When I asked my friend Bob about his view on money, he replied with these words of moderate thought.
That was back in grade 12 when I really had very little concept of the value of money. At that point my only real reference was almost abstract in nature. I had been raised to believe that it was better to give than to receive; greed being next to the root of all evil - a love for loot. Abstract because for all intents and purposes i had everything i ever needed. To quote Dylan Thomas, I was living "golden, in the mercy of his means". (Fern Hill, 1945)
My then 17-year-old brain would, as it learned in electronics class, "take the path of least resistance". As a result, I didn't really 'get' why one should save some shekels...after all, if it's just sitting there, it's extra, right? Having extra when others have less, or none seemed to me to be greedy. After all, to sit on mass wealth just to have it IS greedy, right?
I grew up in a time of prosperity. Right before the crash of the 80s, we'd moved. The house we sold fetched more than the house we bought, so we never experienced the "21% mortgage". I was 10. After that, for the most part its been easy... downhill.
I was 38 at the time of our most recent serious economic plummet.
I was il-prepared, to say the least. I'd never experienced "no cash flow", and hence learned the hard way WHY you should have a stash of extra cash. The cash can and will stop - eventually.
Two years of little-to-no income put me in a sad state - economically and emotionally. It has been a good lesson to have learned - driven home far more effectively than had i simply read about it - however it would have been better had I paid more mind to the advice given me by those who had either been there, or were wise enough to understand that economic downs are indeed real, and do indeed affect far more than your own personal standard of living.
I've been slow to blog about this, and reluctant to share the more personal side of it, for obvious reasons. But what's more, I've generally been sharing less and less of even the happier moments in life - which is yet another consequence of an economic struggle. (My best guess is that so much of my energy is directed toward resolving matters of economic survival, very little remains for much else.)
On the upside, there is a plan in place - one that goes against my grain of following the "path of least resistance", a painfully slow and seemingly plodding repair.
My biggest personal challenge is to keep on the radar the less-immediate: other people, recreational pursuits and those things spiritual that are indeed requisite and necessary for the good of the soul.
In closing, to address Bob's concern about having "...so much money I have to worry about it", I simply feel that at this point it's a problem I wouldn't mind having - after all, first-hand experience far outweighs casual observation.