How Not to Keep Up with the Joneses

Smart Money Management for a Tough Economy

One of the problems with learning to manage money is that there are no rulebooks and no manuals. Most of us learn our money management skills from the school of hard knocks, or – if we are lucky – from our parents. Few schools teach courses on how to manage money, and many colleges provide only a passing mention of money and investment.

The end result of this lack of education is a populace woefully unprepared to deal with financial matters. Many people find themselves on a never-ending treadmill of earning and consumption – making just enough to buy the latest gadget and pay the rent for the month. Over the last couple of decades, keeping up with the Joneses had become a national obsession, with everyone buying the biggest house, the most luxurious car and other trappings of wealth and success.

Unfortunately for those living beyond their means, much of that consumption was fueled by home equity – equity that quickly disappeared when the housing market crashed. Those who had levered their homes to buy the latest must-have toys were among the hardest hit by the recent recession, and many are still paying the price today.

If there is a lesson in all this pain, it is the importance of living within one’s means and putting money aside for a rainy day. Many of the most severe financial problems, from out of control credit card debt to falling asset prices, can be avoided – or at least mitigated – if consumers simply think about their purchases a little more carefully. Something as simple as saving up for a major purchase instead of buying it on credit can make a huge difference in your finances.

Of course it is much easier to avoid debt in the first place than to dig out of a big debt problem. Eliminating your current debt requires not only financial discipline and smart saving habits but often a change in the way you view money as well. Learning to see money in a different way is one of the most critical parts of getting out of debt and learning to live on what you make.

It does not matter if you make $20,000 a year or $200,000. If you spend everything you make, you will always be broke. A surprising number of high income earners found themselves in trouble when the recession hit, largely as a result of excessive debt and similar factors. No matter where you are on the income scale, there is a strong desire to keep up with the neighbors and buy the latest gadgets and toys. Learning to resist that urge is very difficult, but it will pay dividends for a lifetime.

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John Demartini

Dr. John Demartini: Human Behavioral Specialist, Educator, Internationally Published Author.

Dr Demartini is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on human behavior and personal development. He is the founder of the Demartini Institute, a private research and education organization with a curriculum of over 72 different courses covering multiple aspects of human development. He also featured in the big hit movie, The Secret.

His trademarked methodologies, the Demartini Method and the Demartini Value Determination, are the culmination of 39 years of cross-disciplinary research and study. His work has been incorporated into human development industries across the world.

Dr Demartini travels 360 days a year to countries all over the globe, sharing his research and findings in all markets and sectors. He is the author of 40 books published in 28 different languages. He has produced over 50 CDs and DVDs covering subjects such as development in relationships, wealth, education and business. Each program is designed to assist people to activate leadership and empower themselves in all seven areas of their lives: Financial, physical, mental, vocational, spiritual, family and social.

The Secret

Ever hear about The Secret?

The Secret is The Law of Attraction. This is a concept that states that whatever is going on in your mind will be attracted into your life. Therefore, think thoughts of abundance and wealth – and let no contradictory thoughts in – and you can have anything you want. Likewise, thinking about negative things in your life will only produce more negativity. In essence, The Secret explains that the intentions in your mind send instruction to the Universe and you get exactly what you think about. The process is broken down into three steps: ask, believe, and receive.
The Law of Attraction goes beyond positive thinking. The book emphasizes the use of visualization techniques, gratitude, faith and affirmations to help focus your mental energy. The overall concept requires that the individual believes strongly in the process. Believing is defined as “acting, thinking and speaking as if you have already received what you are asking for.”
The book describes The Secret through the voices of many highly successful experts from many different fields including philosophers, psychologists, life coaches, motivational speakers, and business professionals. Each explains their understanding of the Law of Attraction and how it affects reality. The underlying theme is all the same: you are the creator of your own destiny. Your thoughts have the power to manifest your desires.

The Criticism

The book is heavily focused on wealth and creating abundance. While everyone who reads the book may not be convinced that the Law of Attraction is real, the concept itself provides a persuasive defense – if you think it doesn’t work, it won’t. After all, your thoughts dictate your reality. It’s difficult to be completely drawn into the book, as it seems to downplay the importance of action. It focuses almost solely on mental perspective, ignoring the importance of hard work and (in the case of building wealth) savings and conservative spending patterns. Instead, it suggests that individuals act and think as if they already have what they want. One can only imagine the credit card debt that arises from “believers” who convince themselves of their imaginary wealth.

The Positives Revolving the Secret

Still, there is something compelling in The Secret. It certainly motivates and inspires the reader to take control of (and harness the power of) their own thoughts. It provides a sense of power, the notion that anything is possible if you simply believe in it. After all, the Law of Attraction is the same wisdom that most of the world’s greatest thinkers have preached about for centuries. In the words of Buddha, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
Though The Secret does not necessarily provide a magic answer, it is an inspiring compilation of concepts explained by some very impressive and admirable individuals. It’s a fast read and worth your time, given that you see it for what it is: a fascinating and motivating concept not necessarily founded in concrete science.

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The Secrets of Wealth Creation Revealed is both scientific and revolutionary. It is neither philosophical in nature nor old ideas re-hashed. It is about action and results rather than useless theories. It is about revolutionary total change in understanding and insight, rather than merely replacing yet another "theoretical" unworkable system with another.

The Secrets of Wealth Creation Revealed will do far more than give you hope for the future. It will entice you to begin your wealth program immediately.

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Money; An Illusion, A Shadow Of Something Else…

If you’ve been a seeker of wealth and your own ever illusive ‘Holy Grail’ for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve come across many “secret wealth information” books and programs that claim to deliver or attract wealth and financial and life freedom — freedom from bosses and DEBT, struggle and suffering, dependence on jobs, schooling … to every negative financial condition..

You may already have discovered — to your dismay — that those books and programs seldom live up to their claims and promises. While some of these do offer honest but misguided information, some are deliberately deceptive. They often make misleading promises that might prove to be more financially dangerous in wealth and livelihood than beneficial to those who struggle financially due to the lies and constant mystification of money and wealth perpetuated by society.

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