I sometimes find myself being jealous or angry when I see some people who seem to be so prosperous with just about anything they do. This is especially true when they are much younger than me. (Yes I'm talking to those tech nerds who dropped out of college and are billionaires today.) I know appearances are often deceiving and many people who are trying to keep up with the Jones's look good on the outside but are a mess behind the scenes. Even so, some people are able to earn money almost effortlessly and it seems they have the Midas touch while others are killing themselves just trying to survive
Despite my jealousy of the rich and the financial inequality that exists in the world I still have a hard time blaming the rich for my problems. I have noticed that is an increasing popular philosophy and political tactic these days. I know there are some super rich people who are dishonest and corrupt but that doesn't apply to most wealthy people. I also don't believe in scarcity mentality or that there is just a fixed amount of pie for us to all share. Anyway this is not a political rant. It is about my fantasy.
For the longest time I've had a recurring dream about getting a large briefcase full of cash. It is a metal briefcase with locks and is full of at least $75,000, but probably much more. I imagine what bills I would pay off with it and what repairs I would make and how much stress it could alleviate from my life.
As appealing as this fantasy scenario is to think about, I know there is no such thing as a free lunch and money should be earned and not just wished for. Aside from the integrity issue with this money for nothing scenario, I have an even greater concern about how this could actually happen. If you came across a suitcase full of money up in the mountains or wilderness what would you do? You know if you took it to whatever federal agency had jurisdiction of that area you would not see one cent. Would you put an ad in the paper or turn it over to the police? If you decided to just take it, then you would be looking over your shoulder forever. You could pretty much count on this guy showing up within a day or two no matter how careful you were.
Since it is my responsibility to provide for my family, I've tried to improve my finances by utilizing programs for money management over the years. Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" is very thorough but I tire of hearing him talk down to people whose financial lives are a mess and tell people to go deliver pizzas and eat rice and beans. He speaks the truth but it is harsh and often unpleasant to hear. He also focuses on just debt reduction. I recently used another course called "Turn Your Debt into Wealth" by John Cummuta and it was pretty solid and he does not try to sell you anything either, just good information. Another program I thought was helpful was Financial Fitness by Life Leadership. They provide 47 laws of financial fitness and address the offense and defense of finances so it's not just about budgeting and paying off debts.
As appealing as it is to wish for money, I'm afraid the keys to good finances boils down to the following:
- Providing others with a product of service of value that they are willing to compensate you for.
- Having a healthy relationship with money and realizing it is just a tool.
- Being a good steward of your resources and budgeting and using them responsibly.
- Blessing and helping other people with your wealth which definitely includes giving me a briefcase full of $75,000. ( I would even pay taxes on it.)
You never know if names like Gates, Buffett, Branson, Walton, Dell, or Zucherberg may be reading this so it doesn't hurt to ask.
PS- Thanks in advance and please don't forget the metal briefcase.