Guidelines of Money

Personal finance and money have their own commandments...

If you're doing what you should be doing with money, then money will fall into place for you.

Everyone has their own relationship with money but it is important to understand that money has its own relationship and commandments that are outside of the individual. If you take control of your money, you will not feel out of control of money. The way you relate to money says a lot about you and what you value. Keep foremost in your mind the understanding that money is an illusion, especially today's money that is printed off presses with no real value, like gold or silver, behind it. The value of money can quickly change depending on economic, political and social circumstances, so it's critical to not let your values be based on the value of money.

That is not to say that having money is not important in our society. It clearly is. The problem comes when our concept of money is not clearly defined with our concept of ourselves. It is alright to like money but it shouldn't affect who you are. If that is clear, you will have the money you need (and probably more) because you are clear about managing the money you have, leveraging it to the best advantage, which then leads to comfort with money and the rest follows. That's because your mind is in the right place with it. You will have the things you need and be in a position to gain things you want.

Assessing the personal value of money:

1. Acknowledge that your personal values have to be enduring concrete values, not based on material goods but autonomous and existing separately of money.

2. There are intrinsic agendas in the world you exist in and how you relate to it and them. They should be consistent with your way of life and include monitoring your money and your attitude about it.

3. Money should not be the driver or the destination, it is the result of achieving something of real value.  If money is the only goal, misery follows.

A lot of people are in personal turmoil because of the relationship they've had with money and not understood what it really was worth and the damage it could do to them. Personal finances sooner or later, if not properly handled and misunderstood, eventually require reconciliation. How someone copes with that is dependent on their values, their willingness to reevaluate their affiliation with money and if they want to change. Money is fundamentally a relationship with things in the world and how you view things is important in understanding your relationship with money. There is nothing wrong with having things, whether your desires are modest or ostentatious, as long as you purchase them in an ethically correct manner.

It is a fact of life that some people have more money than others and it's not always due to what is fair, how hard one has worked or sometimes how well they've handled money. Nor does it have anything to do with your value as a person. Circumstances just are what they are and coming to terms with them in a harmonious way depends on harmony with personal values. There may be struggles with money but they can be relatively free of strife. Struggle is different from strife.

It's essential to control your money so it doesn't control you.

Enduring commandments of money:

1. Take charge of your finances, manage them yourself, never abdicate control. It is your money and peace of mind.

2. Live within your means: budget, monitor expenses, do bookkeeping and maintain records of your money. This does not have to be complex, it can be a notebook or an envelope system.

3. No debt is key. Exceptions might be a car, a house or property but only if it makes practical sense. Use credit sparingly; preserve your credit score.

4. Maintain a significant enough amount of savings for a backup and emergencies. Pay yourself first, preferably five to ten percent, or any amount, even if it's a few dollars or pocket change.

5. Avoid emotionally based financial decisions. If in doubt, don't do it, trust your instincts to avoid fear of finances and disastrous results.

We are entering three years of economic crisis and for most people, except the uber-rich, the end is at least three to five years away. Every indication is a second wave has started and it is even more important we take care of our money. If you are in a situation where you made money mistakes and it is causing you difficulty, own up to them and find relief in working towards solutions. Invest in your peace of mind by doing that and as much as possible, follow the commandments of money. Once resolved, following all of them will likely be easier due to lessons learned. If you are not in financial trouble and not following the guidelines of money...Start NOW!