Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In a rich man's world....

Sorry for the ABBA quote. We saw it Friday night (I loved it, Ryan laughed a few times). Money has been on my mind recently, as I've struggled through mounds of confusion and German paperwork to get a new account here. Plus, our landlord was a month late getting our deposit back on our place in Newcastle leading us to within inches of overdrawing our account. Thank God, it has all come through.

Before we were married, when we were living off Ryan's engineer salary and our parents' generosity (ok we're still living a bit off our parents' generosity) money seemed so different to me. Ryan bought me $200 jeans for our anniversary, we went out to a fancy restaurant at least once a month. He had a car. Now, it's a splurge to buy a packet of new socks.

When I was in college I looked around in disgust at all the people who seemed to waste money willy-nilly on fancy cars and etc. I knew that money wasn't important to me and that I would be just fine living as a starving artist. But the ideals and the reality are quite different.

I'm happy. Money can't bring you that. Though it can bring you convenience. And fun. I still have fun, but its different fun. Probably being broke has encouraged us to be more creative. And more than that, my eyes have been opened to how wasteful I was.

It's funny, my boss is a strict Buddhist, who told me one of the 3 great evils is greed. Then in the same breath she tells me that she's building a 3rd vacation home in Switzerland. Well, there are hypocrites in every belief, espeically when it comes to money. Nobody wants to take Jesus' command to give all you own to the poor literally.

I do worry that when Ryan graduates and we have money again, I will become tied down to my possessions. I've seen a lot of married couples who stay in miserable jobs because their spouse wants a new car or a fancy house. And that's not worth it to me.

Like Ben Folds says "...being poor was not such a drag in hindsight." While I am jealous of people we know who are married with a dog, a house, and a car, I know that what we're doing is an incredible opportunity. And the further we delay all that car/house/major purchase stuff, the further we delay all the monthly payments that seem to enslave so many.

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