We wake up this morning to find out two things – ‘The richer you are, the easier it is to get more rich’ (duh! As the kids would say). And that ‘we are all living beyond our means’. Oh alright then – we might as well all roll over and go back to sleep now…….
The annual ‘Everybody Who Has More Money Than Me/I List’ has come out and yet again (grrrrrrrr!) I am nowhere to be found. Number One is a steel magnate who is so powerful and wealthy that no one has had the nerve to say ‘now about that hairdo’. Number Two is a Russian who despite his wife just relieving him of enough of his fortune (for bad behaviour) and earning her own place on the list – is still worth 10.8 billion pounds. And Number Three is the ever enigmatic and elusive Duke of Westminster – who by the way if anyone knows him please let him know that Morag would like to come around for a cup of tea and a biscuit. Read a profile on him last year and he sounds like an incredibly decent, deep and caring man who gives of himself and his money to help others less fortunate (no snide remarks about ‘that means all of us then’).
Philip Beresford (who complies the list), said that the richer you are is the easier it is to get more rich. Well yes and no. There is another economic theory that says if you put all the wealth of the world on a table and divvied it up equally that within a couple of years the majority of it would have found its way back into the hands it originally came from. Yes a few of us might sneak in but in the main most of us would pretty much be in the same position we were in before.Why is that? Because wealth is a mindset more than anything else. If you want to be one of the few who would move from one side of the table to the other you could do worse than going on Amazon and spend 6 pounds picking up a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and turning to the finances chapter. It is basically a compilation of thoughts from the Bible through to Einstein on how to get certain things in your life and/or helping you identify why you don’t have certain things in your life. I am trying to put the principles in place and have already gotten a new secondhand bike – today a bicycle, tomorrow a Bentley. If it works for any of you I’ll expect a cut of the profits – cash in an envelope please to Miss Morag Mindbender……….
Our other bit of wisdom –and one I put much stock in – comes from Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser at the ITEM Club, which is an economic forecasting group backed by Ernst and Young. He says that as a nation we are skating/wobbling on thin ice because most of us are living beyond our means. Basically all this ‘Gordon Brown is a hero because we all have more dosh’ is a load of codswallop. Most of us don’t really have more dosh at all but the system has been skewed to enable us to live as we do.
I know I always sound like someone’s granny when I start banging on about how we spend money but it really is true and I am thrilled to hear a chief economic adviser to anyone say what I’ve been saying for a while now. If we don’t all stop it we are going to wake up one morning in a terribly awful position. I shall trundle out my favorite example – collective yawn from those at the back but I don’t care repetition is the mother of knowledge.
‘When our parents were young’ if they wanted to make a major purchase – say a refrigerator, they trundled out to investigate. They saw how much it cost, they went home and saved up for a year, they trundled back out a year later cash in hand and made the purchase. This meant that knew EXACTLY how much something really cost. And exactly what it took to achieve it. Nowadays if I want a new fridge I go on the internet before leaving for work, order it, pay a special delivery charge because I’m so damn impatient and want what I want and I want it right now. And by the time I return from work my new fridge is whirring away. I cannot tell you how much it really cost, and having it or achieving it has not caused a ripple in my life. Well of course this sort of thing is addictive so we have become a nation of people who buy without thinking and pay without knowing. So what we have basically done is developed the mindset of wanting to live the life of wealth without the mindset on how to acquire it. Thin ice – you betcha and there’s going to be a lot of us swimming in deep water quite soon if we don’t watch out.
Is there a solution – of course there is – isn’t there always? Here we go – in a quick paragraph and yes it is this simple:
‘Things’ aren’t what we really want – it’s the state of mind we believe having these ‘things’ will bring us to. Find easier, more meaningful, and cheaper ways to achieve the desired state of mind and you won’t need to spend all that money. Does that sound familiar? Yes – money has now become the drug of choice for most of us, now how scary is that?