06/28/2013 04:23 pm ET Updated Aug 28, 2013

Struggling With Spending

We constantly hear about Americans who spend too much and save too little. Sadly, this pattern is true for many Americans. But others struggle not with saving, but with the opposite problem: allowing themselves to enjoy their money.

I have a good friend who has worked hard, done well, and saved a lot of money. He has more than enough to retire today, to live how he chooses, and he will leave his children a huge inheritance.

He and his wife recently traveled halfway around the world to China. And they flew coach.

I asked him why he didn't buy first-class tickets for such a long flight. They would have had no problem paying for them and the flight would have been so much more comfortable. He responded, "I just couldn't justify spending that much money for a good night's sleep."

Why not? He earned the money. He is already leaving a huge amount to both his kids and charity. Why not spend the money on a little comfort for himself and his wife?

My friend's struggles with spending money stem from his belief that his security is based on how much money he has amassed. He worries that if he spends the money now, he might need it later. Because he views money as the source of his security, he has the mindset that that every dollar he spends must be justified.

We get in trouble when we define our security in financial terms. Why? Because no matter how much money we have, we can always imagine a scenario where the money is lost. Real security comes from the quiet confidence that you will be able to deal with whatever adversity comes your way.

Do you define your freedom or security in financial terms? If so, consider the following. We are always on the edge of the unknown. We never know what the future holds for us. What do you rely on, what do you have faith in, as you face an uncertain future? Is it your relationships with family and friends? Is it personal qualities such as your persistence and resilience? Is it your Signature Talents™? Is it your faith in a power greater than yourself?

If you can redefine your security in nonfinancial terms, you may open the door to spend your money with confidence in ways that will help you create the life you desire, enhance the lives of the people you care about, and leave a living legacy that represents your passions and values.

And maybe, you will even give yourself permission to do something just because it feels good.