This is the second in a series of articles that deal with our relationship with money. (You can read the first one here). Most of this is based on the work of Morgan Housel, the author of The Psychology of Money.
2. Entrapped by spending: Rather than using money to build a life, your life is built around money.
About a year ago my wife and I visited the Biltmore house in Asheville, NC. The house is about 135,000 square feet, has 40 master bedrooms, and requires a full-time staff of about 400 people.
While George Vanderbilt built the home, he did not live there full time. The cost of the house almost ruined George and he had to sell off large chunks of land to stay afloat and pay taxes.
It’s been said that the socialites like the Vanderbilts spend money just for pleasure, ignoring the level of pleasure they actually get.
While extreme, there can be a devotion to expense regardless of pleasure.
You may believe that spending money will make you happier.
If it doesn’t, you might think you spent it on the wrong thing, or in the wrong way, or you didn’t spend enough. You could just spend more to see if it works.
Morgan has often wondered how many personal bankruptcies and financial troubles were caused by spending that brought no joy to begin with. It must be enormous. And it’s a double loss: not only are you in trouble, but you didn’t even have fun getting there.
A therapist told me the story of a client who had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair. He and his partner sold their home and spent all the money traveling the world until he could no longer travel and died.
They both agreed it was worth it.
Are you spending money and getting the level of pleasure you desire in return? Is your spending in alignment with your long-term goals and desires?
To Your Prosperity,