The Wanting Well
Money, we all want it. We all need it. Am I right? There is no better feeling than seeing money in the bank on payday. Then, we pay bills, and now we are broke again. Oh the vicious cycle of working and spending. Will it ever end? Will we ever get ahead?
Well, let’s step back and take a look. Suppose I wanted twenty dollars, and you were gracious enough to supplement my want. Will I hang onto those twenty dollars and cherish your generosity? Nope, it’s a good chance I will run out and spend it on some nic-nac that I’ll lose interest in. Turns out I didn’t want $20. What I wanted was a way to buy what I wanted. To complicate things even more, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. What I did know is it meant a lot to me having the means to purchase my spur-of-the-moment, “oh-my-goodness I need this in my life”, “can’t live without it”, one of a kind gizmo.
Did “want” drive my impulse to buy? In a sense, yes. That is a huge part of sales. Companies pay big bucks to make you want their product. Hey, everyone else is doing it, why not you? Sound familiar? Like a fish on the line, they reel us in. It’s almost as though we can’t help ourselves. We are slaves to the cycle of working and spending. But, how much of this reality do we bring onto ourselves? When will we have enough and stop wanting? If the sales industries have their way, then the answer is never. We will always want. However, there are steps we can take to alleviate our urge to want.
The first step is to realize, although it is not wrong to want, wanting is a bottomless pit. We will never have enough to satisfy our want. There will always be new products and gadgets to drool over. So, let’s face the truth. We cannot buy everything. People are not going to flock to us because we chose one product over another. No, people aren’t going to respect you for the house mortgage truck your driving. Now that that bubble is popped, let’s move onto the next. It takes discipline to be content. We work towards being satisfied with what we have. It sounds odd, but it’s true. Our obsession with gaining more has us neglecting our current status. Right this very second, there is someone wishing their situation was as good as our’s. And, while they are looking at us, someone else is looking at them with the same respect. We never comprehend our blessings until they are gone. Then, it’s too late. Being content means that we are happy with what we have. We don’t want any more. We don’t need any more. Is that a bad thing? It can be. We do need to grow. Growth requires change and change can mean we need new products. This points towards moderation. “Wanting” isn’t bad. However, wanting everything we see and touch is.
Taking care of our necessities will help us stay on course. Food, housing, and clothing are necessities. As foolish as we are, we often use these as excuses to get what we want. We need clothing, but do we need that $200 designer pants. Yes! I mean no; no we don’t. It’s nice to indulge in some things; as long as we moderate within our means. What is meant by “within our means”? Glad you asked. If I have $25 and all of my bills are paid. Can I afford to splurge on coffee? The simple answer is yes. However, sticking to a budget will allow us to know for sure. “OMG not the B word!” I hated the word budget in my youth. Now, I live by it. A budget will let us know exactly where our money is going and why we can’t afford what we want. It takes discipline to stick to a budget. It’s not easy to say no, but with work we can organize and distribute our finances efficiently. Who knows, after trimming some of our wasteful spending, we may have enough to splurge with.
I’m not going to tell you how to spend your money. Finances are a touchy subject. There’s nothing more annoying than someone declaring how wasteful you are with your money. “Dude! It’s my money.” Right? Sure, but we all know it’s easier to find fault in others plans. If we look at our budget and find no fat to trim, let a trusted friend look at it. Or better yet, let your grandparents give you advice. The key here is to balance necessities and pleasure. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… or something on those lines.
In closing, I want to reiterate the importance of being financially happy. This does not mean being Mr. Moneybags. No, this means living without financial worries. It does take time to climb out of a hole. However, with patience one can gain ground and overcome any situation. A simple rule I learnt as a youngster, “If I don’t know, I ask.” This holds true with any situation. If we do not know how to get out of a financial hole, we should ask someone who knows.The quality of advice will depend on the quality of people we ask. Finding that happiness is crucial. Never listen to people who say you’ll never afford this or that.
Until next the next blog remember money can help us find life’s happiness.