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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Little House on the Prairie

No Silver Spoon Here
My life started out very nice and stable, I hope your life was as nice and as stable as mine was.  Because when you have stability in the beginning everything else usually falls in place.  The thing I value most, and this isn’t just recently but throughout my existence, is family.  If I had to choose between a happy family life and money, I would choose family every time.  I’ve known some very wealthy people that were miserable, because for most, they lost family support along the way, in pursuit of riches.  Money wealth can best be enjoyed when you are surrounded by family, and can provide you with quality family time, without the concern of how you will meet your financial obligations.  In other words there is a happy medium when you can enjoy the best of both worlds (family and money wealth).

Like in everything else moderation (or good fortune) plays a role.  If you work way to hard or even smart sometimes the thing you are sacrificing is family life.  By the time you realize your mistake you find yourself visiting your children on every other weekend.  If all you ever do for a living is a 40 hour a week job, you can possibly have a very nice balance between family and work.  There could well be other factors that demand more of you, then the secure pay of a steady 40 hour per week job. 

As an example, if you like to keep up with neighbors or other relatives (not a good thing) with regard to the new car or bigger house (even kid’s college), you are destined for heart ache.  More often than not what you see is only a front.  I have known friends that appeared to have it all, job success, money, house, family, and yet they would gladly get off of the merry-go-round if they could.  It’s now a known fact that many people maintained an extravagant life style by borrowing on the equity of their house.  Many families were driven to poverty and some to divorce because the real estate bubble, and financial institution bubble burst, and they were left with houses they couldn’t afford.

My wife once asked me if there was something wrong with the way we handled our finances because we didn’t have a stock portfolio.  There are those people, especially the ones that make a living from selling and trading stocks that will tell you that your money is safe.  I personally have always had a distrust for the stock market, and was recently proven right.  The stock market is on the rebound again, and people are starting to jump back in, and I wish them well, but won’t be joining them any time soon.

My money has never double or tripled overnight, but it also has never disappeared overnight.  I must say the mattress is getting a little lumpy with all the rolls of quarters under it (just kidding it’s all in dimes).

After my mother and father divorced, and later both remarried to different people, my life style changed drastically, but overall if was not a bad thing.  I ended up going from a city life style to country (farm) life style.  I learned what it was like to work hard for every penny I earned, and to appreciate all of nature’s gifts.  If you ever had a chance to see Little House on the Prairie, that’s what I now see as my life on the farm.  Of course we were much more progressive than that, we had all the modern advances of the time (electric appliances, new cars, television, etc.), but you must admit Little House on the Prairie paints an idyllic picture. If I could use three words to describe my life, they would be; family, stability, and moderation.  The best is yet to come….

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