I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Money makes the world go round.” or “Show me the money!” There is no doubt that money is important, but when it becomes the object of your affection, or the subject of your nightmares, it’s time to shift focus.
I recently had the honor of posting Living in the Land of Enough on one of my favorite blogs: becomingminimalist.com by Joshua Becker. If I didn’t know before, while writing that post, I realized that the Land of Enough is exactly where I want to live and wanted to explore it with you further. Over the next few weeks, we will dig deeper into money, time, unplugging, food, space, entertainment and gratitude.
Test driving the move to the Land of Enough for a few days or weeks is one thing, but to ensure permanent change, you need to define what is enough. While each of us will have a different version of enough, and that definition will change throughout our lives, some of the basics will be universal. Since I just wrote about getting out of debt, step one of Living in the Land of Enough is the perfect place to start.
Save Your Money – There is no need for credit cards or therapeutic shopping in the land of enough. There are also no overdraft fees or ATM charges. Just put your cards away for 10 days. Then, keep a list of purchases you would have made if you were using your credit card, or if you were shopping for sport, and take note of the money that you didn’t spend.
That was the recommendation for a short hiatus in the Land of Enough. For a longer stay, like a lifetime, you will need to consider how much money you need. Ask questions like, do I need to make more or is this enough? If I started a minimalist business, what would I need to make? Consider this, if you are always trying to make as much as you can, and then more than that, what are you sacrificing? What is enough for you? This is not to say that you can’t make a bunch of money in the Land of Enough, but if you are making it just to have more, then other areas of your life may be lacking. Ask this question, Would I be happier if I worked less and made less?
There are three important things you can do with your money. You can save it, spend it or give it away. Each of these options has merit and having enough involves all three.
A long, long time ago, people bought what they could afford. Then, when they ran out of money, they stopped buying things until they made more money. In 1914, Western Union offered the first charge card, which was printed on paper, for consumers. The first official charge card was invented in 1950 by Frank McNamara, who called his card Diners Club. In 1959, American Express was the first company to issue embossed plastic charge cards.
With credit cards, no one had to wait for anything anymore. And they didn’t. Today, you can charge it, rent to own it and even cash checks early if you are willing to pay the price. Unfortunately, the price has become bigger than just an exorbitant interest rate. When you can get anything you want, anytime of day, you become unsatisfied, uninspired and kind of lazy.
Living in the Land of Enough How To:
Spending – Vote with your dollars and buy things that you need and care about. Do not buy to feel. If shopping gives you a rush, you are missing something else. Every dollar you spend supports someone or something. By supporting what you care about, every dollar gets a vote.
Saving – After you are debt free, save 15% of your income for retirement. It’s never too late to start, but the sooner the better. Compound interest is your friend.
Giving – When you enough, you can give to someone who doesn’t. Give to an individual or an organization that you support. Your dollars may change a life.
Let the way you manage your money be a reflection of who you are and how you want to live your life. With spending, saving and giving, do it simply, and do it on purpose. What would you change about money to make your world, or the world, a better place?