There is too much positivity in the world today. Hopefully, your sarcasm meter went to Category 5 on that one. We do focus on the positives in our lives, but by shining the lense of truth upon our faults and foibles, we can make our financial lives a little better.
Money can make our lives a little brighter, but the dark side is always looming. We wanted to look at what the problems of money are, besides not having any to speak of.
This is a guest post by Derrick of Freedom from 40. Be sure to visit his blog for great ideas on being mindful of your money and getting free from the 40-hour work week.
Fear Of Financial Failure
A large part of our missed successes comes from being afraid to do anything about it. We miss the train, bus, and boat on a lot of investments that could change our lives.
I’m sure you’ve heard, “I was going to invest in Google in 2004, but something came up.”
While it is wonderfully easy in retrospect to find the places we could have done something different, the future is a whole different matter. We either are outright afraid to take chances, or we don’t even look for opportunities.
One big reason for this, is we are so focused on the value of money, that we fail to see a fundamental truth about it, Money is best used to make more money.
Once we can grasp that concept, the other pieces should fall into place. If you feel an investment is going to make you money, or you have a business idea burning a hole in your brain, do something about it.
Fear can paralyze us, but inaction keeps us poor.
While fear leads to an inability to do the things that can make us better, I honestly believe anxiety is even worse. Anxiety, in regards to money, is that feeling you get when you are trying to expand your connections and there is nothing you can do about it.
Another way to look at anxiety, is the inability to network and find new opportunities to make money. The trepidation we feel when it comes to getting out into the world and becoming successful, is a dark road indeed.
A large percentage of us are afraid to meet new people, or ask for help, or to even ask for someone’s business. Overcoming this will take serious commitment to your craft and business.
Try to trivialize the tasks you are doing so they hold less weight within your mind.
If you send an email to a potential client, don’t build it up to be a make or break scenario. Treat that interaction in your mind as just the first domino that must fall before you move to the next.
I know it won’t be easy at first, but the more you do this, the more accustomed to reaching out you’ll get.
You might never overcome your anxiety completely, but the more success you have, the less you’ll feel that sinking feeling.
Compulsion To Spend
Did you see the new OLED 4k televisions that are out now? Oh Em Gee. I gotta have one.
Or do I?
A major dark side of money is the need to spend it. It doesn’t matter how much money you bring in, a lot of us spend it as fast as we make it.
The ballooning debt of our nation’s populace proves this. Consumerism by itself isn’t the condemning factor, it’s the need to buy more of the things we want whether we need them or not. I’m not going to dictate how you spend your money, but I will make social commentary on why I think it's not in our best interest.
We can’t put our money to work for us, like investing, if our money is tied up in a TV. That money has sailed away to the supply chain that created the TV.
What if we made the decision to buy a less expensive TV, notice I didn’t say cheap, and put the remainder back into our kids’ college funds or our IRA?
Imagine if you made this decision on most of the things you buy. Your income level doesn’t matter, this decision is about the long term aspects of keeping what you earn.
This could lead to early retirement, or better prizes that you want down the road.
Balancing our consumer nature with our need for financial security will lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. One that can be enjoyed away from a TV.
Bad Money Decisions
Remember that time in college when you went on a 3 day bender and don’t quite recall the exact details of why you slept in a pile of pizza boxes and beer cans?
You probably made a few bad decisions that weekend, but you learned a valuable lesson. Until the next weekend, when the memories of the hangover had faded.
We all make bad life choices, and sometimes they can have a lasting effect on our lives. What we want to do is minimize the damage these decisions have on our bank account.
I’m all about taking risks, investing, business, or making up recipes, but some risks aren’t worth taking. There are so many things we can do with our money that just doesn’t help.
Here are just a few:
- Shady Business Advice
- Nigerian Princes
I’m just spitballing here, but I’m sure you could imagine thirty more bad decisions we all make.
These kinds of mistakes lead to financial headaches at minimum and financial ruin at worst.
We want to be conscious of our money and not fall into the traps of society that rob us of our financial health.
Falling Behind with Money
Not everyone will be a victim of this category, but this a truly dark path that I have personally traveled. Getting behind on your bills, falling into an endless pit of debt and despair, or losing the only income source you have, feels like your pride is being torn from your body.
Watching in disgust as your credit score plummets and the scourge of phone calls from collectors begins, you begin to think that your financial life has ended.
Creating a lot of debt is one thing, but to fall behind after creating all that debt, leads to a sort of heartbroken existence that I don’t recommend to anyone, even my worst enemies.
Obviously avoiding debt is a tip you can take to the bank, but what about losing a job or an accident that causes huge medical expenses? How do we avoid these monetary pitfalls?
As with most fiduciary policy, you must plan for them. Setting aside money for the issues that could arise is a fundamental part of making it.
If you are living check to check and expecting your situation to change, then you are waiting for disaster. You must build your savings and make your future the priority.
- Stop building piles of debt.
- Create and feed an emergency fund.
- Pay your bills on time and way more than the minimum.
It sounds like common advice, but if you look around at your friends and neighbors, you’ll find quite a few that are one missed paycheck from total annihilation.
Maybe not annihilation, but unpleasant financial troubles.
Flip The Script on Your Money
The need for money in every aspect of our lives leads to some dark avenues that must be avoided. While we attempt to live our financial lives according to our goals, we can run into a myriad of issues that we don’t see coming.
That means we must prepare for and contend with the issues we do see coming. Don’t let the dark, seedy underbelly of money pull you to the edge of oblivion.
- Create a plan and stick to it.
- Take the right chances with your money, to make more money.
- Invest in yourself and the stock market.
- Find other souls that share your vision of the future, as friends or clients.
A new dawn approaches, and I want to see you standing in broad daylight extolling the virtues of your financial success.
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