Money and Zen
When you attend a first aid course the first thing they teach you when attending an accident is to stop, look and think about the situation you are going into and make sure you look after yourself first then try to help the people involved in the accident. This however requires a calm detachment when the adrenalin has kicked in and our bodies and minds are racing like a formula 1 car and it’s really difficult to take the foot off the gas peddle. This is one of the greatest advantages of going to see a budget adviser. They are able to view your financial situation with a calm detachment and point out any differences between what you think is happening and reality. Sometimes the two are very close and at other times miles apart.
I suggest that when you consider your own financial situation, do it in a calm and detached manner. Consider what you are spending your money on and whether or not the thing or service you are buying is good for you long term. Then consider cheaper options that may provide the same benefit. Too many of us use our money for instant gratification and put it down to being too busy or because we are unable to think of an alternative. Usually, taking a bit of time to consider our money calmly and plan reaps lots of rewards and allows us to spend it in a way that benefits us more in the long run.
As I write this article there is a large thunderstorm heading for Auckland and the Jaffas living there have been advised to store water as one of their main water sources is under threat. I wonder how many of them grabbed pots, buckets and other containers, maybe even a cleaned bath or two and filled them from the tap, and how many rushed off down to the local supermarket to buy bottled. The quality of Auckland city water aside, I would have expected the former to be predominant given they would have viewed this with a calm detachment and considered all their uses for water (drinking, washing, cooking etc). They would have prioritised how they expected to use that water if their supply was cut off and stored the water in appropriate containers.
This is the same way of thinking about money that needs to happen. Calmly consider your uses for it and then prioritise setting aside some of it in appropriate containers (bank account, piggy bank, plastic bag under your mattress etc) and then use it when it is needed. Unlike water though money can grow in size over time, you just need to use an interest earning bank account to store it in.
So, be calm and don’t let those pesky emotions get in the way of making sure your money benefits you the most.
- Pakanui Tuhura (Manager – Rotorua Budget Advisory Service Inc)