Hi, again. I’m Jon. The clueless member of the WellSpent rat pack.
Disclaimer: We are not a rat pack. I might be the only one of us with a leather jacket. And it’s pleather.
Prepare to say the word “duh” in your mind a lot in the coming article, because I’m probably going to say some pretty stupid and uninformed stuff. For example, the one line that stood out for me from all the others in WellSpent’s first article, Your Money or Your Life, is:
You get to decide if you are wealthy.
Excuse me for being captain obvious here, but I never really, REALLY understood that concept. I just never really questioned the entire idea of “what is wealthy?”
I guess I just went with the flow and pegged wealth at somewhere around a million rand.
At least, that’s what I used to think of as wealthy, but the real estate market in Cape Town has different ideas. A million rand will buy you a broom closet in a gangland, with a shared bathroom and a carport.
Nowadays my estimate of “What is wealthy” might be closer to around 3 million rand.
And it’s all bullshit. Reading Your Money or Your Life helped me realize that I don’t need to conform to any standards of wealth at all. I could go and live in a forest (as many people do), grow my own food, and build a hut out of leaves, and call myself wealthy. Of course, I won’t, because where would I plug my Macbook in, but the important thing here is that money does not equal happiness. And that’s what the definition of wealth should be. Happiness, which is comprised of health, security, self esteem, love, accomplishment, and all that other good stuff.
What does wealthy mean to you? In fact, what are the most important ways that money increases your happiness?
Is money about security? Really crappy, papery armor, that we accumulate over our youth in order to protect us from the big scary dragon of old age and infirmity?
Is money about power? Have you come to the somewhat chilling conclusion that the only true power is control over other people, and the control over others that money gives you helps you feel in control of your own life? If so, you might be Mister Burns.
Is money about social acceptance? Is it about keeping up with the Joneses, except that the Joneses are Kardashians and the race never ends?
Is it that without money you are ‘poor’?
Is money the ticket that lets you socially interact with the kind of people you want to spend time with?
Is money evil? Do you, like me, occasionally see money as the cause of everything bad in the world? Of course we know that money is just a tool, but a gun is also a tool, and wouldn’t we all be a lot better off without guns?
This list isn’t exhaustive, and I’m not answering any of these questions for you, by the way. I think the point is that everyone has different priorities, and that money means different things to different people.
In my next post, I’ll take you through what money means to ME, and hopefully that’ll help you examine your feelings on it.