You Own Your Money… It Doesn't Have to Own You

The following post is from Joshua of Becoming Minimalist:

Source: Bohman

For the past several years, I have been writing about the importance of finding simplicity in life… about aligning our lives with our greatest passions. The possession of money is not contrary to a simplified life, but a simplified life is not possible if money possesses you. The love of money can never be satisfied. You will never own enough. You will always desire more. And it keeps you, your attitude, and your actions in bondage.

When love of money is present, freedom is not.

Money does not have to control your life. It does not have to dominate your ambition. You can be set free… you must be set free to experience simplicity from the inside-out.

While entire books can be written on this subject, let me throw out a few thoughts just to get you started toward freedom from the desire to acquire:

1. See money only as a tool to move through life. At its core, money is a bartering tool. It saves us from making our own clothes, tools, and furniture. Because of currency, I can spend my days doing what I love and am good at. In exchange, I receive money to trade with someone else who used their giftedness to create something different than me. That’s it. That’s the purpose. And if you have enough to meet your needs, you shouldn’t have to commit the rest of your day to acquiring more.

2. Be content with poverty or great wealth. I have known poor people who live in complete contentment, and I have known rich people who are farther from contentment today than when they were lacking. Your possessions do not lead to contentment. Your heart does.

3. Avoid debt. A lender is a slave to his creditor. Spending more money than you earn will always result in bondage to another. And there is no simplicity in bondage. If you cannot get out from under the weight of debt, find some help.

4. Learn to share. Sharing your possessions with others benefits the borrower and the lender. So be a lender… and be a borrower.

5. Remember that money comes and money goes. Like the tides of the ocean, money rolls in and money rolls out. Sometimes, there is money left over at the end of the day, and sometimes there is not enough. That is the very nature of money. Do not fear its cycles. Welcome them.

What tools have you discovered over the years to help keep money in proper perspective?

Joshua Becker inspires and encourages others to live with less on his blog, Becoming Minimalist. He has also authored two e-books, Simplify and Inside-Out Simplicity. But more importantly, he loves his wife and two small children.
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