While I sat here attempting to write an article on appropriate money management for individuals, I began to think about several things which I believe you will find interesting. First off, why reinvent the wheel when it comes to financial advice? Isn’t all basic financial information available to anyone, at any time, in any location around the world? Isn’t this information free? Why in the world would someone desire to read an article that, at best, is a good paraphrase of previously available information and, at worst, would be considered a terrible regurgitation of fairly well mulled-over, basic financial literacy items?
Second, does anyone really care about financial how-to guides? I mean, if people really cared about this stuff it wouldn’t be free, right? Anything in a free-market world that will add considerable value to someone, whether a physical object, a performed service, or some type of intellectual knowledge will most certainly COST YOU MONEY. It is one lesson I learned early on in my career – nothing truly valuable is free – that is until now! While I am not saying that this is a problem, I am simply using this as a point of reference for some of the things that I will be sharing the next several months in this “business advice” column.
So, as I sat here pondering what wisdom I hold that you, the reader, would be interested in, it suddenly hit me: Instead of looking at the “Top 5 Ways to Make a Million”, or the “10 Things You Need to do to Get Out of Debt”, or my personal favorite, “A Poor Man’s Guide to Getting Rich”, I want to take a more philosophical look at the root issue that generally comes up when talking about money management. Money is a result of a good process and good risk, but can not and should not, be the reason for which you live.
Money is often the pinnacle of our hopes and dreams. Many of us live our lives focused on getting money and getting it quick! Often times, when asked our life’s goal, we answer with some sort of monetary quip such as, “to make a million dollars”, or “to have enough money to live well in retirement”, or more simply, “to have a big house and fast car”. Is this the way you live your life? For me, it is easy to imagine things which are comfortable and measurable such as money and possessions when I look forward in life, but is this really the best way to live? I want to go out on a limb here and say that nearly all money management issues can be solved by going back and taking a good hard look at the desires of our life. In almost every money disaster case which I have ever seen, the desire for a monetary reward is at the root of the issue.
Why do we care about money? That’s what I’ll talk about next time in part 2.