We are so excited to have our very first GUEST POST! We were lucky enough to have The Premo Family write us an AMAZING article on money & happiness. For being such a young married couple, these two have a GREAT grasp on money and how to use it to your benefit and not have it become a burden. They do a great job of getting your thinking throughout their article! ~T$C
Money. Who doesn’t love it? It can buy you a brand new car. Money can get your kids out of the house for a day. It can impress your crush with a fancy dinner date. Let’s face it, money can basically do anything in this world. What do the most powerful, successful businessmen have? Money. What do state officials and governors use to get what they want? Money. That good ole green stuff is probably the one thing we love to have the most, and just hate to give up. But there’s always that daunting question that follows: “Can money really buy you happiness?” No. Well, not really. Let me explain.
Money in itself means nothing. Have you ever thought about it? What makes money so special? Why do we use green paper bills with our presidents’ faces on them, instead of something else? It’s all about value. We ascribe value to the bills… but why? So we can purchase other things that have value.
Just picture it. There you are in money heaven. All the money in the world, and more. Even better: let’s give you the superpower to create more money. You can have as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. Oh, but here’s the catch: there’s nothing to spend it on. Have a nice life!
No, money can’t buy happiness. Not money, itself anyway. But yes, money can bring you great happiness, if you know how to use it! So, how do you?
Well, let’s get two things out of the way first. Firstly, money should always be seen as an asset rather than a liability. What’s the biggest way money can be a liability? Debt. You thought that 2016 Cadillac was going to bring you happiness, but then the mountain of debt behind it came into view after you signed the papers. Debt is the worst thing you can do to yourself when it comes to money. It changes the way you look at money, as well as the way you look at whomever you are indebted to. “The borrower is a slave to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
After buying that new wide-screen TV, suddenly money is a burden for you rather than a blessing. After being gifted a brand new iPhone 11 (it’s coming, just wait) from your parents, they tell you that you just have to pay them back half of the cost, and it’s yours for keeps. Well, suddenly that money barrier will cause you to question your viewpoint towards your parents whenever they claim rights to your phone. Bottom line, let money work for you, not against you.
Blow Money =)
Secondly, money should be freeing rather than all-consuming. This is where it seems to get counter-intuitive. Budgeting. That awful B-word, right? Well, it works. And, if used correctly with a good purpose, it works wonders! For some reason, putting boundaries on how we spend our money seems so unattractive at first, but in reality, it is so freeing. Every dollar my wife and I make has a name: rent, electricity bill, car payment, and the full list goes on. But, if you manage your money well, you get to have other exciting categories to put your money in monthly date nights, movie outings, and BLOW MONEY!! Sweet, sweet blow money! The money that gets put into my pocket that I get to spend with no strings attached. Yes, we have all of our bases covered, and money has been freeing for us.
But as I’m sure you are aware, we didn’t reach this place overnight, and it didn’t happen magically. Now for that awful F-word: frugal. To put it in simple terms, it means don’t be wasteful. Goodness, if there’s anything we Americans are good at, it’s being wasteful. That McDonald’s meal on the way home was SO necessary, even though there is plenty of food at home. Those new video games needed to be purchased NOW instead of saving for another month. And I’ll just tip-toe around the iPhone trend. Buy buy buy, spend spend spend like there’s no tomorrow. Well, there is a tomorrow, and it doesn’t always appreciate our lack of wisdom when it comes to handling our money.
Let me clarify something. A lot of people mistake the word frugal for the phrase “little to nothing.” Not at all! It simply means don’t be wasteful. There can be times for that pick-me-up coffee before work at Starbucks. And let’s face it, sometimes you just need a milkshake after a long day at work. Is there an allowance for that? Of course… just, not every day.
Take Time To Think…
So, consider your ways. How do you spend your money? I daresay that the extravagant life you always thought you wanted to live is NOT completely unreachable. It just takes time, a budget, and smart spending. Think about where your money is going. Think about whether or not you are spending way more than you are actually earning. Think about whether or not it’s worth living frugal and free.
-The Premo Family