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Afflicted By Abundance?

lots-of-money“Some were afflicted by scarcity. Others by abundance…There was more to money than just the math.” Richard Wagner, Financial Planning 3.0: Evolving Our Relationships With Money 

As I read Dick Wagner’s book last month, especially approaching the holidays, I appreciated his comment on the affliction of abundance. At first it may seem like an oxymoron – how could abundance be an affliction? But every week I meet someone with this problem.

When I was young I wanted more money so I could feel free to have choices. Yet as I am older, and have now seen hundreds of personal financial situations other than my own, I know that too many choices can be a huge problem, too.

When is abundance an issue? When you don’t know whether people love you for you, or for your money. When choices and decisions about it make you want to run away, but the last vacation didn’t do the trick. When the cash is piling up and the pressure to invest feels fierce. When your house and storage unit are full, but your soul is unfulfilled.

After a semester in India in college, I learned what an abundant life we take for granted in the developed world. With this foundation, I was ready to receive the idea later on that however I spent, shared, or invested money, it was better to make the decision and know that I did the best I could, rather than wallow in fear-based indecision. I made plenty of mistakes, but it’s part of my own journey. At least I can share those lessons with others. 

Whatever your affliction, whether scarcity or abundance, relief comes from more than math. The soul-searching work of improving our relationship with money can be a roller coaster job, but it’s worth the ride.

Holly Donaldson

Holly P. Donaldson, CFP® writes and consults on the psychology of money. Her fee-only, product-free financial planning practice focuses on increasing financial self-efficacy for those seeking a financial navigator to help them make good decisions. She is the author of The Mindful Money Mentality: How to Find Balance in Your Financial Future (Porchview Publishing, 2013) and publisher of the award-winning monthly e-letter, "The View From the Porch." With a fully virtual practice in Seminole, Florida, she primarily serves clients located in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas. Holly will also work with clients who are a good fit located elsewhere in the United States.

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