The phrase “money talks” has been in use in some form or other for thousands of years. It’s one of those phrases that everyone knows. You probably first heard it as a young child and it’s stuck with you since then.
Most people associate it with power. Money talks, money makes things happen. But taken more literally, money can also tell a story. What story does your money tell about you?
Your checkbook is a personal journal
Flip through your checkbook or bank statement and look at all your transactions. What do those purchases say about you? Are you generous? Shallow? Thoughtful? Selfish? Wise? Foolish? Vain? Practical? If someone else read your checkbook, what would they think of you?
Wether we like it or not, how we use our money is a reflection on who we are and how we act.
After reviewing your checkbook are you comfortable with the picture it paints of you and the story it tells about you? Would you be embarrassed if someone else looked at it? Not because of how much or how little money you had, but of how you use your money.
Philosophy of money
If you’re uncomfortable with how you spend and use your money, one of the best questions you can ask yourself is: Is money the end goal? Or is it a means to an end—a tool?
Depending on how you answer, you may have some clearer direction on how to make changes to your money and how to re-write your checkbook going forward.
If you develop some clear goals of who you want to be and what you want to use your money for, the story your checkbook tells will be immediately different. If you decided that your goal was to take care of the people around you, you might start writing more checks to specific people to help them out or to charities for a similar result. There would be immediate evidence of the change.
There’s no particular “this is the best way to use your money.” It all depends on what you value. If your values and money use coincide, great. If not, you may be happier by making some changes.