Jump to content
surferdude

Issues with Money

Recommended Posts

Hey all. I haven't been on this site for a long time. I'm working through some issues and need some of your help/input.

 

I'm 47 now. I was a very devoted Christian from 14 to 18. I was kinda undeveloped and immature for my age at the time. I didn't have good comprehension skills and was very gullible. Perfect for being manipulated and brainwashed. 

 

Something that I worked through was how the church and pastors taught about money. I interpreted that having a lot of money was bad so something. I have friends and know people that are very Christian and are very well off financially. So where did I go wrong? They obviously didn't get the same memo. 

 

One scripture "it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into heaven" I recently heard that it means that you can't buy your way into heaven. Not that if you're rich you'll go to hell. What is "God" doing anyway? Is he reading W2's? Lol! 

 

I have some good opportunities coming up. My relationship with money hasn't been a healthy one. I need to work through this. I'm worried if I don't I'm gonna be old and poor. Please help me unlearn this nonsense and learn how to move forward. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off I would say you need to be selfish to a degree. That is to prioritise your needs before giving anything away. Make sure the basics are covered, rent, food, expenses and cut anything like donations until you are in a good place. 

You need to consider your shopping habits from a need verse luxury view. Do you spend on anything you can do without? Movies, music, dvds, smoking, drinking etc. You don't have to cut it completely but that stuff is low priority and should be a rare treat rather than constant expense. 

What are your eating habits like? Do you eat out, eat junk or snack constantly? Easy to forget how much we spend on food and massive savings can be made with a bit of effort. Run a food diary for a week or two and make sure you have a clear idea of those costs and potential savings. 

Sit down and work out a really basic budget. Income on one side, rent, expenses, bills, average monthly costs on the other. Once you have a clear understanding of the amount you have to play with, you can figure out savings verse entertainment. 

One simplistic method is divide in thirds. One third for rent/mortgage, one third for expenses and one third for saving, spending and the unexpected. This method can work in certain places, but not so much in big cities or high cost areas. 

Another suggestion is to talk to your bank. Many have advisory services that will help structure your accounts, sort out debt repayments, and make sure what you have is working the best for you. 

Debt is the other big pitfall. If you have any ability to avoid debt (eg don't take international trips if you have to borrow to do so) then stay debt free. If you have to borrow then make sure you shop around to compare interest rates and fees, especially with the smaller dodgy loan companies, they will aim to ruin you. Make sure that if you are going to use a credit card that you pay it off in full before the interest period. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a shot to make some money than go for it! I was (and am) in a similar situation. I was homeschooled in a Christianity that taught everyone to basically put god first, the church second, and everything you want third. It’s incredibly freeing to throw those first two out and just think about what makes you happy for a little while. There’s nothing wrong with having financial goals and working to make Your vision come true. Just make sure your happy and doing things you enjoy along the way. The Bible does rightly warn about the harm greed and envy can do, but there is nothing at all wrong with wealth itself. I think it’s important not to make money your #1 priority, instead think about the family time, vacations, retirement etc. that you want the money for. 

     When asked “when will you have enough money” Bill Gates said “never.” I think that’s a mindset we should try to avoid. If you’re an American, own a car, and have a full time job, your probably among the worlds wealthiest 1% already! That’s something to think about. Make tons of money and buy awesome stuff if it makes you happy. Help out charities if it makes you happy. Just work for the sake of work if it makes you happy... whatever you do, you don’t have to listen to pastors or the racist, sexist, slave holders that wrote much of the Bible.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, surferdude said:

Something that I worked through was how the church and pastors taught about money. I interpreted that having a lot of money was bad so something

 

Sure. They say having money is bad and what you need to do is send it to them.  :lol:

 

Wertbag has some excellent advice. You need to start NOW setting aside money for retirement. You have just under 20 years to take care of this. There are lots of misconceptions about Social Security. It is not and never was intended to be a retirement program. It exists only to keep retirees from starving. Social Security will not cover all your expenses in retirement. The key is to put aside a certain amount of money each month in an interest bearing vehicle of some sort. Do it with automatic payments so you don't forget. And never, never withdraw from this fund until you are retired. Increase your contributions as your income increases; if you get a raise, consider putting it all into this fund if you are living fine without it. As your fund grows to perhaps five figures, contact a certified financial planner who is independent and thus is less inclined to sell a specific product. He or she will help you create a diversified plan. You will not regret this. Some folks say that this is all good and fine but they just absolutely can't afford to do it. Well, if you can't pay your bills now, how will you pay them when you are retired and have no income?

 

This is not to say you need to live like some sort of ascetic. But as Wertbag writes, many folks fritter away money in ways they don't realize. (Example — I have a friend who ate lunch out every work day for 40 years. A sack lunch for most of those days would have saved him tens of thousands of dollars. And what about paying money for a bottle of water — something that you can get for free? The list of examples is a long one.)

 

And this does not mean that you are being selfish. To not take care of your own needs is a form of selfishness as those needs will eventually fall upon others.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, surferdude said:

I have some good opportunities coming up. My relationship with money hasn't been a healthy one. I need to work through this. I'm worried if I don't I'm gonna be old and poor. Please help me unlearn this nonsense and learn how to move forward. Thank you!

 

There is some very good advise above, but those are awfully broad statements to respond to.  Can you be more specific? What are the problems?  What are the opportunities?  

 

Are you an impulsive or compulsive spender?

Can't say no to friends borrowing money?  Etc.

 

If the opportunities sound too good to be true, they probably are. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi surferdude. I think 47 is an ok age to start working on money and retirement issues. Personally I had a big loss in my late 50s so I had to put something together late. I have always been a saver and pretty good with money so with a little luck it fell together well enough so I was able to retire this year at 71. Too bad those churches don't emphasize a relationship with money the way they emphasize a relationship with Christ! There are a couple of books (check them out of the library and get started down the right path right away) that really influenced my thinking about money. The one with practical steps is Your Money or Your Life by Vicky Robin and Joe Domingez but that isn't all it has to offer by a long distance. It will show you how to take control of your spending by just rating how much value you place on all the various things you purchase throughout the week in relation to how many hours you spent working in order to purchase each item. It also shows a good way to set your own long term financial goal and track it on a simple graph. The second book (they're both old) is more just to get you thinking about what does it take to retire and it's called You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well. The author interviews some older retired folks that he really likes to find out what advice they have for his readers on what's important about planning for a good retirement. (Hint: money is never the first thing they bring up). I also like Bob Well's YouTube channel CheapRVliving to help you gain perspective on how much variety there is on what can be done to have a satisfying retirement even if it turns out you don't have much money. So there you have it, make a reasoned plan, keep close track of your spending and financial progress and don't stress if it doesn't work out exactly as planned. Making conscious choices is so rewarding and fulfilling in all areas of life because you end up knowing your are living your own life from your own DNA.    

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am 47 and was indoctrinated with camels and needles and such. My catholic priest took a vow of poverty to renounce his worldly possessions. He said that “Without money we would all be rich.”

 

How is your relationship with money unhealthy? Do you waste money? Is money dirty? The root of all evil?

 

I choose to view my frugal attitude towards money as generally a good thing. Our dying planet does not need more consumers. I lead a simple life, growing my own food, shopping at second-hand stores, and teaching my kids to do the same.

I do own my own house so of course this makes a big difference. It means that I don’t need a large income or need to work full-time. I would rather have the extra time than the extra cash.

 

My only regret is that I haven’t saved much money for my retirement, so like you, I have some catching up to do. 

 

In past eras, extended family would look after their elderly, community would look after the poor. Perhaps that is what is meant by “Without money we would all be rich”?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the problem seems to be over my head. 

 

But a couple observations. There is private part, you saving, and a social part, larger socioeconomic system you live in.

 

And about the extended famiky taking care of the elderly.  While that may be true, we should realise that modern medicine makes co morbidity, as in living with a person with chronic incapacity, a lot more difficult. Many elderly, when severly incapacitated, would probably not live for very long. Also I do not know if this applied to all cultures.

 

And about taking care of the poor. Again , it depends. It seems, even from the Gospels, that the poor were many times sidestepped. I doubt that the poor or the afflicted had it better than they have it in modern European west. I talk about Europe because ny knowledge of the US social system is not very good.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surferdude must not be in a hurry to solve his problems.  He hasn't come back to give any specifics about his situation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Weezer said:

Surferdude must not be in a hurry to solve his problems.  He hasn't come back to give any specifics about his situation.

Probably had his internet cut off for not paying his bills 😜

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Wertbag said:

Probably had his internet cut off for not paying his bills 😜

 

Haha, dude that's mean. :)

 

But seriously, you gave some good financial advice. These days I'm raking in the big bucks in the private sector (also, dual income no kids). But I remember the grad school days when I was making poverty wages, and what you say is absolutely true. 47 is not too late to start saving up for retirement. It's not ideal, but still doable. I've only been contributing to a 401(k) for five years, and I've got about 20% of what I'm going to need for a healthy retirement. Thank God I stopped wasting money on Jesus!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm back! Lol! First of all I want to apologize for not replying in a timely manner. I don't want to waste anyone's time. I really appreciate everyone's input. I deserve some shit for lagging. Working on my problems isn't easy like anyone else. But I need to prioritize and put in the effort to overcome some things.

 

My issue with money as it relates to religion is...Being taught that it's difficult for a rich man to enter into heaven thing. I was very young so I didn't have the skills to comprehend everything. But it gave me this fear of having a lot of money. I haven't been religious for almost 30 years and it still bothers me. It's like I'm trying to "crack the code" I'm trying to figure it all out which I never will. I'm worried about doing something wrong and possibly going to hell on one hand and on the other hand I don't care if I go to hell if it exists. But I still worry, question, and doubt. It's torture!

 

I've had an anxiety disorder since I was young. I've also been diagnosed with OCD. I take medication. I just started going back to therapy. What OCD thrives on is doubt and uncertainty. I just want to live my life! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I promised to reply in a timely manner. Thanks for being here and allowing me to be here. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, in or out of religion, money is not the problem.  The "love" of it is the problem in the Bible.  Outside the Bible, a money compulsion, or addiction to it is the problem.  Perhaps what the biblical writer was referring to??   HA!  You aren't thinking of cheating people out of it, are you?  For some reason, I doubt that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Weezer said:

In my opinion, in or out of religion, money is not the problem.  The "love" of it is the problem in the Bible.  Outside the Bible, a money compulsion, or addiction to it is the problem.  Perhaps what the biblical writer was referring to??   HA!  You aren't thinking of cheating people out of it, are you?  For some reason, I doubt that.

 

It's funny to me that you're your not allowed to love money according to the bible. Let's get real! Who doesn't love money? I also love air, water, food, is that wrong too? Why is "god" so jealous? He's God! What does he have to jealous about? Selfish bastard! Lol! 

 

All I want to do is make the best honestly living I can. Doesn't sound wrong right? But I over think, over analyze, and worry if I'm doing the right thing. It sucks!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, surferdude said:

 

It's funny to me that you're your not allowed to love money according to the bible. Let's get real! Who doesn't love money? I also love air, water, food, is that wrong too? Why is "god" so jealous? He's God! What does he have to jealous about? Selfish bastard! Lol! 

 

All I want to do is make the best honestly living I can. Doesn't sound wrong right? But I over think, over analyze, and worry if I'm doing the right thing. It sucks!

 

 

I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that "the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil." There's a big difference between having enough to be comfortable (and not distressed) and in accumulating money at the expense of other people. The wealthiest people are often (usually?) hoarders. They aren't spending that money on building businesses that produce goods and pay wages -- they simply use their money to make more money, often at the expense of productivity and people. "Trickle-down economics" seemed like a good hypothesis, but when it was tried, the money that wealthy people got to keep in the form of lower taxes never made its way back into the economy.

 

But that doesn't describe the average person who's just trying to get ahead a little bit. Getting ahead a little bit is about security, not greed. And not trying to get ahead a bit turns out to be really irresponsible in the long run. Some day you won't be able to work due to age! Some day you may be out of a job for some time, and will need some savings to survive that period!

 

Of course, as you've discussed before , you're aware that your feelings aren't logical, but you seem to be asking for help overcoming them. I hope my comments have been helpful.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've put the pencil to the paper and figured out that, at my current income, and assuming a relatively consistent DTI ratio, I'll be able to retire at age 86 and live comfortably for roughly 3.25 weeks.

  • Haha 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2019 at 12:39 PM, Lerk said:

 

I don't necessarily disagree with the idea that "the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil." There's a big difference between having enough to be comfortable (and not distressed) and in accumulating money at the expense of other people. The wealthiest people are often (usually?) hoarders. They aren't spending that money on building businesses that produce goods and pay wages -- they simply use their money to make more money, often at the expense of productivity and people. "Trickle-down economics" seemed like a good hypothesis, but when it was tried, the money that wealthy people got to keep in the form of lower taxes never made its way back into the economy.

 

But that doesn't describe the average person who's just trying to get ahead a little bit. Getting ahead a little bit is about security, not greed. And not trying to get ahead a bit turns out to be really irresponsible in the long run. Some day you won't be able to work due to age! Some day you may be out of a job for some time, and will need some savings to survive that period!

 

Of course, as you've discussed before , you're aware that your feelings aren't logical, but you seem to be asking for help overcoming them. I hope my comments have been helpful.

 

 

Thanks for your response. Getting a little bit ahead seems like mediocrity to me. I say do your best. Make as much money as possible doing what you love and do it honestly. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.  I'd rather have it and not needed it than need it and not have it. I'd rather be in a position to help than be the one who needs financial help. How a person wants to live is up to the individual. It's subjective. Their is no one right way. Christians send a lot of mix messages on what is "Right" you can ask a room full of Christians what the right answer is and you'll get a bunch of different answers. I haven't been a Christian in a long time. I have no interest in being a Christian. I'd rather go to hell for who I am that go to heaven for who I'm not. I'm still recovering after a few decades of being away from this mental bullshit and I'm not giving up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.