Money. It’s such a tricky little thing isn’t it? I can recall countless conversations with people complaining about how other people spend their money. Sometimes there is concern, pity, or jealousy in their voices. What is the same each and every time is the fact that someone else isn’t spending their money the way the person speaking would.
Guys. People all spend money differently, because we love different things! It’s that simple.
One mistake people make is to assume that others are spending just like they are, but then in addition are doing or buying that THING that one finds extravagant or unnecessary. When in truth there are probably lots of ways you’re spending money that other people aren’t. Perspective!
For example, I have a friend who always looks amazing! She finds pleasure in spending money on clothes, jewelry, make-up, hair, nails, massages, etc.
Another friend of mine has all the newest tech of everything she owns. TV, computer, games, cameras–all brand new and top of the line.
One friend of mine prides herself on her home. She keeps it immaculately clean and decorated. Her paint, decor, furniture and even landscaping–everything is just so, and she dreams about getting the next thing to make her home better.
Another example is my crafty friend. When it comes to crafts she is queen. She spends her free time creating and buying (And honey that stuff ain’t cheap no matter how many sales you find!) all manner of supplies for her creations.
I can think of people who love to collect antiques, guns, bikes, books. That’s where they spend their money.
Then there’s me. When I have free time, I’m Googling the next place I can explore. I love to travel and see new things and experience places for myself. I dream and save for the next place I’ll get to visit. I’ve even built a business that funds and pays me for my travels. How cool is that?
Here’s the thing. I’ll use me for an example. Yes, I love to travel, and I put lots of energy into that, because I love it. But I don’t spend much money on shopping. I don’t get my nails done. My TV weighed 500 pounds until 3 years ago when we could no longer read the closed caption on it. Our computer monitor is 17 years old. I’m really surprised it keeps working! Ha ha! People come to my home and think I’ve just moved in because there is nothing on my walls. I do not craft. Instead I’d much rather save my money and go on a trip!
But when people see me going on a great trip they automatically assume I’m spending money on all the things they spend money on, and that I have this thing extra that they don’t have, and I get that, “Wow! That must be nice!” attitude.
It would be like me looking at my friend’s brand new house remodel and rolling my eyes and saying, “Wow that must be nice!” If the having the latest in home decor was that important to me, then I would make different choices. I’d forget that next trip and save money for the remodel. I didn’t mind driving an old van, but when it quit running well, then spending money on a new one became more important than traveling until I got it paid off. You see?
Instead of looking down our noses at people who have things we don’t or do things we don’t, we need to be happy for them! Seriously, it seems like the American attitude has become, “Poor me. I don’t have that thing my friend on Facebook has.” We are so focused inward. “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” That’s in there too! But mainly we need to be thankful for what we have. We have so much!
Be content with the financial choices you make. Enjoy the blessings God has given you, but remember to be happy for others too. And if you wish you could get your nails done twice a week, then give up your Starbucks and get your nails done, but don’t begrudge someone else their great nails. For crying out loud!
And sometimes I just have to get things off my chest. Ha ha! This may sound like a rant, but in truth it’s what I tell myself. Specifically when I look around my house and wish it were cleaner and prettier like so-and-sos, I have to remind myself that I make my choices, and I tell myself to be happy with them. It’s not just you. It’s so ME! 🙂
I’ve had this conversation with so many people that have stopped and said, “That’s true. I haven’t really thought about it that way,” that I hoped it would bless you too!
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William Medina says
I agree. Sometimes we run around worried that we don’t have what so and so has while they think the same about us.
I tell my children in order to be truly happy, you have to know what it is that you want and go after that with everything you’ve got. Then you have to live with your choices.
If everyday is spent chasing after what others have, you will never be happy, satisfied or fulfilled.
So true! You didn’t have to go far from home to find all your examples! I don’t mean your house. I got a kick out of your examples. I used to hear missionaries on the field complain about each other and I would say everyone spends their money differently.
We have way too many homeschooling books. So I guess that’s where we spend our money.
lol I am sometimes amazed at the collection of my friend’s homeschool materials. I’m definitely more of a stick and sand homeschool mom and try to buy as little as possible. I only buy what is required for the classes my kids take and nothing optional. The stuff I have accumulated, I can’t wait to get rid of. 🙂