I thought I had broached the topic of money a few years ago but, in the absence of a successful Blog search, I’ll pour out my thoughts on money here and now!
Money is nothing, in that it has no value until it is used to do something.
Money invested serves no purpose except to make more of the same. i.e. it is generating more nothing!
The above may sound a little irrational to some of you … but think about it.
It is an obvious fact that money is a means to an end. If you are saving to buy a home (e.g.), then when sufficient funds are created, and the home selected, the money serves its purpose. The same rational obviously applies to cars, boats, furniture, weddings, Christmas etc. etc. The point is (and without wishing to be repetitive) that money only has value when you do something with it.
So now let’s move on to those of us who have pretty much what we want. We have probably worked for many years and have managed to achieve a low debt load, or perhaps even a zero debt load. We may still be working. We may have financially lucrative interests. We may have investments. In fact, if we have lead a financially responsible life, we could now be enjoying a relatively (financially) care-free life.
Most of us have been raised in a culture that is extremely money driven. This is neither wrong in any way, nor should it be a revelation to any of you. Money really does make our world go round. We need it to provide the basic necessities of food and shelter. We need it to ensure we get the medical treatment we need, but these are all examples of money showing its value by being used.
What about the money that is not being used? What about that investment made a few years ago on the advice of perhaps your bank. You had it in your bank account doing nothing so investing it made sense, but what are you investing it for? You may have a very precise answer, but for so many people, the investment is “Well … why not?” “It might come in useful one day.” “Who knows what the future will bring?”
This brings to mind a quote (author unknown) “99% of what we worry about will never happen to us. Insurance companies know that and flourish as a result …………. and at our expense!”
I have suggested to a number of people that they withdraw their savings and treat themselves. Take an exotic holiday. Buy a luxury car. Do something that they have often thought about, but have hesitated because of the expense. The reality for so many people is that they work for most of their lives, and have managed to create a financial “nest egg” … which eventually is inherited by their dependants. i.e. They will enjoy the pleasure of the deceased person’s financial decisions.
There is something wrong with the concept that you and I should spend our lives saving as/when we can, but it is our dependants that get the pleasure from it all.
It should be stressed the leaving a financial gift to one’s dependants is a lovely gesture, and one which I totally support however, at what value is that gift excessive. It is my belief that my children (now middle-age!) should be given a financial gift as/when I leave this earth. My emphasis however is that it should be relatively small gift, rather than a life-changing one. The issues I see with large gifts fall into two areas.
If they are aware of a large inheritance, they will likely plan accordingly and generally behave like privileged individuals. As their father, I want them to stay financially well grounded and be productive members of society.
I have the options to enjoy my savings now, or let somebody else enjoy my savings later. I can determine where my money goes in advance (specify in a will), or I can let the recipients determine where it goes.
So what was the point of this post? I wanted to stress two rather obvious, but often little thought about, aspects of money.
- It has no value until used to do something. Saving it for the sake of saving and with no defined end purpose is not only pointless but rather insensitive given the amount of publicly funded organizations providing key services to our less fortunate members of society.
- I would suggest that we all have financially dependant dreams for ourselves. It may be a luxury cruise, or perhaps buying a boat etc., or perhaps helping a local charity achieve its goals. Do we want to pursue those goals while we can, or do we want our dependants to make the decisions about how the money is spent?
Finally, and only if you do have some available money, click on the book covers in the right hand column and decide which one (or two) you are going to treat yourself to! I can highly recommend “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” to anybody who has a “soft spot” for a rescue dogs. I can also highly recommend “The Odessa Chronicles” to anybody who loves fun fiction, especially when it involves a human trying to negotiate his way through life, but having to deal with a Barn Owl, a Jackalope and a Cat! If there is a child within you … you will love this book. There is also “Just Thinking” …. highly recommended if you are a thinker, and love to ponder various aspects of life!
Food for thought.