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Financial organisation balances the present and the future, passion and prudence,
the short term and long view, impulse and forethought,
living in the moment and taking responsibility for the longer term.
Financial organisation! Are you saying to yourself that’s just what I want, lets get stuck in? Or are you concerned about the time, the restrictions and the freedoms it will curtail?
These are important questions according to Bertrand Russell* because being organised implies ‘an element of thinking ahead, of prudence, of not always acting on impulse’. The alternative is ‘to live passionately, devoted to impulse, feeling, intensity, beauty and delight free from the prison of everyday pre-occupations’.
However, prudence (or forethought) is what distinguishes the civilised individual from the savage. Russell argues the civilised individual is one who is willing to endure present pains and sacrifice present passions for the sake of future prudence.
The debate is not purely philosophical; when we decide whether to spend or save our income, for instance, we are at heart opting for prudence or passion.
Prudence versus passion
A highly organised life will probably be unadventurous and unexciting. It will be a life in which we are confined in our box, protected by our own rules, unable to innovate, change or appreciate life’s wonders.
Conversely a highly passionate life is likely to be centred in the present, in our selves, and will be too impulsive to warrant planning for the future.
Becoming financially well organised is an important part of achieving balance between these two extremes. It is the art of having the right money in the right place at the right time to live wholeheartedly and passionately today without compromising long term wealth, health and happiness.
When we become financially well organised we balance the present and the future, passion and prudence, the short term and the long term, impulse and forethought, living in the moment and taking responsibility for the longer term.
Achieving financial organisation
So how do you become financially well organised? Here are a few pointers:
- Make your financial organisation expenditure or goal led, not income led
- Put savings at the heart of your financial organisation
- Build up reserves for contingencies, erratic cash flow and to booster your personal integrity
- Match assets to liabilities
- Keep debt levels realistic and matched to assets
- Record, document and analyse your finances
- Insure against life’s risks.
Becoming financially well organised requires work and time. Look on it as an investment, because the return will be a more fulfilled life and your world kept in balance.
* History of Western Philosophy
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