Posts Tagged ‘poor’

Its not worth it!

Its not worth it!

I saw a post on Twitter the other day saying, “Why does it always come down to money?”

But the tweeter had a point. Because nearly everything in life eventually hinges on money and/or the lack thereof. Whether its a question of taking a vacation with the kids, remodeling or repairing your home, feeding your families, or putting gas in your car, it boils down to the almighty dollar.

It’s been said often enough, “Money makes the world go around.” Society and cultures all around the world revolve around a currency system of some kind. If its not paper and coin money or credit, then its a system of barter and trade. There is no free anything. Something of value is always taken from one source and given to another.

Unquestionably, the world and society as we know it does revolve around money (in one form or another).

I am reminded of the bible passage that says, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”

Truth is that it is just as easy to develop an obsession with money from the absence of it, as it is from an excess. People who never have enough money always want more and think about what they would do if they had it. People with excessive amounts of money don’t want to be parted with it. With the exception of lottery winners and random acts of chance, most wealthy people became that way because they understand the real value of the dollar and are loathe to spend it.

They may nickel and dime the rest of us to death, but it explains how the real path to wealth is paved: through the appreciation for the value of saving and the willpower to do so.

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I was inspired this morning by a blog at budgetsaresexy.com regarding whether or not to accept a gift of a car by a relative (for more details, please see the blog posting). But in general terms, a gift or charity should almost always be viewed in the best of terms.

According to the freedictonary.com  charity is defined in some of the following ways:

char•i•ty (ch r -t )
n. pl.
• Something given to help the needy; alms.
• Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
• Indulgence or forbearance in judging others. See Synonyms at mercy.
• Charity Christianity The theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one’s neighbors as objects of God’s love.
• Voluntary activity of or disposition towards donating money, property, or services to the needy or for general social betterment. — philanthropic, adj.
• Kindness (especially in giving money to poor people)

In the above mentioned blog, there was a concern that by accepting the gift, there would be an implied obligation that something was owed. Now correct me if I am wrong but if you give something with an expectation of being repaid or owed, than it is not a gift at all. Instead, this implies your really ‘selling’ or ‘trading’ it in exchange for something else. That is not what I mean when I refer to gifts or charity.

Charitable gifts are those given with no expectations in return. They are a show of generosity and concern where the betterment of someone else is truly at the heart of the giving. In these cases, we should not let pride get in the way. We live in tough economic times, and everyone can use a helping hand in one form or another.

I know this sounds like the “pay it forward” concept, but if someone gives you a gift that you cannot afford, or that will help ease a burden in some way, why not accept it? Then when you are able, either return the favor or do something similar for someone else who is in need. The world could do with a few more expressions of kindness and generosity, and giving to others does your own heart a tremendous amount of good. Besides, there are many far less fortunate people who are desperately in need, yet they have no one to give them gifts.

In the cases where someone offers you something with expectations in return, then simply give them back the gift. But only if you are sure those are their intentions. Call me an occasional optimist, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.

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We’ve all heard the saying, a penny saved is a penny earned.  But that doesn’t really seem impressive given that one penny saved for every day of the year only yields $3.65 at the end of 365 days.

What are you going to buy with that:

1)      One trip to Starbucks (if you go cheap)?

2)      Three dollar menu items from McDonalds!

3)      Or, if you save that $3.65 until another year has passed, applying the same method, you now have $7.30!

Alright, I am not bashing the idea of saving money, I’m really not.   So let’s tweak the numbers a little and see what we come up with.

penny calculations

(Yeah, that penny a day theory is looking pretty weak right about now.)

On the upside, even those of us who are so broke we don’t think its possible to save anything just might need to think again.

Look at the numbers.  Most people can at least afford to spare a quarter ($.25) a day.  C’mon, that’s only an average of  $7.75 a month, but after a year you will have $91.25! Maybe that doesn’t sound awesome, but if someone offered to give you $91.25 (no strings attached) you’d take it! Who wouldn’t? Bottom line is, even a quarter adds up to something significant.

What about the $5 dollars a week?  That’s only $20 a month ($25 on the two odd months with an extra week) but after a year you will have $260. Would you turn down the $260 if it was just offered to you outright? Nah, I didn’t think so.

It’s kind of weird to think about saving money on an hourly basis, but here goes.  If you can afford to save a nickel ($.05) an hour for a year, you will have $436.80.  This breaks down to $8.40 a week/$33.60 a month. There it is, that’s all. Can you believe it? For the cost of a cheap weekly meal at McDonald’s, you could save over $400 in a year.

Now if that became a dime ($.10) an hour for a year which totals $873.60, we’re talking about $16.80 a week/$67.20 a month. Higher stakes and harder to do I know, believe me, I’m not there yet myself. But talk about nickel and dime-ing it! If I listen closely, I can almost hear the “ching ching”.

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