So recently May Moore has been running an amazing series called “MONEY MATTERS” and I know a lot of you have taken part in publishing your own experiences with money, debt, budgeting, and perhaps gambling. It has been educational to read all the posts linked to May’s series.
Personally, I believe that the best start to start learning about money and how to manage it is in childhood. I strongly feel that parents primarily have the responsibility to set an example and to train their children. I don’t remember any schooling providing that training. Managing our finances is a fundamental skill that will help us to reduce stress and enjoy life.
I have found it fascinating to read the open accounts of other bloggers who have shared so much with us. We are living in a time when all of us may have an unwanted taste of feeling the pinch. One thing I think is obvious that there can be a link between financial troubles and our anxiety levels, and our mental health. So it is worthwhile taking note of some of the wisdom that other bloggers have shared with us over these past few weeks.
These were my contributions to May’s MONEY MATTER series:
This week May invites us to write a post on one of the subjects we may have missed or to write on the subject of gambling. I don’t have a lot to say about gambling except: DON’T! But I am not going to preach to you about it here. If you want to know something about the effect gambling can have on a person or a family go and chat to my darling friend Caramel. She has a lot of insight on this subject.
Instead, I am going to compile a basic RASPBERRY RIPPLES GUIDE TO FINANCES. Are you paying to attention? We shall proceed:
In this world, we need some money to live. Working for an honest wage is satisfying. Take pride in your work. But don’t let work and the pursuit of money dominate everything at the cost of relationships, rest and refreshing recreation. A balanced life is healthier and happier and keeps work and money in their place.
Life is the most precious gift we have. Our life is made up of units of time – decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds. It takes time to earn money to cover the cost of the things we need. But how much time will we allot to pursuing money for extra luxuries that we don’t really need? What else could we use that time for? People we care about? Caring for our health? Enjoying the wonders of creation?
Be wary of the desire for needing bigger and better and newer. When times are hard, your economic salvation may be being content with smaller and making do with what you already have. Be prepared to give up an expensive cost of living for a less expensive situation. Accommodation, where you shop for food or clothes….don’t be mortified if you have to accept a lesser quality than you wish in order to be able to get out of debt and get back to a healthier financial situation and more importantly a less anxious state.
The cost of living might swallow up most of our earnings. If you can be content with a more modest home, accepting hand-me-down furniture or clothes, repairing rather than replacing – you might be able to enjoy more of your wages or save them for something important to you.
Always remember that this commercial system will provide you with a list of literally millions of items that you do not actually need. But the marketing strategies they use, including social media peer pressure, are effective. People spend the money they have worked hard for on what is just not necessary. It is very important to be aware of how marketing tries to stir in you desires for things. Stay in control! Do not let yourself be persuaded to buy every latest updated version of things. Do not be duped by influencers trying to tell you that a product is the best thing since sliced bread.
On the other hand, there is no need to go to extremes. If you were so strict about your spending that you ended up living like a miser – that would not be fun, either for you or those close to you.
Within your budget, it is fine to spend some of your money on things that bring you pleasure – whether that be a new pair of stilettos, a fine dining restaurant or a vacation to a location that lifts your heart. Life is to be enjoyed. Don’t be such a Scrooge that you make everyone else dread your presence. But don’t buy those extras on credit. Debt should never be used for luxuries. It could threaten your ability to pay for your cost of living and can eat away at your enjoyment of life.
Think about what is of true value. The investment of time you put into family and friends is immensely precious. Memories with your loved ones will carry you through hard times. Love is something that many of us crave for, we thrive when we know there are people who love us and people we love in return. Money can buy pleasures, but trust, kindness, loyalty, wisdom – many of these have negligible connection with money.
I am going to end this post here, but I have another subject I want to bring up…how would we cope with economic downfall and hardship that is more serious than anything we have known before? My next post is going to be about coping with an economic crisis.