Money is not for spending

Money is not for spending

Many folks have the mindset that money is for spending. Consequently, the only thing they know how to do when it comes to money is to spend it. Hence they spend their way into financial bondage, living perpetually under financial pressure and being forced to work for money.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who hardly spend. Such people believe money is for keeping. They hoard as much cash as they can, way above what they need and like Silas Marner (From Silas Marner by George Eliot), live poor and die rich. They are so focused on the unexpected that they fail to live.

The ‘money is for spending’ and ‘money is for keeping’ mindset comes from a poverty mentality.

Money is neither for spending or keeping. Money is simply a tool to help you fulfil a purpose or accomplish a goal. It is a faithful employee if you are a good employer.

 

Getting the right context

It all comes back to the question of why. If the purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable, goes the common saying. It is why that creates the context. I have come to realise the importance of context in deriving meaning. You can twist a sentence to mean anything by playing around with the context. That is why being misquoted is so easy. Take a sentence out of context, and it can mean anything you want it to mean.

It is the same thing with money. If your context is not well defined, your finances become like a rudderless ship, going with the ocean current wherever the wind of circumstances blows. That is the way most people handle money. They do what they see their mates doing, often trying to impress by spending more.

Since they have no clue why they go to work, how their job fits into their purpose for being on this planet and life goals, they keep spinning the wheels in the rat race.

I believe that we are on this planet for a purpose and our time here is finite. We arrived here empty and naked, and we will return the same way, no matter how well dressed you are in the coffin. I find it funny when I hear people call themselves landlords. We came to meet the land, and we will leave it behind. We are only temporary occupants. We don’t own the land, and we can’t take it with us. I have seen people die, and the new occupant of the land pulls down the existing structure to build a better one.

Change is constant

A few days ago, I came back from a stroll and was looking at the different designs of buildings in the street. I noticed that you could tell the age of a building by its design. The house I live in has some designs around the window. That was the dominant design when I built it. Newer buildings have plain windows. My house is now old school.

Same thing with cars. Your dream car of today becomes old model 5 years down the line. Same with fashion, phones, electronics, you name it. Everything changes and is being phased out. Many have made it a life purpose to pursue the transient. I know folks who change cars, phones etc. the moment a new model comes out. Some redesign their houses when new home designs come out. There is nothing wrong with that if you are not misappropriating funds to embark on a project – robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Why do we spend money the way we do?

How does it tie into the big picture?

What is our end game?

What is the purpose of your current job?

How do you use your salary as seed capital towards your desired future?

There are a lot of questions we need to ask ourselves and answer candidly.

Misappropriation of funds

If your company gave you money for flight tickets, accommodation, course fees and miscellaneous expenses to attend a course in Singapore, would you use that money to buy the latest car? You would not dream of it because you know the purpose of the money, more so when you consider the consequences of misappropriating the money. It could become a career-ending stunt.

What about the money that passes through your hands?

What do you think is the purpose of the money?

Do you think there are no consequences for misappropriating it?

If you don’t know what the money is for, you will use it for something else. There is a guy a counselled with a few years ago, a returnee from the US. He came back broke and bitter. He had sent money to his brother in Nigeria to help him build a house and start a business but got back to find nothing. He blamed his brother for all his woes. It was a story that touched the heart.

We do that with the funds in our custody also. We spend it on things that are here today, gone tomorrow rather than invest in what will endure. We hardly stop to consider the opportunity cost of what we do with our income during our earning years, especially for employees who plan to retire.

There are a lot of things you can do with money, including save, spend and invest. However, you need to have a good idea of the big picture. There is a time and a season for everything. If you spend when you ought to save and invest, you may be forced to save when it is time to spend.





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