I Am Rich! I Have Everything I Need...
“Take a serious look at your spending. Make a list of your monthly expenses. Ask yourself: ‘Do I NEED this, or Do I WANT this?’” (MoneyPACIFIC Smart Tip).
These words make good sense to me. This is the philosophy I have learnt to live by.
When I was growing up back in the 1950s, the only child of a solo parent, we were extremely poor. No Domestic Purposes Benefits back then! We lived in a two-roomed cottage and my mother went to work before the sun was up and came home in the dark. I was ‘watched over’ by my aunt next door. But in 1961 we were gifted 100 acres of land in Fiji (where my mother had been born). We went there and lived a rural lifestyle. No electricity. No ‘mod cons’. But very happy and very healthy.
I came back to New Zealand and married. Had children. Then in the 1970s my husband got an offer of a good job in Fiji so we emigrated as a family. The privileged lifestyle of an ‘ex-pat’ in Lautoka was completely different from my earlier Fiji experience. We lived ‘well’. We entertained overseas visitors in style and enjoyed family holidays at luxurious island resorts. But living nearby were a community of squatters: a settlement of families who were extremely poor. I made friends with some of the people who lived there. I always felt concerned for these families knowing how little they owned by way of material possessions. One day I mentioned this. My friend replied:
“No need to worry about us. We have taps now in our compound and with town water supply we don’t have to carry water anymore. We grow vegetables – and sometimes we get work. Really we are fine. We have everything we need!”
Years later, back in Auckland – living in our ‘dream’ home – a Mediterranean townhouse style house, specially designed and built to our specifications, we thought we ‘had it all’! Sadly – we were victims of the ‘leaky home’ syndrome. My husband lost his job and the economic downturn meant that he struggled for months to find employment. Our house more or less ‘collapsed’ at about the same time as my marriage dissolved.
Now I live in a very modest rented flat. I have no credit card. I have no outstanding debts. I am a Senior Citizen. I have no car. Instead, I walk or use public transport. I have a little courtyard garden and good neighbours. I am content. More than that – I am extremely happy. My health is good. I live by the good advice given by MoneyPACIFIC. I pass this on to my children and my grandchildren: “Ask yourself: Is it a ‘want’ or a ‘need’?
I know that I am rich – I have everything I need…