Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Money + Happiness: Will It Make You Happy + Rich Dad Poor Dad

Did your parents ever tell you that money doesn't grow on trees? :) I think I remember hearing that at least a time or two growing up. I am grateful to have been raised in a family that taught very beneficial lessons about money from an early age; how to earn it, use it, save it, have it work for you and also most importantly to not be afraid of it. They didn't need to teach me how to spend it- I knew that instinctively all on my own. :)

Some people think money is evil... and it's not. It is simply a means of exchange. It may be used for "bad" things, but when it is- isn't that caused by a person's ego??? In the same vein we can also say that money is used for very good things, right? Blaming money for the ills of the world is too simple and misdirected I'm afraid.

“We’re moving from a conspicuous consumption — which is ‘buy without regard’ — to a calculated consumption,” says Marshal Cohen, an analyst at the NPD Group, the retailing research and consulting firm.

There is a fantastic article in the New York Times, "But Will It Make You Happy?" by Stephanie Rosenbloom, which brings up some very good points we should all think about (I hightly recommend you read it- I know you will enjoy.) Being in the realm of an eco-conscious consumer and balancing that with my creative/artistic side- I find that sometimes I am left feeling guilty about my "wants".

The message on one hand seem to be that "consumerism" is bad and ruining the world. And on the other hand the message is, "we all are creative beings and we are here to create". In the same vein, I don't think money is "bad"- I don't think "consumerism" is to blame for all the ills of the world either. I do think it's good to be aware, make adjustments, and do what you can, but being a "consumer" or wanting things is not necessarily a bad thing. It's part of life. It keep us going... keeps those ideas flowing, keeps advancements coming- we continue to learn, grow and change.

Along the same lines... I also recently read, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and thoroughly enjoyed it. Financial wisdom is something most are lacking and need to polish up on. Kiyosaki shows very comprehensible ways of achieving financial wisdom and freedom. I especially liked his can do attitude... 'if you want it, you can achieve it'. It's straightforward, full of important information, and I think everyone (including children) will benefit from having read it. Don't be one of those people who complain about what they don't have and blame others for their own misfortunes- it's gross.

Double check those wants, check responsibilities and balance sheets, build your assets, limit your liabilities and get out of debt. No one's perfect, but I don't know anyone who doesn't crave financial freedom. Just point yourself towards the direction you want to go towards and start taking the steps to get there. We do learn by making mistakes and it's great that we are all different. I find the differences among us allow a nice contrast so we know what we do and do not want. This ensures continued growth. Let's keep growing, learning, and be "smart" about our spending choices. We will all benefit.

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