I want to write a few things on money/personal finance in 2018.
We are in 2018. Yes, that 2018 that you dreamt of is finally here. From my experience of counselling and consulting, when people are setting goals for the year, 70% of what they write down has financial connotations. It is neither good nor bad. It is what it is. So, in essence, money is important. It is important to you, the countries of the world and your neighbour.
You actually need money to fund a thing or two and hence the need for more of it. The elephant in the room is, “how much more?” That is the money question.
Before we go on, we need to know what money is and the concept behind it. Without defining a thing, you are bound to use it for what it is not meant for. That is called “abuse.” Abuse = Abnormal Use.
Money is a means of exchange. You give it to whosoever has what you require. You give it to your landlord because you need a house to live in. You give some to the grocery seller because you need the groceries. You donate it to a charity because they are solving a problem you are passionate about.
Money is one of the most powerful concepts invented. It helps us to trade what you have and then use the proceeds to obtain what you don’t have but require. It is a reward of having a special set of skills and using those skills to deliver service. The more problems you solve, the more money you will make. We are moving but … slowly.
Even if you don’t know what to use money for, when your bills start stalking you, you will then have an idea. Wanting more money is ok. Again, like every other thing, the “why” of wanting more will be the most important question to answer.
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry; but money answereth all things. — Solomon
Solomon, touted as the richest man who ever lived, made the quote above. He wrote this in the books of Ecclesiastes. You must know that he wrote that book primarily as a book of observations, deductions and inference. Basically, it was written to talk about life as things happened “under the sun.” Basically saying, let me observe life without the interference of God.
In essence, he said that feasts are made for laughter, wine to make merry but by human inventions, money was made to answer every other thing. Meaning, under the sun, without a need for miracles or supernatural intervention, money is the answer for everything.
That is how powerful money is on the face of the earth. Therefore, if you had it as 70% of your goals for 2018, you now know why.
Let’s take a deeper dive into money and what it is and or the other hand, what it is not.
Money Is a Tool
Money is meant to do something just like any other tool. A spoon is for eating. It also has ornamental value, but the primary use of a spoon is to aid the consumption of calorie specific edibles (I am waxing poetic). Same for money. It is for solving problems. Not all problems can be solved by it but it aids is solving many human problems. The problems — rent, school fees, child upkeep, mobility etc.
When you see money as a tool, then you will treat it as you treat other tools. You will have the right perspective about it. You will not make it a goal because making it a goal is like chasing the wind.
Money Helps You Live a Life of Contribution
Money as a tool helps you get things done; it helps you live a life of contribution. That means you can use it to support the things that are dear to you. You want to stop teenage pregnancy; then you support the NGO/church that is focusing on that. You hate cancer; then you support whoever is working on its eradication. You want all the kids in your neighbourhood to be in school; then you partner with those whose passion align with yours. You like what your church is doing in the local community; you support them with your financial resources.
Money enables you to have a say in the things that are important to you. You may not have the time and energy to chase those things, but you can add your voice and resources.
Money is Amoral
Money is not good or bad. It is apolitical. Money always takes the character of it owner. An armed robber will buy more tools for his hustle. Money has no affiliation. The Bible talks about “the love of money” as being at the base of evil. That’s a story for another day. Money is neither a master or a servant. You, the owner decides, which one you want it to be.
As for me, my money relationship with money is that it will never sends me on errand. I am the one to send it on errand.
If I get money that I was not expecting, I allow it to “cool down.” After a week or two then I will decide on the errand to send it to.
Money Allows Us Know You
It is very easy to know what is important to you by seeing what you use the bulk of your money for. You will spend your money on the things you are passionate about. A womaniser will get more harems. A showman will get more blinks. A researcher will get more books and equipment. The list goes on.
You will always Have a Relationship with Money
Acquaint thyself with that. As long as you are here, that relationship exists. You cannot outgrow it. So, the earlier you define the relationship, the better you will handle it. In fact, even when you are no more here that relationship persists; either in the form of bills you left unpaid that will haunt your family or a will to distribute your assets.
Someone Will Always Have More/Less of It Than You
Factoid fact. No explanation required.
Let Money Be Money
Having less or more money does not mean anything. Don’t read too much meaning into your bank statement. Those things increase or decrease at random. One mistake can wipe you out. One big break can increase the zeros behind the digit. What you do after both events is what matters. Who you are before and after the events is what really counts. Don’t think of yourself too lowly or highly. Let money be money.
Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. — Dave Ramsey