Money means different things to different people. Some see money as a resource, others as energy, and still others as a means to an end. I know people who gauge their self-worth on the amount of money they possess, so in that case, money is a definition. I also know people who hate money and the idea of money because so many people place too much importance on it, in their opinion. A friend was telling me the other day about how she envisions money as energy that flows, sometimes more and sometimes less in your accounts and the same for others. I see money as a tool, as an item that allows us to get the things we want and need, but not important in itself besides what it can do for me.

However you view money and the making of money and the spending of money is important because it shapes your decisions. Most of us think we are very rational about how we use money. We think that we invest based on our careful analysis of stocks or on the riskiness of the investment in relationship to the possible benefit. We do our research before making decisions. And this is true – to some extent. Many of our spending decisions are actually made on an emotional level, especially about smaller everyday items (but sometimes about those big investments, too). The marketing people know this, and they use that to their advantage. That’s why you sometimes come home with something you never intended to buy and don’t really need, but somehow made its way into your shopping cart and into your home.

Knowing your thoughts and feelings about money allows you to notice this either when it is happening or even just after so that you can make a better plan about how you spend your hard-earned cash. It also allows you to make plans about what money to spend and what money to keep aside for the other things you need. There is no right or wrong way to do this, only the way that works for you. And the way that works for you is based on the meaning you attach to the money in your life. Take some time to explore your feelings and thoughts about money; you may be surprised at what you discover.

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