebration. Or it could have just been on any regular day when you realized that you had not just enjoyed time with your family for weeks due to a hectic work schedule. But what really matters is that you understand the financial wisdom of what money can do for you and what it can’t. You need money to live but you need time with family and friends to be happy. Finding the appropriate balance between the two will ensure that you have a full and happy life. Never forget that money and things can be replaced but the people in your life cannot.