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Old 16th March 2016, 23:34   #16
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

I can explain it in two ways, one is the realist explanation and the other, the fictional-logic-that-we-all-so-love. Both are in a way, very essential to understand the pitfalls and blessings of the concept of money. This may go a bit long but I'm writing with the hope that more people can understand the true nature of money instead of the absolutely fallacious, propaganda driven myths of money as explained by bankers or the press.

The money of today as we know it, is a modern concept i.e it is just crossed the 200 year mark. I shall not elaborate more on this but a simple analysis of what happened during that timeline by people who are interested will easily take them to the sequence of events. The realist explanation is this - a few years ago I read a beautiful piece in a blog about the reality of money, simplistically expressed as a story in cartoon form. The gist of it was that there were about 4 blue-collar people who were shipwrecked in a strange island - a carpenter, an agriculturist, a geologist & a prospector. This story has been intended to take place perhaps in the early 80's so none of them had any knowledge of what it takes to make an economy, nor the means to find out such information. Seeing their plight each decided to take action towards their respective specializations, in no time the prospector extracted metals, the carpenter created homes, barns, shelters etc & the agriculturist grew crops in the patches of land that were most fertile. Seeing that there were only 4 people, it was imperative that all of them contribute daily towards a common need, otherwise risk living an imbalanced life. Towards this end a few weeks down the line they all used to have petty arguments on what the value of their respective work should be vis-à-vis that access to others contributions. It is then that they all realized that the barter system can only go so far, to end all disputes the need is for a monetary system. To their luck a banker washes up on shore with his broken boat a week later, he gleefully accepts their request to setup a monetary system as he already has the printing ink and stamps necessary for his work. He tells them to especially be careful of the barrel filled with gold that they are unloading off the boat as it shall proceed to form the value of money. To make this long story short, the 4 men soon understood over time that everything and anything issued by a banker can only result in them working harder and harder, creating more "actual wealth" in the form of furniture, grains, metals etc only to find money compressing in value, having to pay taxes to create uniformity in holdings, giving back interest for loans etc, all for the SAME weight of gold which the banker has had stowed away at his place. Realizing this they all went to inspect the gold for the first time only to find rocks in their place and not an ounce of gold.. shortly before having to watch the banker flee by holding his shorts in place.

Now, this in no way undermines the importance of banking or finance.. it just portrays it in true light. Money is an imperfect concept, PERIOD. It took all the disadvantages of barter system i.e possible conflict of interests, weather-related inconsistencies, time & distance factor, lack of security etc and sealed all those loopholes, however no one mentioned anything about the puppet-master i.e the banker not bending the game to his own advantages every now and then. Money creates contrast in terms of holding, this is especially true since the banks themselves aid the holders of more money by giving out more interest, more tax-savings etc. As long as monetary system exists we shall have the very-rich, the rich, the poor and the downright bankrupt.

To answer the question of this thread, I share the worldwide majority sentiments, i.e to say that money is essential in todays times to have something to eat, clothe oneself and have a shelter from the elements, whether it has one room to sleep or 10. Being from the traditional definition of the burgeois (middle-class), I also understand that the concept has to be respected because well, we don't have a better form of it. I have pored through books upon books about economics, taxation, accountancy, quantitative analysis etc and yet none of them explained money as well as that one blog did. Here's the interesting part though, the many more marketing books I've read also makes me appreciate the luxury market & pricing that much more. Here comes the fictional-logic-that-we-all-love part : luxury & uber-luxury are here to stay. Luxury can be defined as anything above the basic necessities i.e food, clothing, shelter. Uber-luxuries are applicable to just about anything.. a fancy meal in a 5-Star hotel, threads by Armani or a home in a super-posh apartment are examples. As explained above, the money concept creates contrasting lifestyles and those with more of it would always want something more than average. Casio makes great, precise digital watches <Rs.5000/- but yet there's a huge niche market for something like a gold A.Lange & Sohne mechanical winding watch for >Rs.25,00,000/-. Marks & Spencer sell great clothes here in India but the cost of manufacturing would be less than say 20% (seeing as they are made in Bangladesh). That's the award the entrepreneur gets for setting up a business model that cuts production costs and jacks up the MRP by the small expense of great marketing. This does lead to slightly more wealth in the mid-low tier of employment by means of job opportunities, shareholding, dividends etc but not by much. I do however appreciate that luxury brands do come with a sense of aesthetics and quality which non-luxury brands cannot match, for e.g a Sony will always be a Sony, no matter its rivals and their pricing.

In summary, its ones own prerogative to decide which stand to take on money - the practical, realist stand which is true yet incredibly restrictive or the impractical follow-your-heart method which can give some happiness as long as a balance is maintained. Love it or hate it, money is the biggest religion on earth and the banks are the messiahs.
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Old 17th March 2016, 10:53   #17
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

As long as we (humans, species, living creatures) remain competitive, money is the most important thing for survival/utility as well as pleasure.
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:16   #18
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Well money was never about happiness, it was always about comfort. Money can and will never bring you happiness. However, now the question arises what's more important?

Money or happiness?

Well think of it this way - What's more important, your left leg or right leg? The correct answer is that you need both to walk properly. So both are important.

Similarly, you need both money and happiness if you want a balanced life.

P.S One should not have a deep conversation about money unless and until, they're already pretty well off.

Because honestly, money can be just as important as oxygen to people who don't have enough. You never know how important oxygen is, unless you're deprived of it and the same goes for money.
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:36   #19
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
So, let me pose you this question.

B]Money is not the point. It never was.[/b]
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Money is merely a facilitator to things or experiences that one wants or needs. It can never be an end in itself.
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
Money is often considered one of the means to attain this end goal....

So? Is chasing money wrong? I don't think so. Just that we need to set our priorities right.
Exactly what is in my mind. Money to me is a means to achieve those set of experiences in life which includes but not limited to

a. A good car to drive (to see places and more importantly for the fun of driving which I absolutely love)
b. Good education for me and my family.
c. Some comforts.

I'd buy a second hand car, infact my previous car was one. The latest acquisition was due to the benefits of a company lease. So yeah, I'd save some if I can get a very good quality stuff as a second hand item. That way I can save some money and spend for other priorities.
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Old 17th March 2016, 11:36   #20
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

When I was growing up, my father lost his job when he was in his mid 40s , we almost lost our house and had to struggle hard to make ends meet. It was tough on him to provide me with good education, those were tough times. I still remember.

Now, I am more financially secure - have a own flat in Bangalore, with some investments in real estate and MFs. By no means I am financially independent (read made money to retire) but yes, I am content with what I have. Recently I quit my nice paying job to start on my own- it was not the lure of fast money that made me take that decision but the need to work on my own terms, at my own pace, maybe settle down in a tier-II city from the maddening Bangalore life!!

It is common sight in Bangalore where both parents work day and night in IT jobs with more than 12-14 hrs spent in office/commuting to-fro from work, reach home only to again spend time on laptops/conference calls, while their kids sit in other room playing with ipads/watching TV. All this because their parents have that one urgent customer call, that one urgent email which can't wait.. what is the price we pay for this success/money? I don't know.

I still remember the days when I used to go to my hometown, it was a unhurried little village in south india, where things moves at a snails pace. Many young folks who lived there could not take the slow pace , they moved out to greener pastures looking for better job, money and success. Few of them now yearn to come back, they want to live that slow paced life again- when we used to appreciate the small things in life like smell of that first rain, watching the butterfly in the garden, or that lazy cup of tea in the morning.

Sigh, the reality of life is we never appreciate what we had, until that very thing is taken away from us.

Earning potful of money is not wrong, but what you loose while doing so is important to understand and evaluate- Is it all worth it?
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:01   #21
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
So, let me pose you this question.

So, my counter question to is - What are you looking for a return?
  • What do you expect from a travel?
  • Or from the photos of a high end camera?
  • Or the earth shattering acceleration of a highway cruiser motorcycle?
  • Or an extra few months of life of a loved one?
From all of the above the idea is to make HAPPY MEMORIES, which you can remember all of your lifetime. Its these memories which makes you really strong and give you will power to go on and on even in difficult times.

Good and happy memories soothes your body, has a positive affect overall and gives you a feeling of being content.

Check it out for yourself: Try remembering what you did exactly 1 year back in office on a normal day or at home on a normal weekend AND check what you did on a travel expedition may be 5 years back. If you see the pics, it will bring back your memories and an inadvertent smile on your face. you will definitely feel good about it.

Having (extra) money just makes it easy to achieve.
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:06   #22
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Money never gave joy to anyone. It is the association of money with worldly stuff which makes a person happy. I may have huge amount of money in my bank, but if I lead a lower lifestyle I am wasting the money. Unless I am saving it for something big which will give me a big amount of happiness in future. It boils down to the same point.

So enjoy the life you got, you get it only once.

I could have bought my car 3-4 years later, or havn't bough the DSLR (I am yet to learn the pro skills) and have been content with my phone camera, I would had not spent so much on a smartphone etc etc. But all these things give me joy, which is priceless.

Again, another argument, all the above are related to the society in which we live. If I would had been living in my home town, I would had been content with a budget 2 wheeler and a basic mobile phone.
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:12   #23
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

I think beyond a certain point of materialism; money should not be the ulterior motive of life. Personally I have a bucket list of things I want to buy because I love certain things; these things make me happy.
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:25   #24
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

money is never the end, its the means to something. And that something is called life. And life is measured in moments. So earning money is the means to live each moment in life. That moment could be the joy felt standing on a mountaintop, could be the rays of the setting sun on a secluded beach, could be the wind in the hair moment on a bike, may be an expensive meal in a expensive restaurant. A rickshaw puller may save more as a percentage of his income, but is he living a 'quality' life? Is he able to enjoy more 'moments' in life when compared to a middle class person earning 1 lac and saving 1000Rs?
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Old 17th March 2016, 12:30   #25
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

And our forum keeps getting awesome and threads like this speak that it is not just about cars and bikes and BHPs, it is about Life as it should be lived, beyond the pivots and charts, beyond presentations and delegations.

This reminds me of these words Sam Kapasi wrote, and I read it many times to keep reminding myself that Life, to be lived is beyond the measurement of money/property/belongings, and Life is to be measured with the quality of relations, happy memories and adventures to look out for.

Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
And now here's a message from our sponsors about what the YetiLife® is all about.

Love your partners and enjoy life with them.

Bring passion in your life, a life without passion is dull. Love, sex, laughter, madness and even sorrow and tensions are an essential part of life. Enjoy them all. Repeatedly.
Go do what you want to do without caring what people will think.
Nobody really has time to think about what you did. Those who do think about it, will forget in a few days. You will be left with the experience of a lifetime. Go on, do it.

Think of the craziest thing you wanted to do. No matter how crazy. Alone, or with a loved one. DO IT! PM me if you want advice or help, I will help you any way I can.
Take time out to be with your family. We all need money to live and jobs and tensions and we all have dreams. Put them all aside and go and live with your partner and family.

Nothing happens. Your office doesn't stop functioning, if you're really good at what you do, you won't get fired, if you get fired and you're really good at what you do, you'll get a new job, - your business may suffer for a few days, you may lose a few rupees, it doesn't matter.
The world functioned very well without cellphones and email. People took decisions in the absence of their seniors and they were often the right ones. Don't take that instinct away from your juniors. Let go.
Arrey, someday you'll die and STILL nothing will happen, the world will function wonderfully without you. A few people will remember you, then forget you. Your partner will remember you often - at least GIVE him/her something fun to remember you by!!

Let the world function for a few days without you NOW, while you're still living!!! Go and live, enjoy, take as many holidays as you can with your partner/wife/gf/kids, before some unforeseen circumstances don't permit you to enjoy life anymore. It has happened and will happen to the best amongst us. Dying is not in your hands, but at least living is!
Hey, at least you'll know you LIVED before you died.
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Old 17th March 2016, 13:03   #26
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Like the wag says, those who believe money isn't everything either have too much or too little.

For most people, money is a means to an end. The questions of "return" on intangible investments is not new, people have been mulling over it for millenia. Isn't that what separates us humans from animals? I can't imagine a lion about to attack an antelope pausing mid-leap to ponder stuff like: why am I doing this? Can't I eat a plant and play with this sweet antelope instead? What if the jungle runs out of antelopes to hunt tomorrow? etc.

Anyone who's been to B-school will tell you of Maslow's heirarchy. Most of us believe we are perched right on top of it . This is what it looks like (source):

Name:  maslow.png
Views: 1335
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Pretty self-explanatory eh? Once your basic needs are met, you move on to higher-order needs. I'd imagine riding 5000 miles on a Harley or running a marathon a week or taking a month off in the Himalayas to meditate all fall in the self-actualization category. And guess what you need to be able to afford all of that?

Hell yeah. Money!

End of the day it's a personal thing. You learn to value certain things and at a certain age you realize you can afford those things. If I spend $10,000 on a Gibson Les Paul 1959 reissue, that will make absolutely no sense to you as a non-musician. At the same time, I don't see the sense of spending that kind of money on a Rolex. I like watches but at the end of the day they just help me tell the time. I wonder why my camera-obsessed friends are perpetually looking for that wider lens or better body. That's the classical definition of VALUE. You define what it is for yourself. And go for it.
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Old 17th March 2016, 13:03   #27
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Very interesting thread. Thank you for starting this. Really makes one think about what is HAPPINESS, and what does one need to achieve it.

Like many have said that while Money is not everything in life, money is important and does give you financial security to buy things which in turn do give some happiness or satisfaction or just the feeling of security. Imagine not having money and hence being forced to postpone an important medical procedure or not being able to give your loved ones things that they need. The lack of money can sure make one miserable, and I hope and pray that I never have to go through that phase.

So, it seems that one has to strike a balance between having money and chasing money. Its upto each one of us to decide (based on our standard of living) as to how much money is needed to provide us that feeling of financial security. And then, once we've reached that limit, we need to give back to society. Its no point hoarding any resource beyond its utility value, especially when there are so many others who could use that to better their lives.

I hope more people understand this and do more for others around them.
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Old 17th March 2016, 13:15   #28
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Interesting thread. Consider Maslow's hierarchy for instance:

What did Money give you?-screen-shot-20160317-1.09.05-pm.png

It is when you go into the last stage that you realise the difference between basic and esteem needs. And that you were quite a mug for quite some time!
Actually, to be charitable, the peer pressure as well as the family pressure contributes to acquisition of some useless "needs"

X Posted...

Last edited by earthian : 17th March 2016 at 13:22. Reason: X posted with noopster
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Old 17th March 2016, 13:19   #29
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Default Re: What did Money give you?

Originally Posted by rahul_jo View Post
Well money was never about happiness, it was always about comfort. Money can and will never bring you happiness. However, now the question arises what's more important?

Money or happiness?
+1 Balance in life is most important, and this proves that http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/denma...-lateststories

Last edited by Technocrat : 23rd March 2016 at 23:15. Reason: Please quote selectively as a large quoted post causes inconvenience to our mobile readers, thanks
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Old 17th March 2016, 13:45   #30
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Originally Posted by rahul_jo View Post
Because honestly, money can be just as important as oxygen to people who don't have enough.... .
How do you define "enough"?
A BPL person, living on the streets, feels that the epitome of happiness would be to possess the kholi on the roadside pavement.
A lower middle class salaried person, the 2BHK, similar to the one his friend got or his wife's sister's husband's neighbour.
A yuppie, the farm which could allow him/her to unwind and have some quality time away from it all.
A newly rich person, the luxury apartments at a seashore or mountain in Europe, USA or whatever ( meaning what his peers have got...)
A gold spoon person, that island where he could take his friends for a party.

and so on....

Point is that we have been conditioned to relate happiness with the possession of worldly goods... which require money.
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