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04/30/2013

Money Blues

This post isn’t what you may think from the title. I am not sad that I am making too little money.

I’ve been thinking a lot about money lately, and about standard of living. From time to time, I get bogged down in the part of my business that is all about money. For many people, the reason for having a business is solely to make money. I think it’s easier to have a job if you just want to fill your pockets with some cash.

I write and knit and teach for fun, and although there is also a lot of work involved in running a business, I will likely continue to do everything I am doing now, except perhaps at an even slower pace, when I reach retirement age. I have my business because I want to spend my time doing what I love. I am glad I can make some money doing it, because that means I can spend more time doing things I enjoy and getting paid for my time, instead of doing something else entirely — what I call dream funder jobs — to give me money to spend on doing what I love to do.

Following me so far?

Donna teachingI find that in America, many business owners are never satisfied with their level of success. They are always striving to grow, to expand, to increase revenue and profits, to grow, and expand, and increase revenue and profits, to make more money. If they are making enough to pay their bills, they buy a new car and have to make more. If they pay off their car, they put an addition on their house and have to make more money. All the while, worrying about the cost of paper or coffee or internet access for their company.

Or perhaps they are working to build up their business so they can make an IPO then sell it and rake in millions or billions of dollars. And then they need to spend less on expenses and salaries and benefits for their employees to make the bottom line look better to potential buyers. So they can retire after the sale of the company, right? No, so they can start another business and do it all over again.

All along, they work untold hours, days, nights, and weekends and never have time to just sit back and relax and enjoy their lives. And, they have to spend money to pay people to plant flower beds and mow their lawns and do their laundry and sweep their floors because they don’t have time to do anything for themselves, and in many cases because they consider themselves better than the people who don’t have so much money and do perform these menial tasks for themselves. (Does this make anyone else think of Donald Trump?)

Still following me?

Donna with a cat in Lithuania

I hope by now you are scratching your head and asking with me, “What the hell is this about? Why is this considered success?”

This is not success. This is insanity and capitalism run amok. I don’t care if you have a bigger house than I do, a fancier car, designer clothes, more jewelry, a newer computer, or a shitload of stocks and cash. I can pay my meager bills, and I have time to spend with my family and friends, or by myself doing whatever the fuck makes me happy. That’s what makes for a higher standard of living.

I guess I sound pissed off, but really I am sad. I’ve got the money blues. I feel bad for people who can’t enjoy life because they are too busy trying to have more stuff or impress other people or because they feel insecure without a big bankroll or for whatever reason they seem to value money over everything else.

That’s all I have time to write now, but I will probably be digging into this topic more over the summer. Not just the part about how much money is enough, but also the part about doing things and making things for yourself and why I think that is so important.

P.S. Buy my books and take my classes so I don’t have to get a soul-sucking job, OK? :-) But if you can’t afford to, don’t feel bad or guilty or ashamed. Go to the library. Get some cheap yarn. And knit anyway!

Knitting
One Comment
  1. Avatar

    This whole blog post is similar to what the Complete Tightwad Gazette boils down to:

    Identify what you want to do with your life and what is most important. Figure out how to do that.

    I wanted to make a couple of babies and stay home with them. That means that my husband and I live in a less expensive house and at times have only one car and we only go out to eat occasionally and vacations are road trips to visit family.

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