is money an emotional device?

staying in england during brexit, having loved ones' birthdays (happy b day, granny, mom, julian!), observing rio 2016 preparations and travelling through several different economic regions sthis summer, i become, once again, curious of money as an emotional thing.

recently i have heard from a young one (early 20s) that he thinks he figures that he wont have much and he never really will; this was quite a surprise.

in cambodia, they were using us dollars as base currency, because their own currency, riels, is too weak to actually have much purchasing power. i changed my 20 american dollars to riels and learned it the hard way.

this is the summer where things are not costing me exactly double (when spending in pounds), which allowed me to head out to barcelona to see a dear friend. there, we paid fairly (and handsomely) for one of the most beautiful projects in the world, sagrada.

in london, my wallet leaks.  london trasit capping at about 10 pounds, and zone 1 travel commanding 2.40 one way during off-peak hours on oyster/credit card (on cash, it'll be whooping 4.90!), it's taking a hit as soon as i set my foot out of the hotel.  i walk a lot.

and we often use money as a political  device: whenever you buy something,  you are 'supporting' a business. bit related to the last post about slavery in shrimp farming: if you are buying cheap shrimps from thailand from major distributors, likely, you are supporting the vicious industry in one way or another.

money is often used as a symbol as well: i rather be poor and happy than to be rich and miserable, makes me chuckle all the time though.  it is likely that a person who has a fairly lubricated, comfortable life have reduced some unpleasant variables and hence created a better bet for the good day. why do people say this often? i think it's bit of a sour grape.  i rarely seen people who are in financial struggle to be beaming happy. there are. but they are few.

then there are instances where people say: i care about you but i didnt buy anything because i am poor.  this is the curious case at the moment.

most people have things that they need in reasonable situations.  for instance, trying to buy something for my granny is a bit of a nightmare. at age 93, whatever she does not have, i am sure that it hasnt been needed. so what do i buy?

often i see people using money as tool of compassion. i try to give to a charity/project of the moment every quarter. because if i do not make a habit/schedule of it, i am unlikely to do it, especially if i am attracted to tasty noodles, living in middle of the town or something, haha.  but let's make it clear, i do it because most importantly, it makes me happy.

and people often use money as a political tool in personal relationships.  'not buying' or 'buying' things has been one of the earliest form of expression of 'love/support.'  the terms sugardaddy, boomerang kids, these two terms especially, are quite relevant, though one of a very old term and the latter being quite a recent phenomenon.

but the real confusion comes when people use 'money' as a reason for action/inaction.  for instance, often i see parents trying to compete (whether consciously or naturally), to be the 'better one' through monetary support: i love you more, here's how, i am giving you money.  then a contrasting example, when people assume their lack of care is purely due to lack of money (i was going to do something but i dont have money)(personal justification, i think).

i end up watching the debt-related shows frequently when im back at the gym at the ymca.  it usually involves two people in relationship, or a single person, who 'feels' that they have a financial problem but then they arent really sure, and their relationship is in tatters.  then this lady comes and try to fix up the situations.


i no longer feel the shadenfreuden when i watch the show.  it could be very 'satisfying' to point finger at the people and say: 'how dumb!'

but i realize that most cases are built on simple chain of consequences; and it intrigues me how or what led them to have a non-working financial model for so long. most of cases, it's the same sequence.

1. one is not aware of exact spending scale/reasons.
2. one is not aware of exact earning scale/reasons.
3. therefore one is not aware of one's own assets.
4. therefore one is in debt.
5. without pt. 1,2,3, the case spirals down.
6. because it's chronic, they get into heavy debt.
7. because money expresses 'love,' their relationships break off.

and so the lady comes in and do the same restructuring with everyone.

1. do detailed spending scale.
2. do detailed earning scale.
3. do updated asset check up.
4. usual verdict: too much spending, not enough earning.
5. create a realistic but lean budget.
6. take more opportunity to make more money
7. create payment/savings plan
8. retrain the relationship so that its values are not dependent on 'spending.'

1. spend consciously:
usually means spend less. and that means compromises. fancy groceries. hangout times. 'modest' celebrations for 'loved ones' (including selves), are likely out.

2. earn to your potential:
no, not 'im gonna be a superstar, so im gonna do just that,' but 'i wanna be a superstar, so im gonna need things and people, so im gonna work to accumulate asset so that i can have the support/experience to be a superstar.'  this one bites loads of us on the butt i think: the job is too lowly! it does not meet my artistic/self-conception! i cant possibly divert from my 'dreams.'

what bites?

if we all lived in dream life, we all would be superstars, beautiful, intelligent, strong, charismatic and rich.

none of those are likely to happen this week. or next. for most of us.

but creating more opportunities to maximize earning potential? it can happen this month. may be not the way one would ideally envision, but something can happen during that timeline.

3. love
this includes self-love (i 'need' my own space, beautiful and functional, i 'need' that new tool, i 'need' to have it to 'enrich' myself), and love towards others (if you love someone, you would pay for them! look, i spend more on them, i love them more obviously.)

this, is bit nuts. i dont think i can quite put it in a short writing.  does this mean lack of financial support mean lack of love? sometimes. does it mean financial support means surely love? sometimes. that means sometimes NOT.

anyone who is accused of 'demanding love,' through money, will vehemently deny it.  they may even say: if you loved me, i would not even have to ask, as you would KNOW that i need money, and you would have given it to me in the name of love.

reverse case: i cannot express my love for you because i have no money.

most of the time, it's things that money cannot buy that allows us to express who we are.  helping someone cross the road. help lifting that baby carriage off the train.  writing a note (or even an email). calling someone. going to see someone, using your time and financial asset.  making a cup of tea (it doesnt even have be the tea that you bought).  standing up for someone (bullying in the street etc).  picking up garbage.  cleaning the house. all these things are real.

if 'buying love' was true, all lovers would be flocking to harrod's and dubai.

may be we project and disguise our own selfishness under the guise of 'but you must love me.'

it's hard to say.
is money emotional? no.
is money used as an emotional device? yes.
is this normal? it became normal.
is this good?


here's a good summer day and happy birthday to dear minnow.
minnow's often trampled by people who are blinded by self-centeredness. it's also his own making, as he tends to be generous with care (whether it be monetary or emotional), people forget that he gave them something (especially when they may want something specific from him)- i sigh, as i understand that such unrecognized efforts usually leads to further silent demands and subsequent resentment from the other parties.  but it's inappropriate for me to change someone. i just wish people do not take others for granted. but hey, it's gonna be a good day. and im glad to have minnow around.

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