Why are we afraid to discuss money?
One of the biggest killers in Western society is stress, and debt is often the catalyst.
It begins from a young age — we’re taught to consume; to aspire for more, to out-do the Joneses. Wherever we gaze, we’re pummelled with marketing messages that tell us we’re not good enough, or happy enough, fancy enough or cool enough.
We’re told the only way to a fulfilling life is to spend our way there.
But it’s a doctrine that crushes the spirit, destroys relationships, and blinds us to the magic of our brief time on earth.
Strangely, few people are comfortable talking about money. We measure and compare ourselves by our pay cheque, and by the material possessions we own (though many of them end up owning us). So we’ve given money a lot more power than it rightly deserves.
Money is something all of us need. We spend a huge portion of our lives acquiring it — as much as 35% of our total waking hours, or around 92,000 hours in our lifetime.
And yet despite this mammoth commitment to getting it, many of us complete our careers with very little to show for it. I believe it’s this stigma we attach to money that prevents so many of us from facing the realities of its pursuit and its use. So often, our spending is more closely aligned to our ambition than our present reality, and therefore, much of our lives unfold behind the 8-ball.
Those who struggle with money often arm themselves with comforting platitudes like, “Money won’t make you happy” or “You can’t take it with you.” And that’s all true, but I’ve seen a lot more misery and frustration come from the lack of money than a surplus of it. I know this from personal experience. When all your bills are red and your car has just blown a head gasket, money is the ONE THING you really need.
Another favourite is, “Money’s not important.” But that’s like telling a person who’s dying of thirst that a glass of water isn’t important. Money is important where money works — like living without stress, getting the best medical care, or doing work you love. It puts a roof over your head and food in your belly. It determines where you live, how warm you are in the winter and how much freedom you enjoy.
Some say that money changes people — especially if it arrives suddenly. I think that’s rubbish. I believe it reveals people. A good person who acquires a lot of money can do more good with it. A bad person just becomes worse.
The Consumption Addiction
Mindless compulsive consumption is every bit as destructive as the Black Death, which killed up to 200 million people in the 1300’s. But like a frog in a pot of boiling water, most of us don’t realise we’re slipping towards our demise until it’s too late. We become so acclimatised to the deception we’re unaware of the danger.
I wrote a little book about this called Breathe Again — Debt Free in 3 Simple Steps, and it confronts this issue head-on.
More than a simple how-to book on debt reduction, it tackles the questions many of us are afraid to ask, and it presents a simple, easy-to-implement strategy for getting our lives back on track so we can breathe again, and begin to see the abundant opportunities all around us.
Presented as a take-no-prisoners killing spree (of debt), this book draws on my failures as an ambitious gold star chaser who wanted everything but ended up losing more.
It takes you by the hand, and through a three-step process, illustrates how I reversed the damage of my past and created a life many would envy — not just for the financial turnaround, but for the freedom and autonomy it now delivers.
From two fundamental decisions, it takes you through a series of key questions like,
- How did I get here?
- What if I can’t repay my debt?
- What kind of debt should I use?
- What would life be like without any debts?
- How much money would I have if I invested what I’m wasting?
Along the way, it discusses the fallacy of traditional budgeting, dealing with tax debt, the three kinds of debt (Good, Bad and Ugly), and onto the kind of debt that will make you rich.
It describes how to use credit cards as tools for debt-reduction, and then wraps some hard numbers around the cost of lifestyle purchases, culminating in a final warning that encourages action.
Most of all, this book can be read in less than an hour, yet deliver a lifetime of value. And for those who want to consume it on the go, it comes with a free audiobook version, too.
If you follow the advice in this small but powerful book, you will kill your debts, and we’ll both be glad we met.
Most of all, it’ll get you thinking about money in a rational and practical way, with none of the limiting stigmas you’ve carried around all these years.
If you have debts, you need this book. If you don’t like it, I’ll give you your money back. I’ll be sad, of course, but that’s what Shiraz is for…
Thanks for stopping by and I hope we get to hang out more in the future. And in the meantime, please feel free to share your own experiences. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I respond to all emails. If this was beneficial to you, please consider subscribing and sharing with someone you think would also benefit.
Originally published at Midlife Tribe — Midlife Mastery for Trailblazers.