Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Money Issue

After reading most of the post that where linked on Monday from FMM it got me thinking about money and how different the perception of having it changes with each person. We often don't want to talk about it, how much we make, how much we paid for certain items, it is so taboo.

Growing up I never knew much about money, my Father was able to send 6 kids to private school and Universities, build his own home with no money loaned to him, purchased cars cash. I just assume everyone did the same. It wasn't until I move here the reality hit me. I was poor and alone. I had to work hard to get what I had.

To me money is money though, it doesn't make me, it doesn't break me {ok, maybe a little when I see the upcoming check is already gone}, and to me is meant to be spent. I'm not one of those very conservative people that save as much as they can, I've never had. Maybe that's the root of my "problem".

The thing is that I have issues with people who don't enjoy life because they want to save money, they don't go out to eat because of savings, won't buy something they want or need because they are cheap. I understand having kids one must be prepared for the future, I get that but I don't get people that have money and don't help others. I hate that.

Do you remember the episode from "Sex & the City" in which Carrie is about to loose her home and Charlotte didn't offer to help her?

I know there are many people in the world that think like that: You are an adult and should learn to manage yourself, quoting "It's not my job to fix your problems". I think that we all need someone to help, maybe you lend a friend money you have and that person is the one who is always there for you, listening to you. Or the one who shows up when you are sick, the one who takes care of your pet, or just a fantastic friend.

I am the type of person that if I know you need my last $20 I will give them to you, I have help people that I know had nothing to eat, or giving them a ride spending my money on gas, etc. I just think that if you have money, why not help others?

Maybe that's why I am not rich. One close person to me told me a story about a coworker having the kids at her job, the kids where hungry and the mom had no money. This person went to the deli, got a sub and brought it back to work and ate it in front of the kids. The little boy just stared and said "that looks good". Now I know this person has and had money and just refused to spent their money on someone else's kids because they are not responsible. I could NEVER do that. what harm could it have dome to get another sub, cut it in two and give it to those kids?

I hear what people are going to say:"it's my money and I should do what I want", "their Mother should be more responsible", "they are not my kids", blah, blah, blah. That hurts me, to know that people can be so cold towards one another but specially kids.

Life is short, I don't want to be like my Aunt Dilenia who spent all her life saving money, eating the minimum, just to die and leave all this money to her kids, who are now fighting over it. How about sharing that when she was alive, teaching them to share and be there for one another and know that the money is not all?

Or my other cousin who tried to commit suicide because he was so overwhelmed with debt and a harassing brother. It took for him to land in ICU for his family to help him out and said you know what, you are not alone. Money comes and goes.

But that's just me. And maybe because I have been lucky enough that in time of need people have come to my rescue many a time, asking nothing in return, and perhaps is because when they have needed me I have been there for them too.

There has to be a reason why the wealthiest people in America give their money away, like Warren Buffett (below) or Bill Gates. Maybe they have it all and know money is not everything...

When I knew I could not afford my house anymore and needed to sell it, I called my Mom-ster and she just kept asking why I had to sell, try to keep it, the home this, the home that, she kept thinking about what others may think of it instead of what I needed to do. She didn't understand I was already sad and needed to get out of a bad situation...she just cared about the house.

And then now, being unemployed will teach you how people perceive you...which should have no reflection on Who we are. You realized those who really care about you no matter what your bank account says.

And yes, money is necessary, money is in our lives forever but I won't make it my defining factor of who I am, or who we are as a family. These days we don't have credit cards, we save money for the things we need/want or turn to places like QVC. This doesn't stop us from going out as a family once in a while, indulging on Pizza night, or planning to go on vacation...eventually.

I want my kids to know we are not measure by money, that we work hard to provide for them but that money is just paper, that they should be there for each other, and for others in need. That saving is all good and dandy as long as you don't forget to live life, enjoy it and help others.

Over & out

1 comment:

Amber said...

Stopping in after you commented on by FMM post at www.learningtolovethegym.blogspot.com

We share similar perspectives on money. My dad is a financial planner so I am aware of the need to save and have done so at many points in my life, but I also recognize the need to do things I enjoy with my money. I work extra hours and use that money for things I want to splurge on (like vacations). I'm also quite generous with my money and my belongings. I could never be a multimillionaire because I would feel bad every day that millions of dollars were sitting in my bank account instead of helping others. I am, however, choosey in how I help others. I don't always hand over cash, but I do support educating others so they can help themselves next time.