Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting Rich

I want more money. I realize that's rather an ungrateful thing to say given that my income still puts me in the top seven percent of wage earners world wide. But it's true none the less. I want more money. Given my current situation, I'm always teetering on the edge of financial disaster. I mean, I pay my rent, my childcare, my bills, every month. I feed my kids, though perhaps not as healthily as I'd like to. Thankfully they get most of their meals at daycare each day, and they're able to provide a more balanced diet than I am. I'm able to get a few extras here and there. I can buy an album of music I like from time to time. Every once in awhile I'm able to buy myself or my kids some new clothes or shoes. But if one of us gets seriously hurt or ill, or in the case of my youngest, needs more medication for existing conditions, then I'm pretty much screwed.

But that's not the only reason I want more money. I feel powerless. I admit that ideally, there are some things I'd like to be able to buy without hesitation: music, art from friends, and admittedly new clothes from time to time (although I'm really not that big a clothes horse. I keep all the clothes I own in my closet, and it's not even crowded). I don't need much more out of life than these things. I don't mind small houses; I eventually hope to live and work somewhere where I won't need a car for daily transportation. I don't want to get rich so I can accumulate more stuff (except for where the music, art etc. comes in). But I do want more money so that I have more freedom and don't spend a lot of my time worrying about what happens if something disastrous happens.

Perhaps the last reason I want more money is that I'm tired of not being able to help out. When the earthquake struck Haiti, when the hurricane struck New Orleans, when the tsunami hit India, I wasn't able to give really anything to the organizations over there providing aide. I did contribute a little. Don't get me wrong, I realize that if I can afford a new album here or there I can also afford to give some money to charity. And I try to make sacrifices in my personal wants when I feel like someone else needs my money more immediately. But I'd like to do both some day. I'd like to be able to surround myself with the beautiful things in life as well as help others have those things.

Those of you who know me in real life know that I'm making a move toward hopefully improving my financial situation (I have to be vague as I don't want this getting to my employers yet). But am I being naive? Does more earning ability automatically make one greedy? Am I going to forget this desire to live small and simply and compassionately when I'm bringing home a bigger pay check? Also, for my readers who may still be working toward being settled in, what do you hope for once you feel like you've reached a point of financial stability? For those of you who feel relatively well established, what do you enjoy in life? What are your concerns now?


Josh Cogliati said...

Hm. I've had different amounts of money along the way. In college at one point my wife and I's budget was $600 a month. Now our budget is much higher. I still think about money, but it is an occasional thing, not a constant worry. I guess the times I most worried about money was the time in college when our income dropped by about 60% and we went from saving to unsaving. I think that earning ability isn't the problem, it is who you compare yourself to. So if I compare myself to the top earners at my job, then I might think I needed more money, since they make more than twice as much. If I compare myself to other people I know, and other people in the world, I can realize that I have luxuries such as running water, practically anything I want to eat etc. So I don't think more money or more earning ability have automatically made me more greedy, but have made it easier for me to be greedy.

G said...

"Does more earning ability automatically make one greedy?"
"Am I going to forget this desire to live small and simply and compassionately when I'm bringing home a bigger pay check?"
well, billions and billions of dollars are being spent to try to make you believe that you need to buy lots and lots of junk. There is that pressure to be resisted. And that can be difficult, all sorts of expectations, and so many worthwhile things that require money. But if you keep your eye on the goal of having savings, you will be fine.

On another note. I do hope that things look up for you, financially, soon.
HUgs and kisses.

Donna said...

I'm with you. I wish I had more money to buy art, and things like that. I mean how many pairs of shoes does one need?!

Anonymous said...

Lessie, I have written a few comments on your blog before and I have to be honest. On some things I totally disagree with and think that you are totally crazy! But I can never argue the fact that you are a very intelligent woman! And this thing about money really made me think. I also think that money can be a good thing but also can hurt oneself. I and my wife are in our mid 20's, my wife liks to stay home with the kid and she enjoys it for now and I make $95,000 a year. We have a nice house(not huge) but it was just built. We paid for it with no mortgage and we have no vehicle debt! We do travel quite a bit. But what frustrates me so much is that when I compare myself to other people that make a lot more than I, I do get greedy and want more. But what I honesly think is important is what you said. You can be happy with what you have, it would be nice to be able to give the boys more things but they do have a mom that loves them and is always striving to do her best. I think people should always strive to do their best and have the best that they can. So I dont know if any of this made any sense but I do not think that it is greedy at all to want more money and as long as you work for it and not forget family, friends, and yourself along the way than WHY THE HELL NOT!!! And when you do get more money, dont forget yourself!! Dont work so hard to get it that you dont get to enjoy it and share it how you wish. That is my little say on the matter! I wish that I could speak and write in the way that you do.

Stella said...

I think with my religious upbringing I have had a different idea about money. I didn't want to be a greedy or selfish person and spending money or being concerned with things was pointing to a shallow direction.

I just wrote about money issues on my blog too! I've been thinking about them a lot. And like you, I want the freedom. I want freedom from my debts and I want to have a large savings and the ability to help but also the ability to buy myself beauitufl art and make a lovely home for myself.

I'm hoping that this year will bring both of us closer to attaining those things!