Sunday, September 16, 2012

Commoner's Cents

I've been thinking about money lately.

Who hasn't?

What I mean by this, is that I've been trying to handle my business better.

This little journey has opened a lot of questions and perspectives on life.

For one, I think finances are burdensome, and I'm approaching this from an enthusiastic perspective.

You gotta wonder how everyone else does it.

When you find yourself tempted to buy things, and you choose to be cheap and frustrated, how do people do it? When your brain melts from all the delayed gratification.

I've seen people gorge money on stupid things when they can't pay for utilities.

One of the biggest trending Twitter topics lately has been #ButYouGotThatIphone5Tho

As in, "Your kids are starving #ButYouGotThatIphone5Tho"

This is a big problem.

Does everyone live in constant denial all the time? Am I the world's party pooper?

And it brings me to the next point:

I think the concept of what "wealth" is needs to be redefined.

Nice cars don't equal wealth. They equal debt, paying with interest, high gas prices, and depreciation.

I think it was Dave Ramsey who said "Don't keep up with the Joneses, they're probably in debt".

Wealth means spending less than what you take in.

That's it. Nothing else. No champagne wishes, caviar dreams bullshit. Even if you're homeless and you made five dollars. If you only spent a dollar, that's wealth.

Now, onto another element of finance:

A bunch of personal finance gurus discussing investing always bring up risk. They talk risk like they're conquering Australia.

This is confusing as hell since all the previous chapters in said book was about saving. Now we're talking about blowing it all.

Have I figured it all out yet? No.

But, this is my own little adage.

Spend money on things worth spending money on.

The middle class buys junk. The rich buy investments.

Treat your time as you do your money. Hobbies should be constructive.

Debt sucks. But, if you have to go there, go into debt over something worth going into debt over. Again, maybe there's someone in a lot of student debt right now that wants me to go fall off a cliff, but hey, student debt is noble, at least in theory. That startup on your bucket list, for example, is also noble. Something worth being homeless over is probably noble.

Again, maybe my opinion will change later on depending on circumstances. But that's what I'm getting from all this finance doublespeak.

In Best Worst Movie, filmmaker Michael Stephenson chronicles the fanbase of the movie Troll 2 (which he starred in as a child). He reunites with many of the cast from the movie to see what they've been up to.

One segment shows the actor who played the grandfather in his retirement house. A lot of clutter occupies his house, and he goes into detail about how he regretted his life.

He regretted life cause he didn't take the risk in moving to the city to be a big time actor.

I ain't dealing with that shit. The only regrets that should exist come from trying too hard.

It's just a matter of going into debt over noble things getting into debt for.

All of this is subject to change.

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