They say nothing lasts forever but, our relationship with money is so pervasive that it feels like forever. The mechanisms that keep our lives in tact are almost always surrounding money.
In his book entitled: “How To Worry Less About Money”, British writer and philosopher John Armstrong shared many ideas on how to look at money in a different light in order to lead a better life. He understands how deep our relationship with money is which is why he wants to examine how we relate to it and how we attach meaning to it.
First we have to understand that money problems and money worries are two different things. According to oxforddictionaries.com, a problem is a situation or a matter regarded as harmful or unwelcome and needed to be dealt with and overcome. While, worry is a the state of being troubled and anxious and real or potential problems.
Therefore, problems ask for urgent and direct actions while worries as created by oneself due to disturbing thoughts. Fortunately, disturbing thoughts or unhealthy patterns of thinking can always be changed! Here is how:
1. MONEY CANNOT BUY HAPPINESS
It is no surprise that Armstrong believes that happiness cannot be quantified by money. Money can only buy the symbols that produce happiness and serenity but it does not purchase the positive emotions itself. In fact, studies show that you will get more satisfaction if you spend your cash towards memorable experiences such as family vacations than towards material things such as a new designer bag.
2. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE OF PRICE AND VALUE
What differentiates value from price is its nature. Value is a personal matter while, price is a public one. Value is personal because the meaning of money and the object is assigned by the individuals themselves based on their perception, culture, wisdom, and character.
On the other hand, price depend on the majority because it negotiates between supply and demand. For instance, the price of the refrigerator depends on how ready is the manufacturer, how much people want it, and how much they are willing to pay. People who are frugal give importance to the value while people who are cheap primarily follows the price. Know which side you want to be on.
3. IT IS GOOD TO GIVE BACK
There is a deep and innate fear that one’s life will be lived in vain without making a contribution or a difference in the lives of others. This is why you may generate happiness and kill those worries by doing good things for other people through the money you have. Lending out possessions can help you enjoy the material things that your money bought while, volunteering or donating can always trigger positive emotions.
4. CULTIVATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY
For your relationship with money to flourish, you must understand that it involves the two of you. When things go badly, it is partly because of what you brought to the situation and partly because of what the money (i.e., power of spending) brought. Do not let the power of spending govern you.
Temperance, moderation, and frugality are essential to alleviate your worries about your money. You achieve this by distinguishing your needs from wants. So, if your bike works perfectly fine then there is no need to buy a new one. Be wise in purchasing and resisting impulse by getting what you really need.