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What is your financial philosophy?

Whether we know it or not we are all financial philosophers. All of us have attitudes, beliefs, and views on money. One person says money is evil another says by their actions that they worship it...sacrificing their family, health, or conscience to obtain it.

Two words and how we feel about them can reveal quite a bit about our views. The words are rich and wealthy. What comes to your mind when you hear the word-rich? What about-wealth?

I have found that many people view being rich as having a good job, lots of spending money, flashy cars, and a big house. What that translates to is a big income and big spending. But is this "rich" person wealthy? Think of it this way, when you see the guy in the expensive car all he is really showing you is that he is either in debt or he spent some of his wealth on a car. So many people hurt themselves trying to get rich (trying to make and spend tons of money).

So, what is wealth? We could say wealth is the money or assets that go unspent, saved up for the future. While being "rich" is out in the open wealth often is hidden and unknown, it doesn't have to be flashy or over the top. Wealth is also a sliding scale, because what it means to be wealthy varies from person to person based on their lifestyle and financial philosophy. The "rich" guy might make a 150k a year and be crazy in debt, despite all the bling and perceived success, but the "wealthy" guy might be totally happy living on 40k a year. He could be satisfied with his modest home, modest car, have 10k saved through hard work, maybe he is also planning for a modest retirement. Because he has savings and is content with a simpler lifestyle, he could handle a money crisis, take a vacation, quit a job he hates, in essence he is wealthy because he dictated the terms of wealth-and now he reaps the greatest reward-mental and emotional freedom. Which philosophy do you think is more rewarding trying to be "rich" or trying to be "wealthy" as we have defined them?

Remember money is a part of life, that is pretty much set in stone, but how we interact with money isn't, you get to write that script yourself. Also, key to remember is that money issues and money philosophies go hand in hand with other difficulties in life.

If you are not happy with how you interact with money, try looking into the following:

  • Find a quality financial educator though the Cooperative Education system, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or a member of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.

  • Talk with a certified financial counselor, adviser, or planner.

  • Find a good resource such as a quality book or assessment to help you determine what your philosophy is and what you may want to change.

As always please feel free to reach out to me for any pointers or guidance. I always give folks a few minutes of my time at no cost.

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