This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Blog Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday. This article serves as an introduction to this new bi-weekly column.
At age 15, I stopped growing and I remember being so disappointed. I was one inch away from six feet, a magical height which I thought would gain me all the power and girls in the world. Of course, my mind was warped given all the garbage I read growing up. Two of the most memorable lines that have stuck ever since are, There’s no such thing as an American President under six feet tall, and, How are you going to date a supermodel who likes to wear three-inch heels?. Oh yes, it was a sad day and my dreams for a great future were dashed so early on.
People love to talk in extremes. None of us have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming the President of The United States of America. Certainly none of you personal finance buffs will ever date a woman as hot as Gisele Bündchen or a man as sexy as Dr. Phil. Yet, we can always dream!
As a teenager, I learned right away that love and money are the two most powerful driving forces behind so much of what we do. Do you remember how sloppy you’d let yourself get once you no longer had someone to crush over? You stop working out, let your hair grow wild, and wear the same old clothes over and over again. Yet, as soon as you see that amazing woman walk your way, you stand up straight, suck in your gut, and begin to smile. If there’s a chance you’ll ever see her again, you may even consider working out and eating healthy again. All for what? All for the chance to be with her.
Money is equally intoxicating. We go to great lengths to accumulate wealth, sometimes to our own detriment. I once punished myself every morning by opening up the local McDonald’s at 6:00 am for $3 an hour. How else was I suppose to afford a beater to get to school? At my station I’d fry nine eggs at a time, with both hands moving swiftly in order to produce those wonderfully healthy Egg McMuffins we’ve all come to love. I didn’t do so well unfortunately, so my manager promoted me to work the cash register.
All was going horribly until she walked in the door. She so happened to be the most beautiful girl in the world whose attention I’ve been trying so hard to get for the longest time. Not in this uniform! How embarrassing, I thought to myself. Too late. She walked up to my register, gave me a smile and ordered a side salad and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. I was smitten and hooked her up with a free apple pie on the side. From then on, all I wanted to do was make my $3 an hour at the cash register so one day she would return and we could have our 30 seconds of bliss again.
A new offering
We must constantly balance our desires for financial freedom with our hopes of being with the people we care about the most. This new column will explore the stories of people who are striving to achieve harmony with love and money. We’ll discuss all the dilemmas people face and hopefully find veritable solutions through our discussions. I hope to see you soon over the next few articles!
Updated June 23, 2016 and originally published September 21, 2010.