Forget a new year’s resolution, start your new year’s revolution
(A Positive Mindset Conquers All)
“Your thoughts become your words,
your words become your behaviors,
your behaviors become your habits,
your habits become your values
and your values become your destiny”
These profound words come from one of the world’s greatest thought leaders. How can you apply Gandhi’s principles to help revolutionize your personal finances and move your thoughts about money into a destiny of financial security in today’s world of consumerism?
The answer lies deep within your own individual perceptions about money and how they influence your financial decisions to acquire, spend, save, invest, or share it (money).
Ask yourself the question, “what is money and what does it represent?” The English definition of money is an instrument used to facilitate the sale, purchase or trade of goods and services between two or more parties. A simpler definition is that money is an expression of value (money = value). For example, you hand over a certain amount of money to buy something because you perceive its value to be equivalent to the amount of money that you exchanged.
So, money will come into your life and it will also leave. This is often expressed as your income and expenses or put differently your production (ability to generate income) versus your consumption (the way you spend your money). For most of the people money will enter their lives in the form of a paycheck. This is because they have produced some form of “value” to an employer in exchange for a paycheck. Money will leave if they have consumed something like rent, car payments, credit cards, food, Netflix subscription etc.
Now ask yourself, “What is your relationship with money?” Does it just seem to disappear as fast as it comes in every month? Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Do you regularly run out of money before your next paycheck?
Let us look at South Africa for some local perspective: Most South African adults work more than 40 years of their lives trying to acquire enough money for retirement. The sad reality is that only 6% of South Africans can afford to retire comfortably (SA National Treasury Statistics, February 2020).
What part of acquiring vs consuming do you think is at fault? What is the point of spending a lifetime trying to acquire money when the issue seems to be in our ability to manage it? If your relationship with consumption is at fault, first focus on fixing that issue before you try to generate more money, earning more only means you have more to consume.
Heyns van Rooyen is a MyLife Financial Educator and Founder and CEO of Edjuco (Pty) Ltd