Why do we obsess so much about money? Particularly, not having enough money.
We all have different amounts of income coming into our household each month, and we all have different expenses. No matter how much money we make, we always live at that level (or above).
Isn’t it funny how, no matter how much money someone has, they always wish they had more? We always dream of what we could do if we only had a little more cash each month. Dreams are the whole reason why the lottery sells so many tickets. How many of us have walked by a nice house or car and thought “Boy, if only I had the money!”
We place so much importance on money. Relationships break up over it all the time. We choose our mates based on income. You know you do! I know I do. If I meet someone who tells me he is unemployed, I instantly get my guard up. In my case, it comes from the experience of having dated a guy who had declared bankruptcy. He told me that he and his wife were forced to do it during the divorce process, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But after 6 months of dating and lending him over $500 that I never saw again, we broke up. So now I’m a little gun shy. My criteria for dating has now included “must not be bankrupt”. I don’t think I’m being too picky….
It has been said that money if the root of all evil. But it also helps us do certain things. You have a roof over your head and food in the cupboards. We certainly don’t want to be homeless, or have our loved ones go without the basic needs and wants. But beyond that, once the needs and wants are all taken care of, when is enough, enough? The answer is, never. Because the ‘wants’ never stop. That’s where we get into trouble.
Most of us have debt. Whether it’s a mortgage, car loan, student loan, credit card, line of credit, buy now pay later, or payday loan, we owe someone something. Most of us also say that having debt is a part of life. I tend to disagree. Yes, I have debt too, but I think it is possible to live debt free. Our problem is that we don’t have the patience to save up for things. Yes, it would take forever to save up for a house. But it’s not impossible with proper planning. Think back to the seventies. A lot of people, my parents included, paid for their house as it was being built. They never had a mortgage. Don’t you wish that could happen for you!? I sure do!
I struggle with this issue every day. I want the nice things in life. I want the vacation, the clothes, the home. But I save and save. It takes a LOT of discipline, trust me! And I am certainly not perfect. I feel the pressure from friends as well. They wonder why I don’t drive to work every day. I also have an older style CRT television and most people ask why I don’t have one of those new flat, thin, LCD tvs. My answer – it works just fine. It’s all about priorities.
Quite often we judge people based on their material possessions or outward appearance. Whether someone has money or not is usually one of the first judgements we make. I recently saw a photo on a celebrity gossip website about Keanu Reeves. Someone took a photo of him riding the subway. He was reading the newspaper and looking like any other commuter. They were perplexed as to why he was taking the subway, since he is obviously very rich. They accused him of always looking like a bum as well; saying that he never shaves or dresses very well. I thought he looked just fine – nevermind the fact that I’ve had a crush on him for the last twenty years! I, for one, think he is actually being very smart. First of all, I commend him on not caring what others think and for being practical. He’s taking care of his finances and being responsible with his income. He’s securing his future because, even though he’s got a great career right now, Hollywood can be fickle. He just might never get another hit movie, or the studios may stop calling altogether. We judge other celebrities just as harshly for buying a car for every day of the week and splashing out on a massive mansion in the hills. It seems that no matter what anyone does with the money we have, we judge them based on their choices.
Money. It takes up so much of our lives. We are always working for it, saving it, spending it, wanting more, being jealous of those who have it, and being resentful of those who beg for it. Some people in this world never see more than twenty dollars during the entire course of their lives – are they poor? Or do they live a full and rich life, free of material possessions and of wanting more? Is that possible for you and I as well? It’s something I strive for – to be happy with ‘enough’ and life a contented life.