In our culture, money and well-being are intimately tied together. Money is one way we can predict, to some extent, how secure we will be in the future. Without it we are at risk and vulnerable.
I am not talking about a specific amount of money—that is relative to the individual and their circumstances, their lifestyle and expectations.
When we are insecure, we tend to act from a more primal part of us. Fight and flight are more activated, we are more reactionary, and our coping mechanisms are activated and more prominent. We are less grounded, and we tend to operate from a lower level of engagement and participation. Self-actualized behavior and perspectives are compromised.
We don’t need money to be happy; it doesn’t make us happy. However, having our financial house in order contributes and facilitates well-being and self-actualization.
Some keys to financial well-being:
- Make more than you spend, or spend less than you make.
- Have at least six months of living expenses stored up in a liquid and secure manner.
- Save a minimum of 10% of your income (25% is even better) in secure investments.
- Make your first investment the elimination of consumer debt (unsecured debt). Pay off consumer debt monthly.
- Know how much you have and where it is.
- Recognize that you make money by creating value for other people, and that by creating more value you will earn more.
- Have clean financial relationships with other people.
- Have a shared financial understanding with your spouse and family.
- Maintain high integrity with money in all areas.
- Know the value of money in your life and treat it with respect.
Money is stored energy. You engage in work that you are good at and store your effort and skill in the form of money for use in the future. It is important to develop a deep respect for money (your effort), and how it is used in your life, while not making it the center of your life.
How you relate to money is a very fruitful area to inquire into. It is a huge, misunderstood topic that directly relates to your growth and well-being.
What are your issues around money? How do you feel about money? How does money affect what you choose to do with your life? How does money affect your relationships? What role would you like money to play in your life?