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The Psychology Of Money And Possessions

psychology-of-money-and-possessions

Think about all of your possessions: your home, car, flat screen TV, boat, patio furniture, clothes, laptop and every else that you own. Do you really own them or do they own you? While you may possess them, chances are you don’t own them; in fact, they own you.

You’re likely overburdened with debt in every facet of your life, from credit cards to mortgage payments; if not, you’re one of the few. You must wake up every day of the week, take your kids to daycare or school, rush to work cursing every idiot driver who muddles down the fast lane making you late, while you cheer for Friday to come. You dread going to work and dream of the next holiday while you watch the years pass, all while praying for retirement in your 60s if you’re lucky. You’re disappointed that you don’t get more time to spend with your kids and family or friends. You’re jealous when other friends take off on holidays and travel overseas or when they get something new.

psychology-of-money-and-possessions

psychology-of-money-and-possessions

So tell me again, why exactly is what I’ve described above the great Aussie dream? What do we really need to be happy? Do you really need more money and possessions or would you rather have freedom?

Climbing Out of Debt

When we analyze our needs, we realize that there’s not much we need besides the basics: food, water, shelter, family, friends and good health. So why are we willing to give up our freedom in exchange for possessions? Why are we willing to let other people raise our kids? Why are we willing to be miserable day after day, forced to waste our lives away hoping to win the lottery? We have been looking at money for far too long the wrong way.

So how do we get ourselves out of the holes we’ve dug? Fortunately, the answer is fairly simple. The key is to save—and to stop spending on stuff we don’t need. Before every major purchase, ask yourself if this is a want or a need. Moreover, is this thing you’re about to purchase going to own you, or will you own it?

Until you’ve paid off all your debt, it’s simply going to add to the list of items that own you and your freedom. It’s important to understand the difference between a need and a want.

We all need to eat, obviously, but we don’t need to eat in restaurants or have take-away a couple of times a week. In fact, we never need to eat out. We could explore this need further and discuss which foods you really need to be healthy and happy. Almost every family could survive on just a couple hundred dollars a month in food from a supermarket.

We all need shelter too, duh. But do we need for each child to have their own bedroom and to have a swimming pool and tons of toys? Again, the answer is no. We simply need a home large enough to heat and cool our family in times of extreme temperatures. Anything above and beyond this is a want and is not necessary, and if you’re in debt and dislike being forced to spend all of your time at work to pay for that large home, you probably should seriously consider selling and downgrading until you’re debt free. Then, once you’ve saved and are able to pay cash for something nicer, it makes more sense to do so then. Or save that money to buy something to retire and quit working!

A Hard Road

If you’re serious about getting yourself out of debt and are sick and tired of being owned by everything you have, a good idea would be to decide if those items or possessions are wants or needs, and sell everything you truly don’t need (which is probably going to be a good portion of what you own), in order to begin paying off existing debt. This is just the start, though; from here, the real challenge begins. Then it’s time to start analyzing everything you buy, every single time you make a purchase and determine whether it’s a need or want.

So how do we get ourselves out of the holes we’ve dug? Fortunately, the answer is fairly simple. The key is to save—and to stop spending on stuff we don’t need. Before every major purchase ask yourself if this is a want or a need. Moreover, is this thing you’re about to purchase going to own you, or will you own it? Until you’ve paid off all your debt, it’s simply going to add to the list of items that own you and your freedom. It’s important to understand the difference between a need and a want.

We all need to eat, obviously, but we don’t need to eat at restaurants. In fact we never, ever need to eat out. We could explore this need further and discuss which foods you really need to live healthy and happy. Most every family could survive on just a couple hundred dollars a month in food from a grocery store.

We all need shelter too, duh. But do we need for each child to have their own bedroom and to have a swimming pool and tons of toys? Again, the answer is no. We simply need a home large enough to heat and cool our family in times of extreme temperatures. Anything above and beyond this is a want and is not necessary, and if you’re in debt and dislike being forced to spend all of your time at work to pay for that large home, you probably should seriously consider selling and downgrading until you’re debt free. Then, once you’ve saved and are able to pay cash for something nicer, it makes more sense to do so then. Or save that money to buy something to retire and quit working!

If you’re serious about getting yourself out of debt and are sick and tired of being owned by everything you have, a good idea would be to decide if those items or possessions are wants or needs, and sell everything you truly don’t need (which is probably going to be a good portion of what you own), in order to begin paying off existing debt. This is just the start, though; from here, the real challenge begins. Then it’s time to start analyzing everything you buy, every single time you make a purchase and determine whether it’s a need or want.

It’s not going to be an easy road. However, if you’re really determined to start changing the way you live and to become financially free, you’re going to have to take drastic measures. Once you become debt free, then you can move on to saving more and begin purchasing the things you want—truly owning them instead of vice versa. You can begin to build a retirement fund and setting a date to stop working once and for all, to be able to live freely and happily, like the Aussie Dream really should be.

 

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