plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

September 5, 2007

recognising pressure

Filed under: philosophical — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

This post was inspired by cleverdude’s currently running series Examining Motives.

I have several Muslim friends. Some are devout, they pray five times a day and have made the Hajj. Others are observant, they don’t drink alcohol and they attend mosques on holy days. Yet others are almost entirely unobservant, they drink alcohol and live with their girlfriends. But not a single one of them eats pork.

I also know many English people with houses. Many of them have beautiful gardens, which you can see at the front of their house. None of them would even consider getting their garden chairs out and sitting out in the front garden and there is no rational reason for this attitude. In fact they look distinctly uncomfortable at even the suggestion of it.

I bet that each of us obey cultural rules – like not eating pork, or not sitting in our own front gardens – even when those rules no longer fit in with the rest of our beliefs or have no rational basis. We do them because everyone else in our society does.

How does this affect our finances? To what extent do we do things because they are expected without examining whether or not they make sense. Are we making decisions with financial implications for well considered reasons, or simply because we believe that we should?

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