We all have memories of our experiences with money when we were children. Some of us had piggy banks and many of us got allowances. On special occasions, a silver dollar or a check in a card for our special celebrations was always welcome and ex- citing. However, we had a very limited view of what money was and what it can and cannot do.
The older we got the understanding of how money works started to intrigue us and the wheels of our mind would start churning to what we could now want instead of only thinking of what we need. We all grew up and money management grew right along with us or so we hoped it would. We could save some, spend some, give away some and with enough effort a new house, car, or vacation was in our means. Maybe - however with what is considered "plastic" money, we were tempted and even encouraged to "live beyond our means." If we wanted something that old adage of hard work and saving could be tucked away in a drawer until we enjoyed life, and did what we wanted and when we wanted to do it.
The world was cooperating with us because new credit card offers filled the mailboxes of even high school students. You could be free to not only dream but to have your dream and enjoy it while you were still young. Christmas gifts were a lot more expensive and elaborate, and weddings and other important events cost more but we were definitely worth it. Why even a funeral with all the trimmings could be put on a plastic card and slipped through the machine which made everything okay.
The world is now different and while our needs and expectations have changed along with our lifestyles, we are now a part of the global economy and what happens in countries across the world now affects us. It's a bit sobering to realize that trade deficits, futures and QE programs can and will make a difference in our money goals and dreams. We can take a class to learn more about these terms but that won't give us the confidence that we are totally in charge of what we have, what we earn, and what our future monetary world will be. We are part of a world economy whether we like it or not. Taxes, referendums, government fees and other costs do rise and we must pay them. Age brings with it life changes including medical, housing, and family needs. Our pay check can be divided up and a dozen hands come out to take their share before we even get the check home. We begin to realize that our needs are now coming to the forefront and our wants are many times put on the back burner. Why is this happening and how will it all turn out?
The main word in a changing and sometimes confusing money world is "be prepared." This once was a scouting byword and now it can be our lifesaver if we realize its strength and its possibilities. Every person has different circumstances and many may be in a position more restrained and compromising then others, but whatever you face, being prepared at least can smooth the path and iron out the wrinkles of whatever financial headache we may encounter. It is never too late to sit down and find out where you stand in your money world, and what the challenges might be. There are solutions and there are ways to cope but only if you take the time to realize that while money should never be your goal in life, it can be a means to an end. Taking even small steps in your debt, your necessities, and your responsibilities to maintain what has to be done can relieve some of the anxiety. With each further step, the "extra" items can be factored in and handled. This is the time to use abilities, innovation, creativity and self control so that not only are today's "money" situations met but tomorrow's needs are handled and peace and serenity can reign in your heart, your home, and in your grown-up "piggy bank."
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