Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Having It All

by Donna L. Watkins

Money rules more than we realize. Some of us stressing because we've spent more than we make for too long, some of us not spending it until we've got "enough" and some people have grown up without a concept of money management.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Green Iguana - Costa Rica
Money management is not what they teach in schools and yet it's such an important part of life and marriages. Money issues are the number one cause for marriage problems. Look within our families and you'll see it's the topic of many discussions with our children.

In Pamela York Klainer's book, How Much Is Enough? Harness the Power of Your Money Story - And Change Your Life, she says we all have a "money story." How we juggle our money with success and happiness creates a story. Finding the roots of our money story and changing our viewpoint to make money an "ordinary" thing will change our lives. When we determine how much is enough, we've got freedom to live life in a different way.

Linda Kulman wrote, "We are a nation that believes in having it all. In 1950, American families owned one car and saved for a second. In 2000, nearly 1 in 5 families owned three cars or more. Americans shell out more for garbage bags than what 90 of the world's 210 countries spend for everything. Indeed, America has double the number of shopping malls as it does high schools."

Our obsessions with stuff brings a high price tag to our lives and the lives of those we live with and love. It used to be "keeping up with the Joneses," but the television has replaced them. The torrential flow of advertising has people grabbing for it all to be all, which is based on what and how much they own.

Max Lucado's book, Cure For The Common Life, states that in 1900 the average person living in the United States wanted 72 different things and considered 18 of them essential. Today, the average person wants 500 things and considers 100 of them essential.

He says, "Greed comes in many forms. Greed for approval. Greed for applause. Greed for status. Greed for the best office, the fastest car, the prettiest date. Greed has many faces, but speaks one language: the language of MORE.

Epicurus noted, "Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little."

When John D. Rockefeller was asked, "How much money does it take to satisfy a man?" he answered, "Just a little more."

Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income."

Max Lucado writes, "Greed has a growling stomach. Feed it, and you risk more than budget-busting debt. You risk losing purpose. Greed can seduce you out of your sweet spot.

Here's a story he includes in the above mentioned book:

A businessman bought popcorn from an old street vendor each day after lunch. He once arrived to find the peddler closing up his stand at noon. "Is something wrong?" he asked. A smile wrinkled the seller's leathery face. "By no means. All is well."

"Then why are you closing your popcorn stand?"

"So I can go to my house, sit on my porch, and sip tea with my wife."

The man of commerce objected. "But the day is still young. You can still sell.

"No need to," the stand owner replied. "I've made enough money for today."

"Enough? Absurd. You should keep working."

The spry old man stopped and stared at his well-dressed visitor. "And why should I keep working?"

"To sell more popcorn," answered the business man. "And why sell more popcorn?" asked the vendor.

"Because the more popcorn you sell, the more money you make. The more money you make, the richer you are. The richer you are, the more popcorn stands you can buy. The more popcorn stands you buy, the more peddlers sell your product, and the richer you become. And when you have enough, you can stop working, sell your popcorn stands, stay home, and sit on the porch with your wife and drink tea."

The popcorn man smiled, "I can do that today. I guess I have enough."

My question is, "What price are you paying for having it all?" And is the sacrifice working? Does it bring the satisfaction that you expected? Do you see an end to the rat race? (Read "Should You Take That Job?")

For those of us who don't spend and save all for a rainy day or specific project, "How much is enough before you step out to make your dream come true or live your life without every decision being based on money?"

Want a visual picture of the magnitude of stuff? Please take time to view this award-winning video, The Story of Stuff. Do you realize that 99% of what we buy has passed through our hands within six (6) months?

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© 2000-2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, TheNatureInUs.com for more articles and free email subscription.
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1 comment:

NKRobbins said...

There is a wonderful profile of Annie Leonard, Story of Stuff, in the September/October issue of Women's Adventure Magazine. Check it out.