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Why Am I Not Rich? — A Study in Contrasts

I am sitting in a public cafeteria catching up on some email and other stuff after getting back from Honduras and couldn’t help over hearing a young lady that was sitting 2 tables away.  I wasn’t listening on purpose, but there was almost no one else in the room, and she talked really loud!  Then a couple ladies sat at the table next to me (again one was loud) so I could hear her comments as well.  It was interesting to hear the contrasting comments.

Lady Number One

The first lady was complaining about life and bemoaning her financial situation.  At one point, she stated to the individual on the other end of the phone, “Why Am I not rich?”  Well, since I got several details about your life during my 90 minutes working on my blog, I might be able to offer a few hints.

  1. You are a single mom.  She stated that it was hard to support herself as a single mom to the guy on the other end of the line.  I know it was a guy since she thanked him for his child support.  There is no doubt that single moms have it incredibly tough especially with so many deadbeat fathers out there.  At least she has the luxury of a decent relationship with the father of her child such that she can communicate on the phone.  And it sounds like he is paying his support.
  2. You don’t have an education.  I know this because she stated that she had decided to go finally go for her GED.  I would guess her to be in her mid-20’s so I would suspect that she isn’t making much more than minimum wage if she is going for her GED and complaining about how tough it is to pay rent.  No doubt that education has some correlation with income.
  3. You have maintained a quasi-victim mentality.  I say this because she joked on the same call that she was “holding out to marry rich” (like I said, she must have a good relationship with the father of her child).  And maybe it is not a victim mentality per se, but you can’t wait for someone to save you.  And maybe she is waking up to that fact since she is going to be working on her GED and who knows after that.  Kudos on that front!

The Second Lady

Contrast that to the second lady who offered this sound financial advice.  She was telling a co-worker that:

  1. She was paying an extra $120 per month toward her mortgage to pay it off in half the time.  Obviously, she is somebody who doesn’t like debt and must not have higher interest rate debt that she should be paying off first.
  2. She has 10% of her paycheck put away for retirement.  She knows the importance of paying oneself first and preparing for the future.

She also looked to be about the same age.

I found it an interesting contrast good for a blog post.  I also wonder if lady #1 heard what I heard and if she did, what she thought of it. So if there is a lesson to be learned, speak quietly in public places.  You never know if a blogger is sitting at the next table or two.


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8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - October 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

Categories: Earning, Spending   Tags: , , , , , ,

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