December 1 – Financial Security

On the first Saturday of every month, we measure our progress toward our goals. How fitting that, on the day we update our net worth and budget, today’s meditation should concern financial matters. It is a perfect time to reflect on the idea of financial security.

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On the topic of financial security, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

All of us have to cope with the cost of living. Existing gets more and more expensive, and living seems sometimes as if it is only for the wealthy.

We have lost track of the difference between what we want and what we need. Everything has become a need. If we don’t have what we think we need, it lowers our self-esteem and our feelings of worth. We can hardly remember what is important anymore.

We are important. Our children are important. Our relationships are important. The planet is important. Our lives are important.

It’s easy to let our standard of living get away from ourselves, particularly when we allow that thief of joy, comparison, to take root in our hearts. As we earn more and our disposable income rises, it is only natural that we grow accustomed to our new lifestyle; what were once considered luxuries now become essentials. When we stop to consider what is truly essential to our life and well-being though, we often find that many of those things we think we cannot live without are not as necessary as we once thought.

It is a funny thing about life; the more one goes without, the less one actually needs. Similarly, our desires are endless, and any attempt to quell them through fulfillment is an effort in futility. There will always be more to want, more to strive for. It is imperative that we remain grounded and focus on what truly matters, our most irreplaceable resources. That is our family, our friends, our environment, and ourselves.

I’ve gotten quite good at paring down my life to the essentials, minimizing luxuries to make room in my budget for savings. Lifestyle creep is something I avoid. However, I am not as good at prioritizing myself and my relationships, my surroundings, all those things which nourish my soul and provide a happy, healthy life. That’s why I’m writing this blog. Today’s meditation is a good reminder to stop and ask yourself: What really matters? What will 90-something-year-old you care about on your death bed? Go spend some time on that.

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