When it comes to “personal financial planning” — many people either opt-out of learning, start searching online for a “financial planner near me,” or seek random advice from friends or the media. The reality is that good personal financial planning doesn't begin with learning the detailed tactics.
It's starts with a deeper self-realization, one captured in a story about a Roman coin.
## Personal Financial Planning: A Source of Anxiety, a Source of False Comfort
Whether you are just getting started in your career or are well on your well to a comfortable retirement, an inescapable part of just being responsible is figuring out what to do with your money.
It may be said that "mo’ money, mo’ problems," but the reality is that problems begin when one just doesn’t know anything about money, whether one has a pittance or pile. Ignorance, anxiety, and false security can all can come if one doesn’t have a foundation in personal financial planning.
On the one hand, the fix is relatively straightforward now. A quick search in Google can pull up all the information that you may need on personal financial management. The real question should be whether learning those tactics is where you should start building your foundation.
In other words, perhaps it’s not by starting with the tactical information about money and finances that will lead to a strong foundation and a healthy relationship with money. It starts with something much deeper.
## Is Money Your False God?
Many people find themselves at odds with money by letting it rule them. And this pattern affects both rich and poor. Many rich people are ruled by money. The driving quest for money, the false sense of comfort from acquiring it, and the values that often come when one’s life is centered in making money can all result in someone being quietly ruled by money.
On the surface, this may not seem that bad.Â With all the goodies a rich person can buy, it would seem being ruled by this false good would not be a real problem. I’ll talk about that in a moment.
On the other hand, many people who are always stressed about money because they feel they don’t have enough are also ruled by money. Although it would seem as if their disregard for taking personal financial management courses would indicate that money has no rule over them because they aren’t interested in learning about it, something deeper is often happening.
These same people often end up linking their short-term pleasure to money, while sacrificing the quality of life to save pennies.
In both cases, decisions are made by the presence or absence of money. This seems reasonable. After all, money does appear to be the guiding principle in the world.Â Food, clothing, and shelter all need to be paid for.Â If one has children, the responsibilities, needs, and worries further increase.
How is it possible to not let money and personal finances rule one's life and corrode one's soul?
## Personal Financial Planning: Lessons from a Roman Coin