As I mention in the newly updated about page of the blog, my wife and I are hoping to achieve financial independence by the time I am in my early to mid 40s (I am 26 now). Before getting into the specifics of our plans, I would like to discuss our basic values, as finances are concerned. These principles shape all of the decisions we make and how we view our money, so it’s important to make them clear and stick to them!
Keep priorities in order
Money is, in the grand scheme of things, not that high on the list of priorities – there are many things more important than money. My list includes such things as:
- Maintaining a proper relationship with God
- Behaving ethically and growing in virtue
- Being a good husband and father
- Caring for those in need
- Enjoying your work
If making money or saving money interferes with anything on that list, I need to remind myself of what is really important. Money is an important tool in our world, well worth paying attention to, but it is still just a tool, and not an end in itself to be valued.
More stuff won’t make you happy
I once read a quote that has really stuck with me.
“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.”
I don’t know who originally said this, but it is a powerful quote indeed. As a society, we need to turn off the radio and the TV and stop listening to advertisements that convince us that we need more things. You may think you’re smarter than the ads you are bombarded with on a daily basis, but if they didn’t work, companies wouldn’t pay so much for them.
I’m sure I’ll think of more things as soon as I hit “Publish,” but that’s what the edit button is for.
Have you given thought to your priorities and guiding principles when it comes to money? What are they?