By Gerald Daniels
An article in our local newspaper this past week carried this headline: Sales of Big-Ticket Items Soar. When businesses and consumers purchase the so called big ticket items like homes, cars and equipment it is a strong indicator that the economic upturn has begun. According to Chief Economist, Nigel Gault at IHS Global Insight “it looks like we’ve hit rock bottom and we’re slowly trying to dig our way out.” The majority of our country and the world for that matter have been waiting desperately for those words to give them some peace of mind. Yet the same article states, “Still it remains unclear whether the growth can be sustained.” If there was ever an optimist-versus-pessimist point of view then the economic outlook of our day is a classic one.
Most Americans believe the economic outlook is beginning to improve, as we continue to plow our way to higher ground in a financial sense. I discussed the newspaper article with a leading businessman in our community who owns a boot and saddle shop. His economic perspective should be a headline as well. It is gleaned from the tried and true philosophy, If You Can’t Afford It, Don’t Buy It. Not earth shaking economic advice, or is it? A local banker recently informed me that there is pending legislation and banking regulations coming soon that will create a cooling off period for consumers who are considering loans for these so called “big-ticket items.” The rules are changing, the playing field is being narrowed, and it appears that there will be another referee or two on the field to watch for financial rule infractions. Like it or not change is on the horizon for all of us.
One of the more noticeable changes that financial trend experts are monitoring is how people are managing their income to debt ratios. The Simple Dollar (www.thesimpledollar.com) is a website that offers a commonsense approach to dealing with finances. Their #1 Rule, spend less than you earn, is rock solid advice that any individual, family, or business can use to make sense of the earning/spending dilemma.
Money is just a uniform standard of exchange that has value only insofar as it is accepted by enough people to effectively serve its purpose. That purpose is to facilitate exchange of people’s labor and the fruits of people’s labor. Knowing that money has a purpose other than to be saved for retirement or spent for necessities and enjoyment is an eye opening revelation for most of us. The purpose of money is not to cause stressful environments, household arguments, nor as a platform for political posturing. The economic crisis we’re experiencing now has been blamed on many factors, but the most overlooked factor is that the purpose of money is not understood. Money has a purpose just as each person born into this world has a purpose.
One of the many advantages to discovering your purpose is finding that the true value of money can only be measured by how it serves its purpose. When you understand that money serves its purpose in the facilitation of you fulfilling your purpose it will change your perspective about earning, spending and saving.
Spending less than you earn will make you a wise steward over your money. Discovering your purpose for life and fulfilling it will make you a wise steward over your future. Being able to enjoy the fruits of our labors should be an essential part of our lives. Do you want your financial journey to be a more enjoyable one? If you answered yes, then take the essential first step and begin the process of finding your life’s purpose.