Don’t Show Me the Money

wallet The List Universe recently published their list of ten lost rules of etiquette. The one that really got our attention was their #1 reason – talking about money and possessions.

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When it comes to money, the author says that a gentleman would never:

  • Borrow from a lady
  • Borrow from a man without collateral and a plan to pay it back quickly
  • Discuss money
  • Discuss his possessions or their cost
  • Name drop about his rich friends

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marylynnI think the idea that a gentleman never borrowed money from a lady shows that we are living in different times. Many women are financially independent today and willing to be angel investors. It’s when you don’t pay someone back, male or female, that it becomes rude.

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Money talks. Should you listen?

Why do we feel the need to talk about, or show off, what we have? We all know people – be it co-workers, family members or friends – who like to talk about how much they make or how much something cost. We really liked the author’s final quote: “There was once a day that we did not try to keep up with the Joneses – because we didn’t know what the Joneses had and no one knew what we had.”

Materially possessed

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georgeI recently saw a picture of people standing line. It made me think of the pictures we saw from the Great Depression. Back then, people stood in line to get a little soup or bread. The picture I saw recently showed people waiting in line to buy a Blackberry Storm!

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Why is it so important to have the newest phone? Because we get our identity from our possessions.

We’re not saying that it’s bad to be an early adopter; we need them. The question is, and only you can answer it, “Is it best for you to be an early adopter?”

It may be. Your career may require you to have the newest phone. That’s a good reason. However, buying one just to be able to show it off to our friends … not such a good reason.

Just say “No”

It’s not a good reason because it leads to an ongoing problem. If that’s really the reason we’re doing it, we’re going to have to keep buying over and over again.

It becomes like a drug and we need our fix.

“I want it. I want it now. I want people to know I have it.”

A void check

After we admit that we’re doing this, we have to ask ourselves why – what’s the underlying reason? You see, we buy because of how we feel about ourselves.

We’re spending money to fill an emotional void.

We’re showing off our latest acquisition to cover up our real feelings. When we do this, we just create a bigger problem.

Getting it in balance

That problem is – we end up with a weak balance sheet. We want a lot of assets and few liabilities. The result of our spending is few real assets and a lot of liabilities.

Millionaires do the opposite. They focus on building up their balance sheets by buying assets with real value and keeping their debt relatively low. That’s not determined by how much we make or what we buy. It’s based on how much we save and invest intentionally.

Shhh … be very, very quiet!

We do that quietly. Perhaps nobody knows but us! But that’s the beautiful thing about it – we know!

In the last few months, we’ve relearned how incredibly important it is to have a financial safety net. We have to build up an emergency reserve. It’s not a sexy thing like a Blackberry Storm or a new car. It won’t get your friends excited. In fact, you probably won’t even talk about it because it’s so boring. But it sure will come in handy in the future.

You can also quietly get out of debt. We like to show off what we just bought, but we don’t talk about how we maxed out our credit card to buy it. So we put out a false identity, which doesn’t help us feel better about ourselves, because down deep we know the truth. And that truth does not set us free!

Don’t worry about what your friends and neighbors think you have. Take solace by knowing what you’re doing to have all you need and then some!

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We’re grateful that you read our post today. Please check in tomorrow when we’ll talk about night moves. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by isouthpawi)

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