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Where did my money go?

Using your funds carefully reflects your awareness of life skills reports Samir Parikh

education Updated: Dec 22, 2010 09:19 IST

Money is a necessity and will continue to remain so. All of us want to have material possessions and a lot of them at that. After we acquire one thing, we want the next and that desire seems unending. To be able to tick off all the items on this ever-growing list, one has to have more and more money. At the same time, there are always concerns about the future and having sufficient money for contingencies.

So, it is absolutely necessary to manage money well and ensure that one is utilising it sensibly.

See it as a life skill
Money is not only about being able to save or buy things with it. Having money and handling it carefully clearly reflects a person’s awareness and practice of life skills. Being impulsive and a spendthrift is not an excuse. One must be able to know where to draw the line, make the right choices and decisions to lead a good, healthy and happy life. Handling money carefully teaches one to make choices, solve problems and make decisions.

Be responsible
A thought that has been ingrained in our thought process since we were children, “being responsible”, does not simply mean scrimping and not satisfying any need and desire. It means having the ability to step back and evaluate the consequences of the choice one is making, the factors that are leading to that choice. It is also about being able to say “no” at times as also sometimes breaking all barriers and just getting what one desires. All of it, however, should be done with a sense of responsibility keeping in mind things one needs to accomplish.

Resist peer pressure
One of the biggest obstacles to handling money judiciously is peer pressure. One may often wish to have something or spend money just because one’s peers are doing so. It is like becoming a part of the pack and gaining acceptance from peers on the basis of matching possessions. But remember, this strategy does not work in the long run. Ultimately, you will have to stand up for yourself and make the choices that are appropriate for you and choose the ones that suit your needs.

Learn to manage yourself
A significant aspect of handling money is managing yourself. This means controlling one’s impulses and not getting swayed by emotions. If such situations occur, it is better to stop and think.

Take a minute and evaluate the consequences of what you are going to do and then make the final call.

The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare