Money

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There are two sayings that seem to divide most people in two large groups. The first one is “money is the devil’s eye” and the other one is “money makes the world go ’round” . From a strictly Christian theological point of view these sayings are not mutually exclusive given the belief that this world of ours belongs to the devil.

From an attitude’s point of view though they are divisive. The first group of people resents money and the power it confers. The second group of people, while not necessarily worshipping money or anything like that, seems to accept the same power and try to make it work for them.

I belong to the second group. I live with a member of the first. It makes for interesting discussions. 🙂

What we have found out is that the attitude you have towards money is the attitude that money will have towards you. You don’t like money? Don’t expect to see any!

My belonging to the second group is partly due to upbringing, partly to personality and all of it to sheer luck. Growing up I was the epitome of middle class – all of the needs and some of the wants, as opposed to poverty (not all of the needs and none of the wants) or upper class (all of the needs and all of the wants). The personality came into choosing the “wants”. I tend towards books and people, with occasional splashes of travel and “things”. Given my “wants”, I have never learnt to resent money as it happens when you can’t get what you want because you do not have enough money. The luck, as it’s obvious, comes from being born the way I am where I was.

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Having a positive attitude towards money does not mean you don’t want more than you already have. I know I do. But it does mean I am easier with the choices I make. When someone is complaining about (lack of) money, a kind grumpy soul will be found to tell that person that it all comes down to the choices you make. Which is true, as far as it goes, but it is almost never helpful. In that situation it is perceived as insensitive and as such it is ignored (with or without the huff).

I know my choices and the money they cost. I have considered them carefully and I stand by them. I know that if I made other choices I will have more money. I am therefore (mostly) comfortable with the choices and the consequences. If this sounds slightly self-congratulatory or defensive it’s because I have never really known poverty. I work with both very poor and very rich people (money-wise) but that isn’t the same as being one.

When looking to get more money I have two observations to make. One is another division in people’s attitudes. There are some who love the security of a salary (stable, lovely for paying bills but once the money is gone it’s gone) and some who love the flexibility of a multi-income source (small business, odd jobs, casual work etc.).

The second observation I have made is yet another dichotomy – brains love these, you know? To make more money there are two ways civilized world knows: borrowing (using other people’s money) and saving (reducing your wants). While an entire industry and the wellbeing of millions is based on the first way (think mortgage, investments), I happen to like the second way best. And if you feel the same, the best way I know is to go and check the following blog:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

The philosophy in itself is priceless. The figures are intriguing. It is also a pleasure to read.

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