Money! Money! Money!

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.

  1. 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.
  2.  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.

 

22 thoughts on “Money! Money! Money!

  1. I agree with what you said here. I am a person who is very focused on security. This also makes me take care that there are enough savings for when emergencies or unexpected things. But, I stopped only thinking in this direction and think I found a good balance. Money can be a blessing when you use it. I mean, you worked for it, you earned it, you deserve it, so treat yourself. Otherwise, where is the benefit of money?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Erika – Yes, there is a difference between fiscal responsibility …. and hoarding. I see nothing wrong with “saving for a rainy day”, but one must keep that “rainy day” into perspective. Hoarding (saving for the sake of saving) is sad when some of those savings could be put to good use in any number of different areas. My particular sensitivity is towards those who are less fortunate, and who just need a helping hand and a little guidance to get back into society as we know it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Money: a medium of exchange, legal tender, depreciation of purchasing power, control. So much to keep up with till where it’s become unnatural. Great post! I really enjoyed reading this. The creativity in your writing kept me intrigued all the way through. I Look forward to reading more!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Money is a fascinating topic for discussion isn’t it. So many people see it simply as a means to justify their existence, in that the more they have … the more they can show. Such a shame because surely the meaning of life is not “show and tell”. So many will one day reflect back on their lives and see little purpose served other than making money …. and ultimately for what purpose?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would much rather be making memories now than ending up with a fat savings account at the end of our lives and not being in good enough health to enjoy “treating” ourselves! Our kids already know that they aren’t getting a whopping inheritance. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think a balance between saving and spending is the key, although current interest rates don’t exactly encourage saving. But my parents saved very little money, and as a result they had a hard time in their retirement years. When my father died, my mother became partially dependent on us. So I think the balance is the key.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ann. There is nothing wrong with saving money as long as there is a definitive purpose. A fund to assist through retirement years is an excellent purpose. My issue is generally with those who save (perhaps hoard?) with no specific purpose in mind. Then the sad fact is that their “hard earned money” is enjoyed by somebody else! Of course a clear directive in a Will resolves that situation.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just re-read your Comments Ann, and you use an interesting choice of words in “current interest rates don’t exactly encourage saving”.
      It’s interesting because if one is saving for a purpose (i.e. retirement), then the interests rates should be little more than academic. Surely one would not choose to save for retirement because of low interest rates?

      Like

  5. Because we have no children or grandchildren, what happens to our considerable savings when we die concerns me. I am going to do something about it tomorrow thanks to your making me think about it.
    Plus, let me say I have your books and highly recommend them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you Rae. Perhaps a favourite charity, or conservation area, or environmental organization? Perhaps supporting the arts, or an education facility? Perhaps a shelter or a rehab centre? Perhaps a local orchestra? There are so many ways to make a difference and, while it probably will not change the world per se, bequeathing investments/savings could well change things dramatically at a more localized level.

      I remember reading an article about an English University (I think) which had sponsored a project which involved documenting and analyzing writings on gravestones. The conclusion was interesting. All the comments recognized who the deceased was (son, brother, mother, daughter etc. etc.), and many commented on what they did (teacher, builder, volunteer etc. etc.). What was really interesting was that not one gravestone acknowledged what the deceased possessed!

      The conclusion was that nobody is going to remember us for owning a Rolls-Royce, or a mansion. Nobody will remember us because we earned well over $M/year. They will however remember us for who we were in the context of relationships, and will remember us for whatever services we provided or facilitated in our society. Given that I think most of us would like to be remembered long after we have left this world, our decision should perhaps be based on the answer to the question “Where do I want to make an impact?”

      Your ongoing support for my books is really appreciated Rae. Stay safe, and take care in this rather strange world we are currently living in!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Money has value for me. I like to bathe in it. There’s nothing like sitting in my cavern-like vault while pouring hundred dollar bills over my body. It feels refreshing, invigorating, and empowering. After I’ve buried myself up to the neck in these large denominations, I then shake them free from my body, with a loud gasp of pure joy, dress in my seersucker suit, light a cigar, then instruct my butlers to stack the cash back up.

    It’s the highlight of my day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Colin,
    I got fed up with scrimping and saving ‘for a rainy day’ and when interest rates bombed by yet another 75% for savers, I thought sod it. We changed our car in April and have treated ourselves to few extras since then rather than put the surplus back. No point when all we’ll get is 25p per £100 provided it’s left in the account for a full twelve months and that’s on a loyalty preferential rate as most are around a pound per thousand per annum.
    We are ticking over, not adding to the pot, but not spending it either.
    Hope you are all OK.

    Liked by 1 person

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