Normally we think “ You get a job and earn money, and then you can buy everything you need” This is a classic example of conditioning, and of simplistic thinking, and it’s very poor advice.
Money is very interesting …… and here is some better advice about it – the Seven Laws of Money (I extracted these from a book of the same name by Michael Phillips – it’s still available, and still useful, though very dated now)
- Law 1 - Do It !! money will come when you are doing the right thing. If an idea is good enough, and people want it, then it will be its own reward. Your own survival is a separate issue – don’t mix it in with the money question
- Law 2 – Money has its own rules – records, budgets, saving, borrowing. Responsibility – you have to keep track of what you do in the realm of money. You have to understand the differences between lending, borrowing and investing, and how you feel about any of these – I never feel good about lending, and only a little better about borrowing. It's useful to keep a records of what you spend and what you do with your money. Accountants are the high priests of money
- Law 3 – Money is a dream, a fantasy, as alluring as the Pied Piper. Technically, money is a system of relative pricing and an accounting store of value. Money is a promise made by (the ruler via) the Government. If your dream is only of money, you may get locked into the method of acquiring it – a thief, dealer, author. You may get locked in anyway, that’s also part of the dream.
- Law 4 – Money is a nightmare - people in jail, robberies, deep fear of poverty. 90% of crimes involve money, and most divorces and partnership breakups too. Subsistence level can really be OK – spiritually it may be better for you not to cause harm or loss to others. People have fantasies – they spend on credit and dream they can pay it back, they buy lottery tickets, dream of getting a £500 computer for £10 in an auction …….
- Law 5 – You can never really give money away. There is always a reverse flow – often in building alliances. The issues of how we learned about money may stay with us all our lives and ingrain our beliefs about money – remember your parents and your pocket money ! What is the best way to teach young people about money ??
- Law 6 – You can never really receive money as a gift - There is no such thing as a free lunch. You usually have to deliver something for the money you are given, even if only a thankyou letter. Law 2 is about lending borrowing and investing, Law 6 is receiving
- Law 7 – There are worlds without money. The worlds of sleep, nature, meditation, sport, sex, art, music, and some native cultures have no money in them. However, Capitalism is spreading – look at the increased role of money in the worlds of art and sport in the last few decades. In other circumstances, replacements for money arise as the medium for exchange - in POW camps and prisons, cigarettes became the currency.
Some other ideas about money ……
- Affirmations …… “money is my friend” could be useful (to use affirmations properly, you repeat them every day – you will find that your mind raises objections and difficulties – you need to kindly and firmly deal with all of these until no more come, and then you may find that money really IS your friend)
- Money is an energy, you perhaps it’s more true to say it is a materialised energy – it is no coincidence that we talk of crystallised and fixed assets and liquidity
- Some commercial forms of prosperity consciousness are a disease (as is assertiveness) as you might cause harm or loss to others. However, feeling needy is also a disease. Prosperity in itself is fine as long as you define prosperity as having enough for your needs and small pleasures at the present time. Enjoying small pleasures is very favourable.
- I once had very little money and I set up a system of 4 envelopes, where I put10% of my money in each for major purchases, holidays, personal development, savings and tithing. I found this very liberating - when I had enough money in my envelope, then knew I could buy new shoes. (previously, with all the money in one bank account, I always felt it was a huge risk to spend 25% of my money, but this system gave me permission to spend the money)
- I think it’s OK to have some rainy day money set aside for emergencies, but not too much.
- Tithing is helpful – it frees you up and also commits you to giving. However, because I tithe, I always refuse to give money to public collections – I want to give consciously, not because of a guilty conscience. My preferences are to give to sustainable development in the 3rd world and also to people who are doing something creative. When my income was very low, I didn’t give a full 10% in tithes all the time, but I did my best.
- You know where you are with cash – I hardly ever use credit cards, as I could so easily lose track of where I was. I also like to keep records of how I spend my money. I still have memories of my 20’s and how bad I felt when after most weekends I didn’t know where all my money had gone. I decided to get a grip, and I’ve kept the habit.