Money- Is it all in your head?


Today I sat for two hours waiting for my car to be serviced, and I caught a rerun of Oprah. It was the show about people who had received windfalls of money and their lives had gone to hell.

To tell you the truth I never believed the "money doesn't buy you happiness" thing. I have had money in my life and let me tell you I was overjoyed. I have been on safari to Africa, stayed at some of the finest resorts in the world, and eaten meals at restaurants I will never forget (including some just recently in Sr.John).

I think the most fascinating thing about money is your relationship to it. On the Oprah show they featured a homeless man who had received $100,000 from a benefactor and they made a documentary about what he did with it. What he did was, he blew it all and has nothing. Why? Why would a homeless man who was not on drugs, passed a psych evaluation and was a good, honest person ruin his future? One reason: he thought the money would make people respect him, and that he would finally like himself.

This is not what he said of course. What he said was he blamed society, and that people took advantage of him. He got that money and bought a friend a car, bought himself a car, lent money to everyone in his family and spent it all. All for the sake of being "liked". Oprah called him on the "society blame thing", wasn't it society that gave him $100,000? He said his life was worse and he wished he had never gotten the money.

How you view yourself, is how you will treat money. Hate yourself and you will spend every cent you have. Love yourself and you will save. Simplistic yes. But I'm right. Money will not make you like yourself more, or give you the confidence you've been lacking. You can't buy friends or family with money (at least ones who truly care about you). Money is there for security. It's your insurance policy, and it does not define you. Having discipline with your money, knowing where it's going and how it's spent, is healthy. Continuing to spend it and ignoring your problems is not. I have been there.

Thanks for joining me for money week. You made it through like a champ!

17 comments:

Belle in Bloom said...

This one is tough. I've had money and I haven't had money. I was definitely happy when I had money and unhappy when I didn't. It really is a security thing and without it, no security. That makes any one very unhappy. ;)

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

I tagged you...maybe this will give you something to post about after Money Week! :)

Mom on the Run said...

The big story here this week is the family that got a huge mansion on Extreme Makeover is in foreclosure. They gave them enough money to pay taxes on it for 25 years and no mortgage. They borrowed $450,000 to "start a construction business" and it "failed".

Give.me.a.break.

Jillian, Inc. said...

This is a GREAT post. So very, very true. Money can't buy happiness, and neither can anything else. I love the saying, "No matter where you go, there you are." Did you also see the news story recently about the Home Makeover People that lost the house they were given because they put it up for collaterol for a new business and lost it all?

Beth G. said...

You are so smart:) What a terrific post! And I just read your comment on my blog...if I'm ever in LA we are definitely heading out for a cocktail...or a road trip:)

Cindy said...

In my mind money can buy choices. The lack of it may not make something impossible, but the presence of it can certainly make something easier. Like continuing an education, living in a certain area, taking an interesting job over a boring higher paying one.

And shoes that cost more are often more comfortable.

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

Great post! My husband and I go back and forth on this a lot. He says money does buy you happiness in some ways and I guess I never really put it into the perspective that you just did. Thanks for helping me see his side! I have enjoyed your money talks...now, can you please just come move in next door to me and remind me of these tips on a weekly basis? :)

Pink in a sea of blue said...

Can we just all win the lottery and go back to Greece? Sorry, couldn't resist. Great posts this week (as usual).

Candace said...

wow. i think I needed to read that. I maybe didn't want to read it but I certainly needed to read it.
thanks.

Cas said...

I've loved money week! Thanks for taking us there...it's often easier to not think about.

Anonymous said...

New to your blog and wanted to say thanks for some great advice.

Sara from Pasadena (a local!) :)

Houses, Couches and Babies said...

Wow! I appreciate you telling like it is and I think you are spot on! Thanks for money week!

Claire said...

There is so much truth in what you wrote - planning on spending the weekend getting papers sorted - back to "the plan" - thank you

ursula said...

Having money DOES make things easier. I really don't think that can be debated. I, too, am coming from a situation in which I had money (like you, I went on safari, went to Egypt, and did things/saw things that I will never, ever forget)...in my new situation, I am doing okay, I have food on the table, and a roof over our heads... but I can't throw caution to the wind and say, "let's go away for the weekend and live large!" Money allows you to be more adventurous, I believe.

Buford Betty said...

I look at it like Spidey looks at his power (and I'm so nerdy for saying this) - With great power (or wealth) comes great responsibility.

I think it takes a very special person to be able to have and handle wealth, and the responsibility that comes along with it. Case in point - look how f*ked up celebs are. The more you have, the more that's required of you. And there's so few wealthy people that ever really *get* that.

And it's for that reason that I honestly don't ever want to be "rich." Cuz I'm not sure I would be one of those that could handle it well. As long as I can pay my bills and have a little fun from time to time, I'm more than blessed... and to me, that's rich.

Tammy Warren said...

What a great post. I think this a really needed blog.

Far From Perfect said...

I'm a saver-always have been. I live a very comfortable life-love it, worked hard for it.. The funny thing when I didn't have much money- I lived with in my means. Growing up we had very little,but I didn't know that. I hung out with kids that were all about the same,we were so not into things, clothes etc.. It is soo different now. I try to stay grounded. But having more money now I feel at times being sucked into buying stuff. I hate giving my children the wrong preception on money-they've never been without??? Loved your last couple posts.