My six-year-old son, Seth, and I just returned from Barnes & Noble where I purchased a gift for a dear friend and he purchased a long-desired Yo Kai Watch for himself, using the commission he earned from house chores and Christmas cash remnants. When he handed the clerk the cash, he teared up and mustered an emotional phrase, "Dad, that's basically all my money. I just lost all my money." "No, son, you didn't lose it; you spent it on this watch. Now, are you happy you have this watch?" I responded. "I think so, sort of. I like it, but I don't have much money now," said Seth.
He gets it from me. I hate seeing hard-earned money leave my account. Both Seth and I strongly resonate with what I call the Isaac money type, who seeks to maximize money and strives to always get the best deal (did I mention that Seth tried to negotiate a better price on the watch, and that he ended up getting $4 off using rewards and coupons?).
He'll have some soul work to do as he gets older, and I'll be here to help him. We can't go through life worried about every dime we spend. It's taken time, but I've learned that gratefulness postures the soul to concern itself less with "losing money" or worrying about every dime that's spent.
The first thing I do every morning is to breathe a prayer of gratefulness. Before my feet hit the ground, before I check e-mail or pour a cup of coffee, I remind myself of all that the Lord has done. This posture of gratefulness orients my awareness toward all that is good in my life, and there is much for which to be thankful, and most of it has nothing to do with money.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good (Psalm 118).