Is Money Your Friend?
You have heard the line from the movie “SHOW ME THE MONEY” but what has seeing the money done for you? How does money or the thought of money affect you? An honest look may surprise you. Is money your friend or does it cause you to become something you do not like. How you view money may be healthy or it may be costing you and/or will cost you big time. Everything does have a price even money and like other things sometimes money costs too much.
Try this on. What do you do to make money? Maybe a better question for you is what do you do to save money? I meet with many people each year preparing tax returns and wow, the things I have seen and heard are just incredible ranging for what appears to be not much concern about money to outright obsessions about money. Realize that how you act about money affects your relationships with others. Now ask yourself what is more important to you having money or having real friends? Another question for you is what are you willing to spend/risk to save a dollar?
The Government and Taxes:
What shows up about how you behave when it comes to saving money on the taxes you pay? I help people pay as little as legally possible but even then there is usually a trade-off between paying now and paying later. Sometimes with good planning and communication there are large sums of money to be saved in taxes legally. However, at times some want to cross the line and be dishonest to “stick it to” “the no good government” (actual terminology is not suitable for my blog). So what shows up here? People at times choose to be dishonest to pay less taxes. If you can choose to be dishonest with the government on your taxes who else do you choose to be dishonest with? Do you have any friends? Do your family members even like you? Now why are you choosing to be dishonest and risk jail time? For money? Really! What really is money but paper and coins. Have you been programmed to overvalue money and be afraid of not having enough? Really it is shocking to me that people will choose to be dishonest to save some paper and metal. Really! By being dishonest you are becoming a liar and a thief and that affects who you are in all your relationships. I am just saying…why again would you do this? Try this on > integrity, honesty and friendships > what are they worth? Believe me they are worth much more than paper and coins. In addition people are interesting while money, paper, and coins are not even living.
OK then there is the business owner who wants to spend like crazy at the end of the year so he does not owe any taxes. OK that is fine if you would buy those things anyway but what is the point. I have seen men choose to spend many dollars to save pennies on the dollar. Why? Because he does not want the government to have any of his money. So he spends money that he otherwise would not spend to save say 30% on each dollar spent. Hello, do you not want to maximize the money you have? Somewhere along the line there was training or programming that caused him to be irrational. Take a look at what you have been programmed to think about money.
Save Save Save:
I am all for saving money but at what cost? You realize that if you save $.04 a gallon on a 20 gallon tank of gas then you saved $.80, that is 80 cents? How far did you drive and how much time did you spend to save 80 cents. Do you realize if it took you 15 minutes to get to the station with the gas at $.04 less then you made the equivalent of $3.20 an hour? Would you take a job at that pay rate? Some even spend time researching where to save their $.04 a gallon while drinking an awful bitter tasting cup of something they have the nerve to call coffee for like $4.00 while you can get actual good coffee for around a dollar. Hello, why the madness to save $.04 a gallon but the willingness to pay all that money for coffee, cable tv, the latest tv set, cellphone, cigarettes, booze, lottery tickets, etc.?????
Now the time spent to save practically nothing does not even compare to the insanity of negotiating someone out of most all and sometimes all of their profit. Now it is one thing to negotiate a loaf of bread for as little as you can get for it from a stranger but what about getting the best deal on renting a house for a year from a friend? The purchase of a loaf of bread is momentary exchange (maybe) while you will have at least or at most a one year relationship with your landlord/friend. (This is just an example). So now you have this tense relationship for a year with your landlord/former friend and then he is going to stiff you out of your security deposit. Ask yourself what do you value more your relationships with people or money? I have news for you, people will provide much more spice to your life than money will. In addition, the poor guy who sold you his loaf of bread at cost probably will not lift a finger for you when he sees you get in trouble when a flash mob over takes you. Try on generosity. Not only will people like you but you will probably end up with more money and better opportunities than if you try to get the best of every negotiation. I am just saying…think about what you are choosing to be for some pieces of paper and some coins.
So you saved some money. Good for you. Did you save more than you spent and the value of your time? Did you sell your soul to save the paper and coins? Some genuine opportunities to save money exist and you should consider them. Other opportunities are like the gas versus coffee example. Think about what your relationship with money is getting you to do. In Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps money is referred to as a whore who watches you while you sleep and one day she will just be gone. There may or may not be some truth in that. Money does not make you behave a certain way. Rather you choose to behave how you want to behave. Take charge of your relationship with money and look at what you have heard or are hearing about money. You may need some different friends.
Although the product I produce are tax returns for you, what I really do that is of value is talk to you about things like money and what you really want to be and how to be it. If you want a CPA who will help you to succeed in meaningful ways then use the contact information below to contact me and let’s accomplish great things together and enjoy good friends.
Jeff Haywood, CPA
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For a full list of prior posts see the CPA Tax Blog.
As always keep in mind that the content provided on this site is general in nature and may or may not apply to your particular case. It is best to check with a tax professional about your circumstances and what is best for you personally. Also, IRS regulations and tax laws are constantly changing and the information on this site is not constantly updated. Again please check with me about your particular circumstances and what will be best in your situation at the given time and law.
If you have a comment to share about this post or for me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was written by Jeff Haywood, CPA.
Jeff is a licensed CPA in both Texas and Illinois.
He has prepared income tax returns for the public for over 10 years.
He also has an MBA in Finance from Loyola University in Chicago and he has 24 years experience in Corporate Finance and Business Analysis.