“We do not care about making much money,” a couple in their fifties state proudly. This couple grows their own vegetables, has chickens to provide their eggs, and although husband and wife work to support their family of four, making money is not the priority. This is absolutely not a “keep up with the Jones” couple. They live in a neighborhood where many are interested in status symbols, but not this couple.
“I am in my seventies and make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year,” another man brags as he walks across the room with a slight swagger. “I do not plan to retire because at this point in my life I am able to give a lot of money away. Health and education centers are being built with the funds I am able to supply. Why would I want to stop working when the high amount of money I can make helps so many people? The more money I earn, the more I can give away! I have no plans to retire.”
“Don’t even talk to me about approaches to making money,” she laughs with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “I am a single mother doing everything I can to keep food on the table. The only approach to money I have is to pray each month that I can pay my bills and feed the kids. Most months I cannot pay all the bills at once, and have to hope that I will not have the bill collectors at my doorstep when I come home from work.”
These are comments made by people about money, and reading them it becomes readily apparent that people have very different perspectives depending on their particular financial situations. Money IS a personal matter.
We cannot always make the choices we prefer. Not every couple can successfully grow a vegetable garden to feed their family, and some couples who might prefer to live “off the land” may have way too many kids to feed to even consider that possibility. Surely, most of us do not have the earning power of our gentleman who makes hundreds of thousands a year, and so we could not afford to give away the amounts of money he can give away. And the lack of choice our single mother has is easily apparent. She is doing her best to provide for her kids without the help of a partner.
From a spiritual perspective we know that life is full of choices and that no matter what our circumstances are, there are always choices and opportunities.
Five Ways to Walk the Spiritual Financial Path
1. Avoid Waste: In our consumer society those of us who can afford to buy things buy far too many things and have too much food in our cupboards. None of us, no matter how rich or poor we are, can afford to waste. The things we are not using can be used by some family that really needs more clothing, furnishings and food to eat. The money we save by being more frugal can be given to organizations that help others in need.
2. Find Freedom: If you can earn enough money, you will be able to do the things in life you want to do (such as travel or help put kids through college). There is nothing wrong with earning money, and when money buys you freedom, money is doing it’s job. If you can earn enough money to find financial freedom… great. Just be sure to practice the following suggestion also.
3. Share with Others: If you have enough money to take a vacation and a good friend who cannot afford to take a vacation, treat your friend. And if you are the friend who cannot afford the vacation, accept the treat! Allow your friend to pay for the vacation as it will be a gift for your friend as well as yourself. Money is meant to be shared, regardless of who is paying the bills.
4. Do Not Stop Working: The happiest, healthiest and brightest people are those who never stop working. Once you reach retirement age, find a way to work part time. It is good for your body, mind and spirit to work. If you do not need the money, earn it anyway and then give it away. If you are an older person and do not think you should take the job a younger person should have access to, then do volunteer work. Or if you are not in good enough health to work part time, then do whatever volunteer work you can do based on your physical and mental restrictions. The happiest people with health problems are those who still do for others even though they need help themselves.
5. Remember That Money is Not Happiness: Of course having money makes life easier. But we all know people who have tons of money who are not happy. Once they get tired of one toy they need another new status symbol and they are never, ever satisfied. We also know people without hardly any money who are incredible peaceful and happy. It is not money that creates happiness, but attitude. Know that if you have a million dollar attitude, you will feel like a million dollars. None of us need money to be happy, unless we have decided that the only way to be happy is to be rich. Have a good attitude about life and always find the beauty in everything and in everyone. You will have rich with happiness.
Each week on the Intent Blog, we feature articles, videos, and images to inspire you to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. This week, our focus is on Money and Finances. If you’ve recently set an intent related to your relationship with money, share it with us in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to support you with interesting content to keep you motivated along the way!