What is the Purpose of Being Wealthy?
We all seek wealth but once we find it, what are we supposed to do with it?
1% of the world’s population would be considered wealthy in their country. They hold all the money and therefore, most of the influence. The rest fight over what scraps are left in the hopes that one day enough will be attained to help their ascent to the top.
The purpose of wealth is to have everything but where do you stop? At what point do you say that enough is enough and use your influence to help others?
The west is the home of capitalism. The home of consumer culture and the home of greed. We have spread this ideology across the world to raise our children with the thought that more is better.
The latest toy is better than the last and we will do everything that we can to get hold of it. If that means dipping into our credit reserves, then that is what we do. We are conditioned to believe that we need the latest television or gadget, despite the consideration that our current tech works well.
Capitalism raises us to believe that more is better. It will fill that gap in our lives. If you come across an emotionally upsetting time then buy yourself something. What is better than a little ‘Retail Therapy’?
Is Retail Therapy Good for us?
On average I have around £6,000 a year (after taxes and bills) to save. I have been working for ten years and therefore I should have been able to save £60,000. Have I?
It is hard to quantify over all of these years. You need to take into account holidays and gifts, but even a fair estimate of a third of this to remove leaves £40,000. Do I have this amount sitting snugly in the bank account?
I have negative £14,000. A fair old sum and granted, a third of this is money that I owe my Mum, yet still, when you think that you could have £40k saved, it is a humbling moment in life. So where has all the money gone?
Living Out Your Childhood
Growing up we did not have the latest tech. The first Gameboy that I had was the chunky original and this was not until the late 90s. By this time the Gameboy Pocket had been released and the version I was running was a little more than obsolete.
My friends all had Gameboy Pockets but at the time I did not care. I could play Pokemon. Not Red or Blue but Yellow and that game was rarely out of the slot as I tore through the levels, not caring that dinner was being served.
Peer pressure was nothing before 2000 and then secondary school arrived. The need to fit in was evident and I found myself longing for more. Sky TV, wrestling, music, the latest consoles, I wanted it all.
To get it all I got myself a job. From the age of 11 onwards I was a cleaner. From a friend of the family’s house to the local secondary school, even tipping my hand at leaflet delivery once. I wanted the latest tech to fit in and so rather than save my money, I spent it.
A trend that for the next twenty years I have lived through. Rather than having £40k in the bank, ready for travelling and purchasing a house, I have a stack of purchases.
Was it worth it? No. As much as I would have purchased many of the items regardless and have no regrets, its not been worth it when compared to the position that I could be in today.
I am by no means wealthy and the showcasing of my bank balance hopefully emphasises this. My job is decent but it is not offering me life changing money, yet I still acknowledge that I am fortunate.
If I were to go back in time then I would alter my thought process. To pick my purchases rather than get frustrated, want them all and stack them on a credit card. I would do so not only for me but for the consideration that I could help others.
I always imagine what it would be like to have more money than I needed. What would I do? As much as I would say that I would give it all away, I would not. My hope is that I would ensure that everyone I care about was comfortable, alongside myself and then look at the world around.
Once I was established and knew that all the basics were sorted I would want to give back. Work would be no more as I would only be taking someone else’s spot and salary. Volunteering would be a route, as well as setting up monthly payments to causes for which I believe in and could see where the money was going.
As much as I would want to ensure that my family had a roof over its head, I could not overindulge, such as purchasing forks from Selfridges, just because I had the money. Knowing that the money could have provided food for a week for a homeless family would be something that I could not live with.
The purpose of being wealthy is to be able to help others, or at least it is for me.
A Final Thought
Money and greed have surrounded me with possessions but they have not offered me happiness. They are a short term boost and whilst I do not regret every decision, I know that I could be in a better position if I only waited.
Waited to make some of my purchases and really think them through. Never living beyond my means and being content with what I had. This is my biggest regret as I would be able to do more if I had done.
Whilst I have nowhere near the fortune of the 1%, I know that I could be doing more for the world around me right now. If I had thought ahead and not chosen the easy path, then this entry would look very differently today.
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