You Might Have a Money Problem if…

By Manisha Thakor

I stumbled across an absolutely delightful blog post from author Francine Jay entitled: “10 Signs You’re Not As Rich As You Could Be.” (Potentially counter-intuitive) examples include:

• There’s a designer logo on your handbag, shoes, or clothing

• You have a key to a public storage unit

• It takes you more than an hour to clean your house

It is one of the most spot-on pieces I’ve come across on consumer behavior, and I highly recommend reading Francine’s original post in its entirety (click HERE to do so…). At the heart of this thought-provoking list are two key questions:

1. Why do I live my life the way that I do?

2. Are the things I’m currently spending money on really bringing me true happiness?

Take point number three (“It takes you more than an hour to clean your house”) as an example. So much of our nation’s current economic woes stem from housing. However, in observing people who have experienced a super-sizing of their housing situation over the past 5 to 10 years (myself included…), I’ve noticed it’s not just the house.

When you move into a nicer neighborhood, the stakes ratchet up in all facets of your life. Whether it’s bringing a “nicer” bottle of wine when you go to someone’s house for dinner or feeling obligated to send your children to “better” schools, the snowball effect of this acquisition is striking. That would be fine if: (a) you can afford to spend the money, and (b) such expenditures bring you true joy.

My hunch, however, is that for so many of us “More is Just More” (as Christine Merser, my wise friend and author of the blog Freesia Lane, would say). As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great things about this economic downturn is that it is giving so many of us a chance to pause and reboot everything from our careers and possessions to our priorities and values. As you read through Francine’s list, ask yourself it there’s anything in your life you might want to change or modify to bring your spending closer in line with what really drives your life happiness.

For me, I’m heading to the grocery store. That way I’ll kill two birds with one stone – fewer expensive meals out and more time for my husband and me to enjoy our beautiful home together over healthier meals.

What changes, if any, will you make? I’d sure love to hear…

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Want more financial love? You can follow Manisha on Twitter at @ManishaThakor and sign up for her email updates here. Manisha Thakor, personal finance expert for women, can be reached via her website, www.ManishaThakor.com.