I watched the movie Seven again that starred Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, this story was about a serial killer who kills based on the 7 deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. And while watching it I was thinking that greed always reminded me of money, but the more I thought about it, each one of these sins could easily relate to money and many are inter-connected.
When I think of a lack of self control, it is about overspending when shopping. With a worse case scenario of people who shop and hoard or people who are driven to bankruptcy in trying to please their friends and family and even wasting enormous amounts of money on pornography that could be used in a better way. Their lust causes a desire that stops them from using moderation or even common sense.
The power of resentment hold us back; we see the Them vs. Us and spend so much energy fighting against this unknown "better" Them, that we have no time to improve ourselves. In relation to personal finance, we may carry around a chip on our shoulder that we will never "be rich" and it weighs us down so that we can't see all the riches that already lay at our feet.
Greed: Personal Gain by Possessions
This is the most obvious of the sins. A need to acquire possessions or status via any means necessary.
The two biggest visual images that come to mind are hoarding and stories in the business section about men (and women) who have obtained great wealth by deceit and criminal activity. But it can also be as simple as buying a much to large house or car because we feel we have something to gain by it that purchasing a more modest home or car wouldn't provide to us.
* Spending without planning
* Buy expensively when funds aren't available
* Overspending and the item goes to waste - Dusty exercise equipment?
With that in mind, gluttony could be having a home full of items but no money just as easily as stocking up on pantry items that eventually go to waste because because too much was bought.
|flickr/cc - Pleasant Crow|
But pride can also cause us to think too optimistically. In so much, that we don't prepare for emergencies and set aside the money to cover the rainy days; or we take risks financially that are not well researched.
Wrath works itself out in ways that interconnect with envy, we get impatient, lose self control and react in a way that doesn't use the common sense we would normally use. The power of "No" said to ourselves is easier to follow through on when we have a goal in mind to keep us on track.
To neglect our finances, whether it be not balancing the checkbook or spending without forethought, is a dangerous action. The action of sloth isn't about sitting on the couch all day, but about how our lack of action is truly an pro-active force that can have adverse effects on our personal finance.