It started me thinking, what is it all about and how did we get so out of balance?
In the Western world we really live in a land of plenty and can generally get most of what we want (the Porsche thoughts...)- unfortunately often putting us into debt. Loan companies are willing to lend out money whether the person can repay or not, credit cards offer themselves to us, pay day companies that encourage us to over spend - or be impatient with when we buy and then the temptation of ‘buy now, pay later”…
I fell into the trap myself as well, bought too much stuff, had a loan and credit card debt and once you’re in that spiral it’s easy to stay there and go deeper. It stressed me out to have such debt and luckily I managed to not get in so deep that I couldn’t get out (and lucky to have parents who gave me a interest free loan). I’m happy to say that since I turned 40 (5 years ago) I have no debt, no credit card and even have some savings in my bank which is believe it or not a first for me!.
‘Should’ I have more to show for my 45 years, have a great pension scheme ready for my retirement? Maybe - maybe not. I do have a whole heap of experiences behind me and many unbelievably good memories!
I own almost nothing and what I do own is not really that valuable in any way other than sentimental value; which for me is greater than its financial value. If I lost it all tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. My most valued possession is probably my phone so that I can keep in touch with those I love.
When I go to buy ‘bigger’ things I question if I really need it or simply want it - and often I just want it and will buy; but nowadays I think more than I ever used to. I know I could cut down my spending- a few habits that aren’t good for my wallet! I am at least now more aware than I used to be where my dollars go.
If I had earned more would I have spent more and or saved more?
Interesting question - in the past probably spent!.. Now I think I would ‘save’ as I don’t need anything really. But if earning more meant sacrificing the time I have to do the things I enjoy in my life - I’ll chose time.
This land of plenty, where we can get pretty much what we want materially but what about time? It is the most precious commodity and it goes quicker each year it seems. With longer work hours, there’s no time to eat well, to move even 30 minutes a day, family time gets reduced, hobbies get pushed to one side and as for spending time in self reflection - high stress and poor health result.
What is it though that drives us to spend so much time at work? Expectation from the company? Fear of losing our jobs if we don’t? Too much work? The salary dictates we work those hours?
Maybe it is to earn to buy? Buy another bag, pair of shoes, outfit, a house, sports car, bigger TV the kids need another game, latest i-phone etc etc - the list goes on.
Is it so important to have these possessions and things? What do they add to our lives? What is they give us? Is it the excitement of the newness? The image it projects that we (on the outside) can afford luxury goods? The feeling we are not good enough if we don’t have xyz?
Is having money in the bank one of the most important things? That one day you don’t have to work, or at least not so hard and that makes up for all the hours in the office, time on planes and time not spent with family and friends and doing things for self as opposed to a company?
I have no idea to be honest, I really don’t - this is just a collection of my random musings that I have the time to sit and write and it brings me pleasure to babble away so I do!!! As always love to hear responses, thoughts, ideas on the jumble that often comes out in these blogs - an insight into my mind…
Last note - a client said to me the other day that she sees me ending up a ‘bag lady’ - not a down and out; but a wanderer in a van or similar who has turned her back on how society says we are meant to live… In a way she might be right.