September 3rd, 2009

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by Gary Foreman

money
Do you think that it’s virtuous to be poor? Many people do. In many religious traditions holiness is in part accomplished by turning your back on material things.The idea is that to appreciate the spiritual you need to totally forsake the material. Or at least get as close as possible. Many have taken vows of poverty to pursue this goal.

But, I’d argue that it’s a not quite that simple. Money is just a tool.You wouldn’t say that a person was bad because they had too many tools. Money is just a way that we have of exchanging things. By itself money has no value. It’s not necessarily good or bad. It’s what people do with money that is good or bad. So the problem is with the way money is used. Not the money itself.

One of the most misquoted verses in the Bible is that “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10). It’s the love that causes the problem. When you place your affection on money you become vulnerable to troubles. The mere fact that you have accumulated some wealth does not make you bad.

So what does this have to do with achieving Financial Independence? Good question! Actually, quite a bit.

First, to be financially independent means being in control of our money. Not to have our money control us. So we need to be careful not to fall in love with our money. If we do, we’ll begin to let money have too much influence over us. Just another way of saying money is in control.

Secondly, a belief that money is bad could be sabotaging your desire to build wealth. If subconsciously we believe that all money is evil, then we’ll push it away from us. We’ll find it hard to do the things necessary to build a savings account or IRA. I’ve even heard people say that they have a way of ‘repelling money’ or that they’re ‘alergic to money’. We can’t see our subconscious, but it has a large impact on what we do and say. Sometimes it even ruins our own plans.

So what do you think about money? Do you have a good relationship with it? Or is it time to reconsider what you believe?

Gary Foreman is the editor of The Dollar Stretcher.com a website devoted to helping people “live better…for less”. This post originally appeared in Financial Independence. FI is a daily message designed to help people take control of their financial lives. To find out more check out the Financial Independece page.

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