Would you like to live the life you want and still get ahead financially? Are you keen to know more about saving money and at the same time living well? I say sprint to the bookstore or go online to purchase a useful book: “Money Matters – Get your life and $$$ sorted” by Amanda Morrall. Amanda Morrall is a financial journalist, media commentator and contributing editor for Interest.co.nz. She is also an inspiring and lovely yogini, yoga teacher and a mother of two.
Honestly, I do not know a lot about finance. Though, you cannot get away with financial matters nowadays. In whatever life circumstances you are: studying, working, parenting, retiring, unemployment, (sickness) benefit or any other situation, you are dealing with money and finance. From the day you’re born you’re spending money (indirectly) and later in life hopefully earning and saving money as well. For sure it wouldn’t hurt to get your life financially (more) sorted.
Amanda first of all explains the concept of flow. The philosophy of flow is that if you find your flow in life, the money will follow automatically. For example a lot of debts are caused by inappropriate spending in the first place. You can ask yourself what is the desire for a purchase; what is the trigger to buy that beautiful but expensive dress? When you are in a job you are not enjoying you will try to compensate the empty and sad feelings this job is giving you. If you truly find your passion or dharma in life, then you will find inner peace and therefore the urge to purchase unnecessary goods will disappear. I know for myself if I’m doing fulfilling work, I’ll feel ‘full’ from within and therefore I don’t need to try to fill emotional gaps or holes. All of us have experienced flow in their lives; it feels like life is on your side and you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Flow moments bring a smile on your face.
So, now you are focusing on finding flow in your life or you are already flowing. What is next? Amanda has the gift to explain complicated and dull subjects in easy-to-read chapters and illustrates her knowledge with real-life examples. So don’t worry if you are a dummy in terms of finance, Amanda will introduce and guide you patiently in the world of money. Money Matters includes lots of links to online tools and features a wealth of practical guidance to become debt-free, save and budget successfully, decide whether to rent or buy your first home, understand KiwiSaver, learn more about finances & wills and set out on the path to financial freedom. For me the part on becoming debt-free is especially interesting, since I’m blessed with a huge student loan in Euros. At the moment I’m earning New Zealand Dollars through casual work. As you can imagine, the payoff goes slowly and the debt sometimes feels like a heavy burden stacked on to my back. It makes me a bit restless and I start to worry. Fortunately, my partner reminds me that I have the lowest interest rate on my loan I will ever get in my life. “Investing in yourself through education is one of the best things you can do and is related to a higher income later in life”, concludes my love. After a deep relieving sigh, I continue to read the rest more theoretical parts of the book. After that I am rewarded by the last couple of chapters about well-being, mindfulness and incorporating kindness. Amanda states it beautifully:
“My philosophy towards personal finance is that you need to give as much care and attention to your inner wealth and well-being as you do to your budget, spending habits and savings accounts. When you get the two areas working in tandem, that’s where you’ll find your personal financial flow.”
The founders of the Happy Planet Index have found that happiness, love and health all outweigh the importance of wealth when it comes to personal well-being. Gross National Happiness appears to be more important than Gross National Product. Though, the economic world is still mainly focused on the second indicator. Nic Marks, founder of the Centre for Well-being, suggest there are five positive actions that can improve well-being (with money not being included!):
- Connecting: Social relationships make up the most important cornerstones of life.
- Being active: Regular physical activity is linked to better mental and physical health outcomes and also to happiness.
- Taking notice: This is about being self-aware and mindful of one’s own moods, attitudes and behaviour.
- Lifelong learning: Ongoing personal development and education is a key contributor to well-being.
- Giving: Altruistic acts of giving, volunteering and showing compassion for others are important.
Interestingly enough, successful people already incorporate kindness in their life by giving (financially) before they have reached their point of wealth/success. In other words, it doesn’t matter how much you give or how – through for example blessings, sharing of knowledge, donation of your time or a simply monetary donation – but more that you give in a suitable way for your life.
Amanda concludes with the following inspiring words: “By redefining our relationship with money, we can begin to establish more meaningful uses for it. We can stop chasing money and start chasing our dreams. Go forth, find your flow, and prosper.”