Tuesday 2 April 2013

Being Grateful


It has been a busy month! I am still trying to calculate some savings to share with you around my HST and my phone bill, but I haven't finished adding it all up yet! Actually, I need some advice from an accountant and they are rather busy this time of year. I also have had a hard time arranging a phone call in order to permit a company to negotiate my phone bill for me - not their fault - mine! (It involves my husband who is hard to schedule.) So, I apologize for the delay.

Book review

In the meantime, I read an interesting book that I wanted to share with you called, "Green With Envy: Why Keeping Up with the Joneses is Keeping Us in Debt," by Shira Boss. 

Despite my work in financial literacy, I, like most Canadians, stress about finances. There never seems to be enough money and just when I think I am getting ahead, can plan a bit for the future, the car breaks down, the tap starts dripping, a child needs glasses, braces or hockey registration! Ca-ching! The money flows so freely OUT, I wonder why others seem to have oodles of it flowing IN to pay for their expenses – and their vacations! As Boss says in her book, “We go by appearances: Others seem to be doing fine, so they must be doing fine.”

Issues with Money

Without giving you a full book review, the premise of this book is to de-mystify what goes on behind our neighbours’ closed doors. It looks at couples without children, families with young children, boomers, politicians and the rich and famous. It reveals that no matter what socio-economic sphere we inhabit, most of us have issues with money. Many of us are preoccupied with money and the security and comfort it represents to us. It is truly complicated!

By the end of the book, I was comforted to know that most people have “money issues” of some sort, but that there are strategies one can take to find financial well-being.

Gratitude Strategy

One of the ideas that resonated with me is gratitude. I do some work with organizations that serve low income Canadians and recently taught Financial Basics to a group from Toronto Community Housing.  How can I complain or even grumble about my money woes when I have a roof over my head and food on the table? Some of these individuals, although housed, struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet.  I remind myself to be grateful and consider the situations many others face on a daily basis.


Some of the messages from this book have re-inspired my work with young children because I am reminded how emotional money is and how we develop our values and attitudes around money at a young age. If children are taught that what you wear is more important than who you are, or that having more makes you popular or special (or whatever messages seem to be driving our societal need for consumption), than our message to Save, Spend (Sensibly) and to Share, needs to be taught early and repeated often!

 Plan for the Future

The “living for the moment” mentality and “sense of entitlement” needs to be counteracted with planning for the future, and living more conservatively. In some ways it goes hand and hand with a more environmental lifestyle as well. Less consumption, more “reduce, reuse, recycle,” helps the pocket book as well!

Can I put a dollar amount to what I “saved” in this blog? Compared to my other entries, there is not a determinable amount. However, I have saved myself some angst, some frustration as I reflect on my OWN financial situation and stop comparing myself to others – “the Joneses.”  I can make changes in my own situation; earn more, spend less, save more. I can also be more grateful.

No comments:

Post a Comment