Worrying about money

© Dave DuBay

Most of us worry about money. Growing up as one of four children I became acutely aware at a young age how stressful financial concerns were for my parents.

As an adult I’m debt free and employed full time, but I still worry about not earning enough and spending too much. In Book XX part 8 of his Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure William Ferraiolo writes,

If your serenity can be dispelled by the loss of a bit of money, then your mind is just another commodity. You have turned yourself in the psychological equivalent of a prostitute.

We don’t control money. We control our efforts to get it and keep it. But these efforts are not guaranteed to produce the desired result, and unforeseen circumstances such as an economic depression can destroy what we’ve accumulated.

It may sound harsh to compare the selling of our peace of mind to prostitution, but if our happiness is dependent on external things then our peace of mind is not really ours to begin with.

The question then becomes, How do I jettison my unhealthy attachment to money?

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Author: Dave DuBay

Dave is a social worker from Phoenix, Arizona. He blogs at thepaintedporch.net. He's also at twitter.com/Dave_DuBay.

3 thoughts on “Worrying about money”

  1. You work 40 hours a week and receive money as compensation. You then construct the idea that money is very important, since it’s the end product of all your hard work. You are that other people place a high value money as well and judge you (so you believe) by how much of it you possess. Since money is so important, the loss of money causes suffering and the accumulation of money causes happiness. What has helped me is to understand (1) money is only important in as much as it allows me to meet my basic physical and emotional needs. This realization has enabled me to downsize, spend less money, and get by on less, and (2) others’ judgements about how much money I have are of little consequence since they have an exaggerated sense of the value of money.

    Although I am still emotionally attached to money, my relationship toward it is more rational and utilitarian. I treat it like an accountant treats the money of a firm: with careful attention, but little emotional investment.

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