It is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! is an interesting look at how money is viewed by different cultures/religions and how we might change the way we view money and develop a healthier relationship with money. The book follows a daily discussion had by a group of students and their instructor. Various students lead discussions in how their own culture (Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, etc) views money.
"Money doesn't grow on trees. This comes from the attitude that money is scarce. Many people believe that money is difficult to make and difficult to keep. There is an insufficient amount or a shortness of supply. The thing is, it is an attitude, not a reality." (chapter 1)
I'm sure we've all met people who no matter how much money they have, they feel broke. Or those who spend every penny (and often then some) no matter what their income, putting themselves in a constant state of financial stress. But we all know people who have very little money yet feel very wealthy and always seem to have enough. Once basic needs are met, it isn't about our income. It really is all about attitude and the actions we take with our money.
"Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words.
Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny."
-- Mahatma Ghandi
Do you handle your money according to your values? This year, I've sworn off buying new items aside from just a few areas. While this does saves me money, my main goal is to align my spending with my values. I love finding things secondhand because I know these items are getting a second lease on life instead of ending up in a landfill and I'm requiring fewer resources. I also keep to a budget, saving for retirement and for expected (and unexpected) expenses in order to stay out of debt and be able to care for myself in my golden years rather than being a burden to anyone.
"You don't need to be limited by your current financial situation. You have talents that you can use to become wealthy. You have character and work ethic. You need to believe in yourself and keep moving forward." (chapter 10)
We all make choices each day that can either increase our wealth or set us back. Advertisers may tell us what we "need", financial institutions may offer us credit allowing us to buy things we can't truly afford, our family or culture may have led us in a direction that doesn't reflect our own personal values, but in the end? We must take responsibility for our choices and take an active role in our futures.
Probably the most useful part of this book is the workbook at the end. Questions and exercises relate to each chapter and really get you thinking about what you're doing now with your money and what you might change in the future. This was certainly a thought-provoking book!
I was sent a free digital copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced by this gift.