Friday, May 27, 2016

Location in wealth, no, money

We don't pick our date and time of birth.  We almost never pick our date and time of death. So, locating ourselves in time, probably the main variable of our lives, is rather cut and dried.  But our money is a somewhat different question.  You can start to feel the difficulties if I report my wealth or my money in Italian lire or Russian rubles.  Google reports that one US dollar is currently worth 1709.66 lire or 65.88 rubles.  So, which is better 1 or 1709 or 66.  Rather a silly question but the answer tends to depend on whether you are in Kansas City or Fiorenza or Leningrad.

Which is better: a Chevy, a Lamborghini or a Buick?  Depends on what you want, where you live, how you feel.  You might have preferred a Chevy at 17 years of age but none of the above today.

It is not easy to situate yourself in money.  Compared to your cousin, you have more income but you don't own a boat.  Compared to your grandfather, you have nearly no acreage but he did. Compared to the Italian priest in a Tuscan monastery, you have quite a wardrobe but he doesn't want more clothes.  Mathematically, your income is quite a lot more than Ivan's but he is well-off by the standards of his family and friends and neighborhood.

When it comes to money (not wealth, a bigger and trickier category), people often talk of winning the lottery.  If you win $100, what will you do with the money?  How about $10,000? Sometimes, people talk of getting a windfall and I like to ask them if they need money.  They usually pause a moment and then say they don't. Most people most of the time don't really know how much they actually have right now.

It is likely that your life would have been different if your family's annual income was monthly instead.  In the same way, if a month's income had to last a full year, things would have probably been different.  These numerical considerations are one thing but there is often an emotional side to money. Should I have worked harder?  Should I have gone into a different line of work?  Maybe I am ashamed of what I failed to accomplish. Maybe I am quite proud of all that I have earned and saved.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

Twitter: @olderkirby

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby