The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

To all of my readers that are still left, I apologize for the long absence. Life has been very interrupting lately, but it's been good because it's let me learn much about myself and what I hold to be important.

Ultimately things have really been changing for me since November. I thought it would finally be a good idea to look at all the money that seemed to slip like sand out of my fingers and see where it's really going. Looking at your debts is an amazing way to reflect upon what your values are and for those of you that haven't I strongly recommend it. Once I got the main checking accounts worked out I sat down with the wife and made a plan for finally ridding ourselves of debt. I think this is going to be one of the hardest things that we ever do as a couple though...definitely will take a lot of work, but the freedom involved with a lack of debt will be awesome! From the checking accounts I moved on to the retirement accounts and the various other accounts that I have stuck here and there and was truly amazed at what can happen when you're not looking. IRAs in all the wrong distributions, moneys missing and the like. All very stressful, but once worked out, very satisfying.

It's weird but lately I've been on a big kick to try and figure out what money really is. I mean it seems weird that I spend so much of my life dedicated to the earning of money, but the more I acquire the faster it runs away from me. Is my spending really out of control? Is there really a need to save as much as I am for my future? All these things I'm not really sure of. I mean I know that there won't be Social Security when I get old (every person with two synapses knows my generation won't see a dime). Even if I do manage to save and earn millions with compounded interest it still won't be worth nearly as much by the time I go to get it due to inflation.

On the one hand it's been really fun to delve into money in this larger scale sense and try to gain an understanding of what really happens with it all. But on the other hand I feel little like Solomon must have felt when God gave him the gift of knowledge. While this new knowledge is awesome I can't help to feel really let down. What's amazed me most is to see that if you understand money on a large scale it puts everything else into perspective. It becomes so easy to see how people are manipulated at the top levels to help a few of their friends to build a toll road, give away the basis for power of our government, and become involved only in areas where we get a monetary and not a moral reward.

The biggest thing that has recently opened my eyes to the world that we all pay for is actually a cartoon called Money as Debt (video and website). But not just any cartoon, it's more of a documentary of the fuel that moves us forward. It appears to be well researched and if you get the time to watch it (about 45 min), I think it will open your eyes a bit more to the world around you. And if it does open your eyes I think that you will see much is wrong. I feel like the US that we live in today is very akin to Vanity Fair. All running around filled with mirth, but unaware of the danger that we are walking in and the traps we have unwittingly set for ourselves. It really saddens me because I really want to love the US, but it seems at every turn she does yet another thing that dissolves any trust. It's like having a girlfriend that you want to love but she seems more interested in whoring herself to the highest bidder.

I don't quite know where to go from here. This was actually meant to be a quite different post, but it evolved of its own accord. I guess some of the things I wanted to leave you with were some of the resources that I've found of late that really have helped me to learn more about who I am and better understand this world around me.

So in no particular order:
The Simple Dollar - One man's quest to save and not continue life as a serf
Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach
How to Lose Your Fear of Being Fired by The Chief Happiness Officer (lame name, great advice...particularly in the top 10 articles)
Google Finance - See how your stock options are worth nothing!

Various other links, comments, blurbs and other conversation that have helped to build me, but I'm tired of listing things.

1 comment:

Marena said...

Now these are some of the thoughtful musings I've read in a long time. I know that I apreciate living almost debt free, and am glad Dan does also.

Now, I need to learn how to save. A lesson you could teach me.

Mom