Money Can Buy Happiness

This is a rewrite of a post that I improved and not want buried in archives. I hope you enjoy.

Today is a continuation of the discussion in Money is not the Root of all Evil nor by Itself Evil.
At this point, you should no longer feel negative and apprenhensive about money, learning about money, talking about money, and having money.

Now that we treat money as tool, it follows that the value of money is entirely dependent on how we utilize it. As such, the responsibility becomes yours to decide what to do with your money.

While that mentality is sinking in your mind, let us talk about how money can buy happiness. You may ask, “What happen to the old saying of money cannot buy happiness?” I will clarify the fact remains that money cannot directly buy happiness; however, it is also a fact that money can buy a lot of things, which may or may not bring happiness. And certainly, we all know that money cannot get us everything we want.

Money cannot buy friends, real friends.
Money cannot find you love.
Money cannot magically give you new abilities.
Money cannot revive the dead.

So what then?

Money Means Survival

Remember in the old days our ancestors had to hunt for food and find shelter in caves or otherwise be dead… Well, earning money is a subsitutation for that. Money lets us buy food and a root above our heads. Money allows us to survive in this society. We are animals too, and survival is a priority, so let us be glad that each of us is surviving because we have some money, if not a lot.

Money Provides Sense of Security

Because our survival is linked to money, having more money allows us to thrive by reinforcing a sense of security. Having money saved up means less stress about survival.

How do I pay all the monthly bills?
What if I get laid off?
What if my car breaks down?
What if I have a health-related emergency?

If you have one or more of those scenario above, you can come out with no or less worries and stress if you have enough money. I can subscribe to that because I worried a lot about making it through my graduate school, paying tuition and living expense. Fortunately, I made it out alive in fair shape by taking leave of absense to work full-time and selecting only subsidized loans, along with some support from my dear sister.

Since I mentioned loan, let me add that lowering and eliminating debt has the same effect as having more money. That’s why we should also strive to be debt free.

Money Provides Flexibility

Laid off is mentioned above. If you have money saved up and not have to worry about financial burden such as mortgages, you have extra time to look for your next job. Laid-off aside, if you current job is unpleasant, you can choose to venture into starting your own business, or simply take some time off to find the right direction, or travel the world. By flexibility, we can also think of it as the next topic…

Money Lets Us Manifest Our Values

Despite not able to let you buy everything we desire, you can still put your money to good use toward the important things in your life, like:

  • Continuing education
    With money, you can go ahead and get the master, PhD, MBA, CPA, degree in whatever field you have always wanted
  • Assiting parents and family members
    Some of us have aging parents that could use our help financially. Actually, having money may also make it easier for you to help them out physically too, through flexibility in selecting schedule and location of the new job.
  • Hobbies
    Use money toward the classes and equipments for your favorite hobby. I do for lessons on singing and piano!
  • Buying things that you like
    Let’s be real. We all have things we like. Clothes? Shoes? Watches? Artwork? I love gadgets… A little indulgence can be constructive on our well being.
  • Vacation
    Travel the world. See other cultures and people. Build perception with extra experience. What great ideas!
  • Housing
    Having a comfortable, cozy place to call home lets us feel safe. Though I would say it is overkill where 2 people living in a 10,000 sq. ft. house. Oooooh, ain’t I sarcastic.

After all, it is not About Money…

Being rich does not automatically make you happy.
Nor can being poor make you happy either.

What money can do is… Money can contribute to your happiness depending on how you spend it. Therefore, it goes back to the general theme here that much like success, happiness has everything with knowing yourself and your values. So I suppose I should say that money can indirectly buy happiness, that is, only if you know what you want in life.

You can choose to spend all your money on materials, but that means you value materials above all else. If that makes you happy, be my guest. As Wolverine kindly said to Rogue in X-men: The Last Stand, “I’m not your father. I’m your friend.” I am not here to tell you what to do. I am here to get you to think for yourself.

Originally posted 2008-04-21 23:33:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Treating the Symptoms and Not the Root of Problems

These days you open the financial news section, there isn’t a whole lot of good news going on in the section.
You see news about people losing their homes to foreclosures, due to “unforeseen” results of lending.
You see news about financial and investment companies losing their pants due to the subprime heap of mess.
You see news about toys recalls and decrease of quality in other products, due to cost cutting.
You see news about people’s booty falling into piles of credit card debt.
You see news about boomers retiring with inadequate savings, due to…I really don’t know, probably a bunch of reasons (excuses).

In turn, people write and argue in the media about what methods to fix each of those problems, and in some cases, bailing out those people. I’d like to say people have gotten it all wrong. I say those problems are just symptoms of a rampant issue in society. By implementing method that solve each of those problems will only provide solutions in the short term. On the long haul, they will come back to bite us once again, and probably with a vengeance.

I say the main issue is greed and irresponsibility. People are so drugged up with greed that lead to a lot of the problems we see today. Profits, profits, profits. And with only profits in mind, people took actions in order to make profits while ignoring or denying the fact that they will be responsible for the consequence later, as is happening in the market these days. As for individual consumers, they have been irresponsible of their own financial matters and future, buy junks and luxury in the cost of future.

Hence, instead of solving those individual problems, I would urge people to put a tap on their greed and blatant ignorance to responsibility. If only people can learn to exercise self-control, maintain a clear mind, practice some discipline, understand responsibility… but those don’t sound very fun. Such boring mumbo-jumbo.

Making quick money is so much more fun!
Having all these things is so much more exciting!
Oh right, eating junk food is so much more fun too!

Perhaps I should shut up, as I appear to be the insensible one here. Or not?

Originally posted 2007-11-21 23:49:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Death of Responsibility

The main reason for the title of this post sprouts from reading one article and another article regarding attempt to pass legislation that set aside 20 billion will help people from foreclosures in the subprime mortgage sector. And I won’t get started on how the goverment is over-spending (our poor tax money…) It’s a whole other rant.

Anyways, you ask, how does the legislation relate to responsibility, or the death of it?

Here is some background info, in a nutshell:
Yes, the subprime mortgage exists to help people with lesser credit to obtain money to be able to purchase a home. But couple years ago, a lot of people, who I would assume did not think and plan logically based on their cash flow and how the possibility of rate adjustment would affect their payment in future, take on these loans to purchase a home. And I am certain among those people, there are plenty who took it to the extreme to buy something they can only marginally afford. On top of that, they probably take the risk of buying such homes with the assumption that the market price will continue to rise. Needless to say, now that the market price is stagnant and probably will drop some more, and time has reached to point of rate reset, they can no longer afford their payments and face foreclosure.

Here is the answer why having the legislation is an irresponsible deed:
The word of significance from my explanation above is, RISK. Any market/business out there involves risk. Like buying stocks, people understand (I hope they do…) that they are at risk of buying something that which the value may drop and therefore, they can lose money. The logic isn’t too far off here. These people, who are now facing foreclosures, borrwed money and borrowed more than they can afford. There’s also probability that they did not try to fully comprehend the terms – what could happen with the rate and how a slight change in rate can strangle them by taking loans to the extreme. They took the bet, and they lost. Like gambling in casino, you don’t get your money back when you lost. Period

This takes me to the conclusion that the folks proposing the legislation are simply silly. If they go ahead with that, why don’t they have legislation to help cover the people who lost in the stock market. Next, help the people who started business and completely failed. While we are at it, let’s have legislation that bails out the folks who lost their shirts at casino. This really makes me want to laugh.

On top of this and outside of the financial arena, responsibility is also non-existent. A few points of support are:

  • Most recently, from the Virginia Tech shooting, I talked about how people fail to look into themselves for the source of problem
  • Another recent case, check out some news on Alberto Gonzales. The dude used 50+ times of “I don’t recall” as his answers in his own defense. Isn’t he the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation? If so, I would say, whether he is willing or not, whether he likes it or not, it’s his job, and he should be aware of the firing process of eight attorneys. Since he doesn’t recall of of that, he deserves to be fired, as a normal employee would on a job.
  • A case of parents suing frat/school for the demise of their under-age-son because of alchohol. My argument – did the fraternity or the school make the decision for the boy to sneak in and over-drink? Even if it’s due to hazing, the kid chose to join the frat himself. I am sorry, but he has made a stupid choice.
  • Few years back, a case where people attempt to sue the big four fast food restaurants “lying” to customers and need to offer healthier options to. What the heck, c’mon, we all know fast food are not healthy. Go eat something else if you want to be healthy or add exercise to the agenda.
  • Domestic (unmarried) partner claiming the other person has held them back in life. This is an example I observed from personal life and my argument – pure excuses.

The list could go on if I really want to keep digging, but I think I have stated my point. It would really help if people do THINK before they make a decision, and also understand that whatever outcomes are the direct result of our own decisions and actions, and we need to stop blaming and take responsibility.

Originally posted 2007-04-23 00:52:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Questions for U.S. President George Bush Junior

I talked about reflecting on yourself to become a better “you” as everyday goes by.

I’m not a very political person, but I wonder if our president does any self-reflection.
I wonder if President George Bush Junior ever think to himself:

I’m already the president of U.S., the most powerful man in U.S. and possibly in the world, do I really need more power?
Maybe I should use my power more appropriately, for better cause, and not abuse the darn thing…

I (and my friends) have a crap load of money already, do I really have to help us obtain more?
Maybe we can use our time, money, and effort to help and advocate medical research or any kind of benefical social efforts.

I’m making more mistakes than I really want to when I speak in public…
Maybe I should work on my vocabulary and practice the presentation…

Had there been “a little” too many lives lost among all the wars I started here and there?
Maybe it’s time to find a way to stop them.

I have always been pushing democracy to the other parts of the world. Why don’t people understand?
Maybe they don’t understand the fundamentals of democracy. Wait, do I know the fundamentals of democracy? Is United States being a good example of democracy under my ruling?

Should I listen more to the opinions of the people I am supposed to be serving?
Maybe it’s time I listen to other perspectives.

Did I really change the government for the better?
Did I really make America a better place?
Have I contributed to the world positively?

And finally…
Am I being a good president? Am I being a good person?

Personally, I’m not sure if he can close his eyes and say with peace in his heart, “Yes”.
But that’s just me.

Do you have questions for our Mr. President?

Originally posted 2007-08-19 13:10:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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