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Sometimes when I am coaching clients on the importance of getting out of debt and building savings I get comments such as “It would be easy to do this if I made a lot of money”. By making this comment they are totally missing the point as many people today that are rich do not feel that rich.
The reason is because today Americans are suffering from a disease we call “affluenza”. It is the disease of acquiring more and more stuff. This disease is causing more and more households to feel “poor” even though they perhaps are making the most money they have ever made. To change this they need to have the proper priorities set.
Affluenza today is where your expenses always equals your income. Simply put, if you get a raise, then you raise your lifestyle. The problem is that you can spend, spend, spend and never reach fulfillment and financial peace. We need to get away from the make it and spend it model and instead practice the old adage; “It does not matter what you make but rather it matters what you do with it.” The first priority we need to set with our money is to give our money. Giving gives us a different perspective on money by making it less about us and more about others. By doing this, you will start to think about money in terms of wants vs. needs and more often than not you will focus on your needs instead of trying to fill the endless void of wants. After setting up giving as a priority you will then shift your focus towards saving. This will help you build wealth over the long-term and will allow you to both give lots of money away and buy some of those things you have always wanted.
The excuse, “But you make a lot of money,” is a complete cop-out. If you are not financially disciplined, then making more money will not solve your money problems. You can make a great income and still get yourself into financial trouble. More often than not those who do have wealth learned a long time ago to manage it wisely and set their priorities on giving and savings. Learn today to change your priorities and just think what you could do financially when you start to earn a bigger income!