Photo: C. Claflin (Mom Fashion World)
If you are like a lot of people, your first reaction would have been to click on this post, skim through the paragraphs and try to find out the answer to this million-dollar question. The truth is, my answer would be arbitrary depending on what time of the day, what kind of day I am having, my moods, my attitudes, my hormonal levels and some other physiological factors that would affect how my responses would come out. On any day, here are some of the possible answers that you would probably get from me:
1. I make decent money! Period.
2. Hmm…can we change the topic?
3. What? Are you kidding me? Who the hell are you to ask me this question?
4. Well, mind your own business. Next topic please.
5. Or – can we not talk about it?
6. Actually, what I make pays our daughter’s monthly preschool tuition fees and some utility bills.
7. Go, ask my bank’s teller, she’d tell you!
8. It doesn’t matter- how about you? (avoidance)
9. Oh, I forgot something from the car (or somewhere), I’d be right back.
10. Why would you care?
Talking about money in general is a very sensitive issue. Asking about how much somebody makes is impolite. Telling everybody how much you make is absurd, unheard of – or simply ridiculous!
But, why not?
Money is just a number. Your annual income in its essence, has at least a few basic purposes that I can think of. First, it tells the government what tax bracket they can classify you by the end of the year. Second, it makes it more convenient for a lot of financial institutions to estimate how much can they loan you or allow you for a credit increase. Third, it is your “password” to most applications in life, such as when you are job hunting, when you are shopping for major home appliances or for qualifying for a mortgage.
Your annual income does not really commensurate to anything about yourself. It does not tell us what kind of a person you are – except that you can have more freedom to afford more expensive clothes, cars, jewelry and regular travel/leisure.
Your yearly salary is not the blueprint of who you are inside. I’ve been fascinated by people who make millions of dollars every year and how they are using (laundering, sometimes!) their money.
Your hourly rate does not really equate how much you are worthy of. This is just what you have to come to settle down because of your own choice, your conditions and personal circumstances. But it does not tell us, who you really are.
It does not tell us how loving of a father you are; or how thoughtful of a friend you are.
It does not tell us how brilliant of a co-worker you are (who knew that it was you who came up with the new initiative that is being implemented by the board of directors?)
It does not immediately tell us how many people you have helped and maybe even saved in the past few years?
It does not tell us anything – except that you are either doing okay or not; happy or dissatisfied.
Your money is not who you are.
Your money is your tool to a better lifestyle. Use it wisely.
Daily with you,