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Are You Financially Insane?

It's a lot easier to avoid trouble than to get out of trouble. Yet most of us go to great extremes to invite trouble into our lives. Mishandling money is one of our favorite ways to get ourselves into difficulty. We seem easily to forget that each spending choice we make determines how much money we need in our lives and how much we have to work for.

Unfortunately, money is more often misused and abused than it is used intelligently. Most people haven't figured out how to use money wisely to truly enhance their lives. Most, it seems, act rationally with their money only when they can't dream up any more irrational ways to spend it.

The problem is that our spending habits do not reflect our deepest values and desires. We waste our funds on questionable material possessions at the expense of things that we cherish, such as freedom and financial independence. We may save meticulously for a sabbatical or a retirement, for example, but then, after a year or two, blow the entire $10,000 in a moment of weakness on a new stereo system, which we hardly use, because we don't have time for it.

Alternatively, we may buy a new wardrobe that will be out of fashion in just one season. If you believe that you are over and above irrational behavior with money, you are probably in denial about the issue. Perhaps a strange and confusing relationship exists between how hard you work to earn your money and how easily you spend it at times. You may pinch pennies when buying food at the market on payday, but later blow what's left on gadgets that you could easily do without. In fact, many people spend most of their paychecks on the best junk money can buy. Worse, they tend to buy this junk with money they haven't yet earned.

Will Rogers stated it well: "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like," Although we don't want to admit it, each of us exhibits at least a little bit of this insanity. Money, unfortunately, brings out the eccentricity in each of us. An occasional quirk or peculiarity in our spending habits is normal. But consistent irrational behavior with money is detrimental to our personal and financial well-being. We end up working long and hard hours to earn money but don't experience much happiness and satisfaction from the things we buy.

Behind every irrational spending urge is a profound emotional need that requires attention. That need can be for power, status, fame, freedom, revenge, respect, security, or self-respect. It can even be for love. We must be able to deal with these needs head-on, because in most cases, the purchase won't make things better.



“Many people make the mistake of thinking that all the challenges in their lives would dissipate if they just had enough money. Nothing could be further from the truth. Earning more money, in and of itself, rarely frees people. It's equally ridiculous to tell yourself that greater financial freedom and mastery of your finances would not offer you greater opportunities to expand, share, and create value for yourself and others.”

~~ Anthony Robbins


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Written by Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW, CEC
President, CounselingPros.com, Kenosis Counseling, Inc.
622 W. Valley View Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46217
(c) Copyright 2005 CounselingPros.com, Inc.