Mind Your Business

Mind Your Business Week of 10-30-2013

Are you financially happy?

This week, unlike some weeks, was rough on the people who went back to work after the Government Shutdown. Yes, they were off for two weeks and may have issues when they get the check and try to pay their bills. In many studies, we find that most people are a paycheck away from being homeless. You hear the old saying money can’t buy happiness. Well let me get some and see if I can be happy (smiling). I am positive I could find happiness if I had one or two million. I have even seen stories where women don’t even like the man, but will learn to love him as long as he is providing her with all of her material things. Now that’s love I don’t want. For years, I have always wanted to be just like my father. Many times you have heard me talk about all the great things he did not only in his business career but in my life. He was always trying to find ways to help people do better with their money. And on many occasions, he provided. I have seen people working everyday and blessed with a job, believing that if they just make more money, their level of happiness would increase. They could afford to buy better stuff, a larger home or a better car. Yet studies show that more doesn’t increase your long-term happiness. I have noticed successful people are also usually more productive and satisfied with their jobs, thus creating positive feelings of self worth, pride and contentment. The extra money the hard work creates is simply an added benefit. The good feelings would be there regardless of the payoff. Over the years, sometimes you find no matter how hard you try to care about someone, it is just not meant to be. I used to always ask my mother for money and she would look at me and say “Jimmy, money don’t grow on trees.” Hard lessons learned about not being able to get everything you want. Some lessons are not too smart. I hear people tell me things like I went out to Great Lakes Mall to save money, not realizing the amount of gas you spent driving out there. Or when you hear people say I was shopping around for the best deal, driving from store to store. I’m a smarter shopper in my senior years. I realized I was wasting a lot of time going from store to store trying to save money. We too often sacrifice our free time just to save a little money which is no more than a few dollars, not big savings at all. Now as a child, I would laugh when I would hear Rev. Ike say that the philosophy held by St. Paul was wrong; that the root of all evil is not the love of money but rather the lack of it. It was a message that challenged traditional Christian messages about finding salvation through love and the intercession of the divine. The way to prosper and be well, Reverend Ike preached, was to forget about pie in the sky by and by and to look instead within oneself for divine power. Money is something we all need and want. I am still wondering about the verdict if money buys you happiness. Some have all the money in the world and don’t share it with anyone. Would it be wrong if they shared it with a friend who needed to feed their family or pay a bill? The almighty dollar can make you lose your mind. The word “dollar” is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. In that context, “dollars” is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792, the U.S. Congress adopted legislation titled. Now money can cause a few problems for those who have other problems in their life. Remember the O’Jays singing about money? “For the love of money, people will steal from their mother; for the love of money, people will rob their own brother; for the love of money people can’t even walk the streets because they’ll never know who in the world they’re gonna beat for that mean, oh mean, mean green almighty dollar!” That song was a hit. All of us were walking down the street singing and dancing to that song. Money makes people depressed and surely you can understand why they are not happy. The one place that money and happiness are significantly linked is when a person is unable to afford to meet their basic needs. There is a great difference in levels of happiness between those below the poverty level and those above it. Since you can’t spend your lottery winnings, Casino money or Christmas bonus on happiness, you may need a few pointers on what you should spend it on. If it’s happiness you’re after, you might do best to simply give it away. Sometimes helping others gives you the happy feeling. Talking to my co worker, I have realized my mindset and others are now in a different place. Basically, what I am saying about money and happiness tells us is that it’s called cold hard cash for a reason. You can buy all of the Bentleys and Mercedes cars, Armani suits and diamond rings you want, but at the end of the day, you’re going to be the same person just with more stuff.

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Write Wade at the Call & Post, 11800 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH, 44120, or e-mail him at jwade@call-post.com.