Have you ever noticed that it’s often much easier to spend money overseas than at home? For instance I had no qualms about spending 500 rubles for lunch in Russia but I think twice about spending the same amount in dollars in the US. Even the Euro – which carries more value than the USD – has been easier to part with than my own home currency.
What makes foreign money different? Or, rather, why do I react differently to expenditures enumerated in “green” bills?
When I think about it, I realize that for me different money means different feelings about spending money. Different in that I feel freer to spend and less guilty about spending, when I do so in any other currency but USD. There appears to be less “baggage” and less anxiety attached to my actions of spending. I feel more independent and more in control.
So does this mean that at home I feel disempowered, imprisoned, and intimidated by money and spending it?
Maybe a little. Why?
Because we all grow up listening and taking in the money attitudes that surround us. Expressions like “money doesn’t grow on trees”, or “there is no free lunch”, or “you have to work hard to earn your living” create a context around money for us. We think of money as something unattainable, something hard to get, something unfriendly, something cold, and something that our lives depend upon. This context affects our own attitudes towards money and our feelings towards spending it.
Naturally the context that people create around money changes from culture to culture. And that’s why our attitudes towards money changes when we go abroad, when we leave the realm where that context was created.
I personally like my attitude towards money when I am abroad. And that’s why I am now trying to recreate it here at home. I am changing a habit of looking at money from the perspective of lacking and hard and instead choosing to look at it from the perspective of abundant and friendly. As we all know – what you focus on …expands!
What about you? How do you relate to spending money when at home or abroad?
People who enjoyed this post also read:
Copyright © 2009 by Global Coach Center.
If you’d like to reprint this, please do so but make sure you credit us!