Friday, November 19, 2010

Why Enough is Never Enough

As a family, we have been focusing on paying off all of our consumer debt over the past 2 years so when I was given a chance to read the book Why Enough is Never Enough: Overcoming Worries about Money-A Catholic Perspective, I jumped on it.  This book is not about teaching your how to manage your money or spend your money, but rather about how to make peace with your finances.  It's about learning to be at peace if you have $1000 left at the end of the month, are $200 short or fall somewhere in the middle.

If you are looking for a book full of budget sheets and investment ideas, this book is not for you.  If you are looking for a book that will remind you that money does not define who you are, then keep on reading.

Our society today gives us a lot of mixed messages about finances. You should never allow yourself to get into debt but you should also never allow yourself to appear as if you don't have an infinite amount of wealth.  Never, ever mention that you are trying to stick to a budget so you simply cannot buy the latest gadget for your brood.  We've all known the person who seemed to believe that a person's worth could be measured by what they do for a living or how much money they had in the bank rather than by examining their character.  We are all bombarded by messages from the media to focus on things in our attempt to be accepted by family and friends.  These messages are especially prevalent during the holiday season.  Just yesterday I saw commercials telling people that before you have your family over for the holidays, you must buy new furniture, whiten your teeth, buy new clothes and get a new car.  Why we seem vulnerable to these messages is easy to figure out.  You want to impress your relatives and make it appear as if you have gotten somewhere in life.  But I have to wonder if we have all forgotten some very important ideas. Several quotes from the book jumped out at me in regard to these ideas.

"The main spiritual problem we have in America today is that as a society we have confused what we do with who we are."

"It is impossible to make peace with money until you make peace with God."

"Wealth invites us, ever so slowly and with great cunning, to spend more time on  things rather than people. Wealth is deceptive."

This book was a gentle reminder that when we turn off the worry and trust in God's providence to take care of us, a great burden will be lifted from our shoulders.  But we must be willing to make a few hard choices along the way and perhaps ignore the societal urge to keep up with neighbors or the relatives.  I'll happily trade having the perfect appearing life for that sense of peace anyday.  For those struggling to gain control of their financial life, don't neglect to read a book of this nature.  Wealth is one thing, peace is another.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Why Enough Is Never Enough and be sure to check out their great selection of baptism gifts while you are there.

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