Monday, April 9, 2012

Money

I've noticed that two things will always get most folks attention- discussions about money and discussions about sex. When I did the post on the chicken bras, there were a number of ads on the blog listing lingerie. That didn't surprise me, nor was I shocked when I saw that I had a record number of clicks on the ads for bras and other lacy underthings. No doubt most of the interest in those things was from the male readers- but that's ok; being a man I understand very well the interest in such matters.  However, this post isn't about ladies underwear or sex, but that other thing that seems to occupy the mind of so many- money. Cash, moola, green, coin, bucks, scratch- call it what you will, we all need it to survive, and most of us seem to want more than we  have. It's why we work overtime and do jobs we hate and tolerate obnoxious bosses and petty co-workers.  I used to stand on top of forty foot high fuel tanks in the middle of the night in a freezing wind  transferring fuel. It wasn't fun, but I had to do it- I  had to keep the bucks flowing. Just over a week ago folks were going nuts trying to buy the winning ticket for the mega-millions lottery, even though the odds of winning were like one in one  hundred seventy six million. It seems like the very people who can least afford to play the lottery are lined up, spending money that would be better spent on clothes for the kids, or groceries or the electric bill. I understand the desire to get rich. Though I've never played the lottery, I fish for a living. That's a pretty big gamble. The boat could break down in the middle of the season, the weather can be lousy or the fish may not show. All that taken into consideration, my odds of having a profitable season are still considerably better than taking the money I spend on the boat and buying lottery tickets with it. Some years back we would receive the big packet from Publishers Clearing House that would strongly suggest that we could win a million dollars or whatever the amount was. For a long time we were foolish enough to spend the postage to send it back, hoping somehow we would miraculously be picked out of the hundreds of thousands of other people who were  hoping for the same thing. We even bought a few magazines, thinking it would increase our odds.... but noooooo... not gonna happen Tommy boy. I would have been better off investing in the company who prints up all the paper for PCH. I watched ABC's show 20/20 last week. They were describing how winning the lottery had changed the lives of those who had won- mostly for the worse. Some had gone bankrupt, gotten divorced, one fellow's granddaughter died- I can't recall if it was a drug related situation or suicide. He had been giving her $2000.00 a week. That's a lot of money for a teen to get without any direction. All of them are inundated with requests for money, not only from relatives but from strangers as well. For some reason if you come into a bunch of money, a lot of people seem to think you should share it with them. More than a few of them said they regretted winning the lottery, and yet it doesn't deter people from throwing their money away for a chance to get rich. I read a book by Max Lucado who pointed out a survey that was done about what Americans would do for ten million dollars. 7% would murder for money, 4% would change their sex,25% would abandon their family,23% would become a prostitute for a week,16% would leave their spouse, 3% would put up their children for adaption. There are more stats that I didn't list. If you want to read them all you can get the book When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado. It's kind of scary to think that we would let money have that much control over us or over our neighbors for that matter. Personally, I think we have a responsibility to be good stewards over the money we have. I subscribe to the general policy that I heard a popular television pastor mention  concerning money- spend some, save some, give some away. If you need wisdom concerning monetary issues, I would recommend Dave Ramsey. He's a Christian fellow with  a financial website and he dispenses some pretty good advice in my opinion. I know several people who have benefited from his wisdom. I believe he put out a book called Total Money Makeover  that provides sound advice for getting out of debt and securing your financial future. Finally, I will offer a quote from the book of Matthew. "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul."  A little something to think about. Now its time for me to go to work. I hope you all have a great week.

10 comments:

  1. Good thoughts dad! And, that guy's grandaughter died of a drug overdose! That's a great quote from Mathew too! Keeps things in perspective!

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  2. Hi Autumn- thanks. Obviously I couldn't remember how the fellow's granddaughter died. It's such a tragedy though how we all feel that money is the answer to all of our problems only to discover it can be a curse.

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  3. WOW.....definitely puts a LOT into perspective. Thank you for this post! Love you!

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  4. I second the recommendation for Dave Ramsey. I teach his Financial Peace University program here in the Valley and I've seen it change people's lives. And yes, his best selling book is the Total Money Makeover.
    You can listen to his radio show online at www.DaveRamsey.com
    The funny thing about the lottery is that most of the tickets are sold in low income neighborhoods. Most states use their lottery money to fund colleges, which are mostly attended by middle to upper income students.
    So think about it... Poor people are paying for rich people's kids to go to college.

    Great post Tom!!

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  5. HI Amber- yeah, it gives us a little something to think about. Years ago I felt like God was telling me there is a balance- whether we're talking finances, politics, religion or just life in general. It's dangerous to lean too far one way or the other I believe. Love you too gal.

    Hey Todd- I knew that you were a fan of Dave Ramsey, I just didn't know that you were teaching a class- good for you. I wish I could attend. I watch him periodically when he's a guest on Fox with Neil Cavuto. I love his down to earth, no nonsense approach to money. I had mentioned the book to one of the gals in church and she told me that it has changed the way she thinks about money. For the first time in her life shes saving money in the bank and is thinking about her future. I heard from another gal recently who believes that the Lord wants her to get out of debt. Words of wisdom. Thanks for commenting pal.

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  6. Good blog as always dad. I to watched the 20/20 show about the lottery, I think it was the same guy who lost his grand daughter that also said I might have money now but I have nothing left. So true. Wish more people would rmember that money is not everything, good to have need it to survive but it's NOT everything.
    Love you

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  7. sorry the guy who lost his grand daughter said he has money but that is all he has left.

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  8. Hi Camille- that's right. Money is a poor substitute for a loving family. Like you said we all need it and when we're blessed with an abundance, we need divine guidance to deal with it or it can take over. Love you gal.

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  9. Tom, back to those ads. As much as they're targeted at those of my persuasion, I don't even notice them. I must be missing something because they never make ME look twice. :-)

    With regard to money, I've come to a point in life where I notice what others spend it on. I can pick a day to visit Freddies when I figure only folks like me want to shop, and I'm right - the place is packed. The reason their produce section looks so beautiful is because only the minority of shoppers disturb the displays: They're packing their shopping carts with processed stuff. And candles, new clothes, toys, ugly sofa pillows. I've spied a few push-up bras, too, and for the life of me I have to wonder how we did it when cash was low and access was limited. Money changes things. I'll stick with the nickels and dollar bills, and keep a freezer full of frozen assets. It's a world changed and not necessarily improved if we depend on money more than what we need to survive. Rambling; obviously contageous...

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  10. Hi Rene'- hmmm... even as a young lad I noticed the lingerie ads in the newspaper. Even the young man I worked with in special ed at the school anxiously awaits the arrival of his new Fredricks of Hollywood or Victoria's Secret catalogue. What can I say... sex sells.
    I'm with you on the full freezer. I'd rather have a garden full of vegetables and a freezer full of meat than a pocket full of bucks that are losing value at an alarming rate. Thanks for commenting gal, and keep rambling!

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