The jury is still out as to whether it’s love or money that makes the world go ’round. I for one am fond of both. Yet, why is it that talking about love is widely accepted as politically correct and even encouraged, while talking about money is considered a faux pas? It’s time we turn the tide and drop all the hush hush around our banks accounts. Why? Because, if you’re reading this, there’s a high chance you’re running a balance on your credit card, have outstanding student debt, consider yourself underpaid, and have a spending problem. And if that’s you, my friend, you’re what I like to call, “normal”.
First things first – money matters. It matters to you, it matters to me, it matters to the world. Is it the be all and end all? No. But, it deserves due respect and attention. For most people, it’s the reason they haul their butts out of their warm bed every morning, brave the highway traffic or packed subway, and go to work.
The breadth of peoples’ gifts and talents are endless, but their funds are not. Yet somehow, they’ve managed to convince themselves that they can continue pursuing their dreams without the necessary fuel to sustain those dreams. They’re drowning in debt, taking vacations they can’t afford, and keeping on trend with every season’s runway. Ignoring your financial issues isn’t going to make them go away, nor will it do anything to propel you toward the life you really want to live.
Talk about it. Talk about your dreams, your hopes, your goals; and then, talk about how you plan on making them happen from a financial perspective. Do you need to finally take care of that student loan? Have you saved up for a rainy day? Should you reconsider that Mexican vacation and maybe put something away for a house down payment? Ask yourself these questions, and then ask your ‘no BS’ friend (we’ve all got one, and if you don’t, message me) the same questions about yourself, and be ready to make some necessary adjustments to your wallet and your lifestyle.
Your bank balance doesn’t reflect your worth
The phrase, “the man is worth $ ____”, or “her net worth is $____” is frequently used to describe how much money a person has, but don’t get it twisted, the amount of money you have or don’t have is by no means a reflection of your real worth. Not to sound campy here, but this is the essence of the problem people have with not talking about their finances. They’re afraid of how they’ll be perceived if they don’t have a lot of money, and sometimes even if they do have a lot of money. The bottom line is, we’re all just afraid of how our finances, or lack thereof, is making us appear to those around us and to society at large.
Money does not define you. It’s a resource – here today, gone tomorrow (hopefully not). We’ve epitomized our finances as the ultimate benchmark of who we are, and this type of thinking has left most of us more isolated, confused, and broke than ever.
Money is just a tool
I love money, and I love talking about money because I think it’s one of the greatest tools to make a difference in the world. I love the sayings, “put your money where your mouth is”, and “talk is cheap”, because to put money into something shows that you value it. This thing that we work our asses off to accumulate is an important, valuable resource.
One of the most discouraging, sad things about being broke is your inability to help others when they need it, or even to have the freedom to do something when you want to. Of course, I acknowledge that everyone hits a hard time or two (or more) in their lives, and I’ve had my share of those, but, when you’re irresponsible with your finances, you relinquish a degree of control over your life to the powers that be.
Money is a tool, and just that. Put it in its place. Don’t let it overwhelm you, control you, scare you, or guide you. It’s your tool, in your control. When you’re in control, you get to call the shots, and in doing so, can use money as an effective means to an end for yourself, or for someone else.
Let’s be more transparent about money and our relationship with it. Don’t let it be “your little secret”. If you need help with your personal finances, seek it. If you’re in debt, get rid of it. If you want to save up for something special, do it. But most importantly, talk about it. Share it. You won’t regret it.
Here’s to listening to Dave Ramsey almost every day,