Emotion and Money
We watch way too much TV and pay way too much attention to popular culture. It has proven to be extremely effective at shaping our senses of value, morality, and our personal perceptions of our selves.
I would like to humbly suggest that we consider the power of positive deviance. What is a positive deviant? Glad you asked! A positive deviant is a person who does the right thing in comparison to all others around them. It is a tactic or way of behavior that exists in spite of adverse circumstances or unreasonable peer pressure. A positive deviant has learned to thrive in many cases without even realizing what or how they are doing it.
One such area we can practice this is in the area of personal finances. I have witnessed creditors use several emotionally based tactics with which to convince people that they are bad, irresponsible, unworthy or make them feel awesome because they “deserve” more credit.
It is time to see the debt industry for what it is. It is their business to create clients through debt. It is their business to reap as much financial return as possible from every client they have. It is a machine. As much as modern marketing would have you believe it cares for you the reality is it simply appeals to our emotions by providing access to money to satisfy our impatience. The debt industry has grown to such a size in our society that its hunger is insatiable. It needs to be fed. But, it doesn’t have to be fed by you!
I believe financial freedom must come first through our understanding that money is not emotional. Money has no agenda for or against you. It truly has no real means to hold you in bondage. It is a tool that is used and accepted as currency to accomplish trade for products and services as required.
The simple fact is that money is a means to provide a result instead of a status or value statement. I think one big reason we are so tied to money is because of the need to compare and compete with others. Maybe we long to be accepted or respected which creates more artificial need thus making our patience levels too short. We get to a place where we believe we need to replace that 4 year old furniture just to stay fashionable. It becomes a real “rat-race” don’t you think?
I am not saying that the desire to have nice things is bad. I am saying that there is a time for everything. Proper planning and purchasing strategy is necessary to avoid debt bondage. Use money in this way and you will be free from the guilt tactics, the pressure of keeping up, free and more secure in your key relationships etc… I humbly suggest we apply this understanding and couple it with a sober responsibility and it will move you further. Like driving a vehicle, it will respond to whatever direction you steer it good or bad.
Financial freedom is not simply solving a debt crisis. Financial freedom means the effective use of the finances we have and taming our lifestyles to follow our financial capability instead chasing after what is deemed to be acceptable living as depicted through media and entertainment. It is time to become a positive deviant!
– James Burgess
Founder of the Everyday Communities