The principles of personal finance are timeless. Spend less than you earn. Accept that some things are beyond your control and prepare for their consequences. Work for a living; don’t live to work.
These fundamentals are so enduring, in fact, that the ancient Greeks and Romans also clung to them. Consumers, savers, and budgetists today can find many of the fundamentals of personal finance in their writing.
Here are five examples of key personal finance truths found in the words of the ancient Romans and Greeks.
“Some things are under our control and some are not. The things under our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion and, in a nutshell, whatever our own actions are. not under our control are the body, property, reputation, command, and, in short, anything that is not our own action. “
Humans control their own desires, thoughts and actions of their body. They really don’t control much else, although they often try to exert their influence over other things.
The valuable lesson to take away is that when you feel strong emotions and desires flowing through your body, you can choose to control those feelings and how to act on those impulses. Do you choose or resist short-term temptations? It’s your choice, always. You decide to act according to your temporary desire. The choice to act or not to act has a strong impact on your financial life.
Think about when in the store you’re tempted to buy something you don’t need. Do you resist this urge or give in to it? Think about when you are comfortable on the couch and tempted to call for food delivered instead of prepare a simple meal for yourself. Do you get up and cook that meal or call that delivery number? These choices come with real costs that will have a real impact.
“There is nothing in the world more demoralizing than money.”
Money is a tool of exchange, and when you simply don’t have enough of it to accomplish the goals you want to achieve and acquire the things you want to have, it can be demoralizing. Many consumers have sat in front of their checkbooks, trying to figure out how to make ends meet and realizing that it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the goals they dreamed of.
This is why it is so important to have solid underlying principles when it comes to your finances. The more control you have over your small daily actions, the more power you have to achieve the biggest things you want in life. It’s much harder to get demoralized when you have a deep understanding of your underlying values. Observe basic principles such as spend less than what you earn and know where every dollar you spend goes, and they’ll always guide you right.
Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”
“Seek the principles that govern men and consider the wise, what they avoid and what they cling to. “
If you don’t know what the right choice in life is, the best way is to trust your own core principles and values. What do you consider important? What do you like the most? Careful consideration of these questions can help you understand what’s really important to you, and you can use this understanding as a guide through good times and bad.
If you need help on this journey, consider the principles of the wise people in your life. Discover the values of those you respect and reflect on those ideas, perhaps even adopting them for yourself. If you have strong life values that underline everything you do, they will consistently guide you towards the life you want to live.
“Money makers are a tedious business because they don’t have standard value but monetary value.”
There are few less pleasant people to be around than those who will sell their underlying principles, relationships and values for money. We’ve all dealt with the sleazy salesperson trying to sell you overpriced products or push you to to buy a car. We have all dealt with the arrogant friend who suddenly tries to get you to buy the tiered marketing product that he is selling. Don’t be that person.
A person who will let someone else down like a hot potato when a slightly better offer comes along is someone who, at the end of the day, is hard to like and trust. Have a solid understanding of your relationships and commitments and live up to those connections. Remember, the money is just there for you to live a life in line with your values. When you let the love of money shape your moral code, what values do you really have?
“He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.”
One of the most dangerous financial avenues to follow is to acquire more property and new things. Modern society strongly encourages this kind of wealth by constantly talking about the newest, best, and newest products.
It’s okay to be unhappy with some aspect of your life as this can be a powerful source of personal growth. However, when this dissatisfaction finds itself channeled into the items you own, you find yourself on a path where there is always something new to acquire, and you can never reach a state of true satisfaction. The most powerful word in personal finance is “enough”.
The struggles that everyone has with personal finances are timeless fights. Basically, it’s the same fights that humans did from a long time ago, as you can read from their writings. The answer to these challenges, as always, is within us. Good luck.