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A lot of people love Benjamin Franklin.
Oh, come on. Admit it. You're probably pretty fond of Benjamin Franklin, too. He's the guy on the front of the $100 bill, and you're not going to say you don't love $100 bills, are you?
If we're honest, most of us love money. Actually, we love money we don't have. How else can you explain our addiction to credit cards? Our culture loves money so much that we have television shows dedicated to showing off people's million-dollar houses and garages full of luxury cars!
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Every day, we see thousands of ads that promote the dollar as the end-all-be-all ticket to a happy life. But we know better than that...don't we?
Wait a minute, you say. Doesn't Dave Ramsey talk about building wealth all the time? He sure does. But Dave is talking about a healthy view of money. The foundation of Dave's ideas of wealth building are that you get out of debt and build wealth so you can help your family and others … and leave a legacy after you're gone.
It's also okay to want to make a lot of money and to enjoy spending it! But what's the end goal? Is it to own stuff, or is it to help others and to change your family tree?
A lot of us have an unhealthy view of money. The Bible says that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." It's that type of "love" that drives us to buy stuff with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.
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For some people, the "love" of money is more like an obsession or an addiction. It can drive a wedge between spouses and teach kids that stuff is more important than anything else. It can lead to divorce and broken families. When we talk about changing your family tree, that's not what we have in mind!
Think of money as a tool. You can use it to help yourself and others, or you can use it to tear all of that down. You can use it to save for your kids' college fund, help your church or favorite charity, or you can use it to buy a bunch of stuff that will be collecting dust two years from now.
A healthy love of money will drive you to get gazelle intense about working through the Baby Steps and getting out of debt. It will motivate you to make better decisions with your money—decisions that involve only spending on needs, not wants. You will view life through a new lens, a lens that puts your future and the well-being of your loved ones first. Don't let money and stuff run your life.
There's no need to obsess over Benjamin Franklin. Plenty of other people will do that. With Valentine's Day just a few days away, remember who and what is important in your life, and keep that in perspective this year.
Thousands of other people are on their way to making better decisions with money this year. With hundreds of Financial Peace University classes starting across the country, now’s the perfect time to join them on the road to Financial Peace!