Everything Is Connected:
If you want to live your life in a way that is meaningful, you need to control your finances. Otherwise, money will control you.
If you don't have enough--or spend too much--you may work your life away at a job you hate. You'll
struggle to pay the bills instead of doing your own thing.
|DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a professional financial adviser, and my opinion should NOT be mistaken for personal financial advice. Everyone is different, and I cannot guarantee that the information below will be appropriate for you. I also cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by the websites and books listed below. The financial world can be dangerous, and it is often a case of 'let the buyer beware.' The reader must take complete responsibility for his/her own financial decisions.|
If you do have enough--or more than enough--and become obsessed with money, you will instead spend all your time scheming to get more and more. You may be willing to cheat others or pollute the environment for it, even if you already have enough for several lifetimes.
Either way, money will own you, and you will be its slave. Unfortunately, most people spend their lives this way. It's not easy to find the third way, the way of freedom, but it is possible. Below you will find some very good resources that may make the difference between slavery and freedom.
The Affluenza Project (www.affluenza.com) Affluenza was named for the flu because it is a kind of disease. It's defined as a "dysfunctional relationship with money/wealth, or the pursuit of it." Affluenza infects large segments of our population, regardless of their actual financial standing. It comes from the obsessive pursuit of money in the belief that it will solve all your problems. No matter how much money you accumulate, it is never enough. All you can ever think about is getting more. In the process, you lose the ability to enjoy what you already have and can never find true happiness or peace. (People with bad cases of this sickness who do attain powerful corporate positions are often the ones who operate third world sweatshops or pollute or cook the books like at Enron.) Check to see if you have any of the symptoms of Affluenza. (It's NOT just rich people.)
Everything Is Connected: Money: Simple Living
The Simple Living or Voluntary Simplicity movement is not simple. It's about identifying what's really important to you, focusing on that, and simplifying your life by eliminating the things that are getting in your way. It means forgetting about keeping up with the Joneses and finding your life's purpose instead. For young parents, that might include finding ways to spend more time with their children. It could be leaving the city and creating the life in the country you have always dreamed of. It could be helping to save the Redwoods. Or for you it might mean starting up that nonprofit organization for your favorite cause. The major practical means to achieving this end is taking control of your finances.(For more information about this philosophy see The Garden of Simplicity by Duane Elgin)
The Center for a New American Dream (www.newdream.org) The old American dream of freedom, happiness, and security has been corrupted into a consumer's nightmare of working to make more money to pay off your credit card bills and buy more stuff. We are destroying the Earth and not even getting the satisfaction we are really looking for from all that junk we buy. The 'new' dream is really a matter of finding ways to get off the treadmill and get back to the original American dream. The Center provides all types of advice and information, including a free electronic newsletter, to help you do this.
The New Road Map Foundation (www.newroadmap.org) This nonprofit organization was founded by a man named Joe Dominguez. Mr. Dominguez, who is now deceased, was once a stock broker. Yet, instead of using the money he made to buy fancy houses and cars, he saved it until he had enough to be financially independent. Then he quit his job and never looked back. He soon found that other people wanted to learn how to do the same thing, and set about teaching them without asking for anything in return. He donated any profits he made to charity. He and a lady named Vicki Robin ultimately started the Foundation that runs this website. She carries on his work.
Everything Is Connected: Money: Simple Living: Review: Your Money or Your Life
Your Money or Your Life
Transforming Your Relationship With Money and
Achieving Financial Independence
by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
So now you get it. You want more freedom and meaning in your life. But how do you actually start? Here's
how. A former bestseller, this is the classic how-to book of the simple living movement.
This guilt-free approach defines money as a unit of life energy. You begin with a review of your financial past, and are given a realistic way of tracking all of your present expenses. There are many budget plans, but this is the only one where you...read more.
The Simple Living Network (www.simpleliving.net) This comprehensive website provides advice, information, and guidance for people learning about simple living. There's a tutorial for beginners, a free newsletter, and study groups. They have a number of--mostly excellent--books and tapes that are for sale.
Unconventional Ideas (http://www.unconventionalideas.com)Very good personal web page with more philosophy, information, and ideas for simple/frugal living. Mostly essays with some links.
See the Green Living section to learn about things you can do every day that will help save the earth, and even save money, too.
You can also see my review of the Foundation for Ethics and Meaning, an organization dedicated to helping people find a sense of community and moving society away from materialism.
Everything Is Connected: Money: Debt and Budgets
Debt and Budgets
The Dollar Stretcher: Debt (http://www.stretcher.com/menu/topic-d.htm#debt) The Dollar Stretcher has a very large list of articles about dealing with debt. This is an excellent resource that gives advice only.
The Dollar Stretcher: Budgets (http://www.stretcher.com/menu/topic-a.htm#budgets) It's not how much money you make. It's how much you keep. Here is another even more exhaustive section from the Dollar Stretcher library about budgeting and money management.
Everything Is Connected: Money: Simple Living: Review: Two Incomes and Still Broke?
Two Incomes and Still Broke?
It's Not How Much Your Make, but How Much You Keep.
by Linda Kelley
You need two incomes to make it these days.
How many times have you heard 'them' say that? Well, maybe 'they' are wrong.
Linda Kelley shows you how to re-examine your finances to see if you really are profiting financially from...read more.
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