Monday, 23 July 2012

I wish I was rich, or do I?

A comment on my post yesterday from Gill, has prompted me to write this post today. Thanks Gill for the idea. She says the super yachts, like those moored in London at the moment, are 'such a waste of money'. I feel I have to put my own slant on this statement, as I see it differently. What one person regards as a waste of money, another would see it as a desirable object to own, largely depending on whether the person has the means to pay for it or not. If a super yacht gives pleasure to someone and they can afford it, I don't see it as a waste of money. It does not matter to me what they spend their money on. If I was filthy rich I might buy one myself.

The yachts themselves will have provided many people with an income, from the architects who designed them, to the engineers who built them. I don't begrudge anyone earning a living from supplying the rich with toys to play with. The yachts will continue to provide employment to people for as long as they exist, and probably after they have been de commissioned and broken up for scrap. Maintenance work will need to be carried out on a regular basis, giving work to engineers, painters and decorators, and cleaners. The crew will be paid to move the boats around the world. Suppliers will be making food deliveries, and catering staff will be cooking it.

They may be sold on several times during their lifetime, giving employment to accountants and members of the legal profession. With each change of ownership there will be refurbishment and upgrades, giving more people jobs.

I see them as things of beauty, not ostentatious symbols of capitalism as many people might think of them.  True only the rich can afford them, and in a way, it does seem unfair that only the priviledged few get to play with toys like this. I would like to see a fairer society where wealth is more evenly distributed, but it just isn't going to happen.

Then there is the question of how some people come into great wealth to be able to afford such luxury. To be honest I don't care and it is none of my business. Some people are gifted enough to make money, others are not and that's how it will always be. Wealth does not guarantee you happiness, as most of us know. Some people say they wouldn't mind being rich and miserable, at least they would be comfortable. My preference is to find happiness with what little I have.

Even the wealthy have their ups and downs. Relationship problems, family disputes, poor health, (some of it self inflicted), businesses collapse, leeches who pretend to be friends, divorce, not to mention the hell that the paparazzi vultures give you. Having money does not make you immune from whatever crap others may throw at you. Yes you may be able to hide yourself away in your multimillion pound yacht, but you can't escape the turmoil in your own head.

As usual there is the barrage of negative comments coming out on the Mail article, from those who are envious and bitter. Heaven forbid if someone is actually enjoying a lifestyle which they can well afford. Envy is a destructive emotion which can eat away at your soul. Envy can screw your brain up so that you are no longer able to recognise what is really important in life.

I feel no animosity whatsoever towards rich people. I have no interest in how they accumulate their wealth, or how they spend it. If Frank Lowy wants to buy a super yacht called ILONA, I am happy for him to borrow my name, ha ha.

30 comments:

  1. I've been thinking about what would be different if I were rich lately and may post on it soon. Suffice to say possessions that require a lot of upkeep like a big house or super yacht would not be up there. They bring responsibilities in their own right that in yesterday when I was younger I thought I'd want but as I grow older I'm less interested.

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  2. I am totally with you on this wealth business. I wish money could be spread around a little more, but if there are no wealthy to spend on goods and services, there will be no jobs in these areas. Simples!

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  3. I don't mind what others spend their money on so long as they actual have the money and are not taking on debt in order to make the purchase. If they require a loan in order to make the purchase then I usually consider it foolish.

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  4. Well, if people go into debt to buy things then that is not against the law and it is their free choice. Quite a nice balance view Ilona - it is not a question of being rich or poor - it is nice to have enough to live on and a bit left over to keep cats or go on walking holidays once in a while. Having plenty of money does not insulate you from much in life. I would urge people not to be jealous or envious - it is such a turn-off to others - no-one wants to sit around and listen to a lot of carping about how unfair life is. However much you have life is generally what you make it. Besides, I would rather have a r.v. than a yacht :0)

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  5. Oh,Hear,hear.Each to their own happiness'

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  6. That is very profound. You are very wise Ilona.

    I'd love a small narrow boat but I know it would entail such a high level of maintenance. No problem, as I can't have one just now but you never know. I think I would even be happy with a little cruiser, so long as there was a little space to make a bunk, somewhere to put a camping stove just a little escape. We're in a good part of the world for waterways here. I would always want it to be a little like camping on water, never wanted to say "it's like home from home with everything in it".

    I saw some fantastic yachts in Spain when I went to visit my friend. Larger than my house.

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  7. My brother in law works for Princes yachts in Plymouth, its one of the big yacht builders and employs a lot of people. The cheapest yacht starts at about 3 million, pretty much entirely bespoke and handbuilt. There unemployment figures would increase in Plymouth by a quite a few hundred if the company went. I once heard that given the expense of owning a yacht/boat means that you might as well set fire to a huge pile of £50 notes. I too agree that money does not equal happiness.

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  8. I think you are rich right now! You live as you please, do as you want , and owe no one..can't get any better than that!

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  9. Your attitude is the same as mine. I enjoy looking at rich people's stuff, I don't feel envious. I feel blessed in this life with what I have.

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  10. We are pretty frugal and still own a sportscar - because it makes us happy. We paid cash, it is good on gas and hubby tries not to get speeding tickets in it. I agree with you - if you live as you wish within your means you cannot begrudge others of their "stuff".

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  11. nice to hear a different point of view, good post, well said as always

    Josie x

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  12. I really enjoyed this blog post. I've been reading your blog and others on the similar topics for around a year now, and this is the first time I've ever commented on one, because I have always felt myself to be somewhat of a 'frugal fraudster'.
    I read blogs such as this to acquire tips on feeding myself etc cheaply, so that I can spend the money I save doing so on the things which I really want, but which aren't essential. But I find that so many of these blogs appear to condemn people, who like me, enjoy shopping in shops other than charity shops and who like to have iPads and iPhones etc. Most blogs make me feel as though I am being judged for doing so, and that I am frivolous and unable to enjoy life with out owning these and spending money, which I do not believe to be true.
    Your blog has never made me feel as though I am or would be judged or lectured and I look forward to reading it each and everyday.

    Kia Xxxxx

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  13. An interesting slant on the subject - and I agree with you. Conspicuous consumption continues to confuse me. I want to live as frugaly as possible, but sometimes I'm swayed by the shiney things in ths shops!

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  14. We bought a sailboat when our boys were entering their teens. My first two books sold very well and that's what we used the royalties on. Our main purpose was to keep the family together and keep them away from the beach which was the drug culture area. (Our area was known as the crystal meth capital of the States.) We kept the boat in a small harbor and over the years everyone knew everyone else. The boys became proficient sailors and often crewed for the races. As they grew up they saved up and bought their own small sailboats and then taught sailing. All summer long we spent every day picnicking on the boat down at the harbor. The boys had plenty of freedom and an all consuming interest. No summer was complete without a trip to Catalina Island. They are in their forties now and each have a boat for their family. It was the best investment we ever made!

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  15. I often think of the things I could do if I had money...employing people is one of them...the money my wmployees would earn would feed families, provide education etc etc.
    Jane x

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  16. I would like to be more financially secure than I am. It would not hurt to be wealthy. Even though money won't insulate a wealthy person from all the problems of life, it can make the dealing with problems much easier. When my parents were dying, I was financially constrained from visiting them much, not to mention being there when they died. If I had money, I would not struggle so to keep my hens safe or housed with makeshift things. While I would not have a hen mansion and cackle security, I could rest easier knowing I could provide what they need.

    Plus, "friends" would come out of every crack. Only, I would have the pleasure of not being their friend, truly, as they have not truly been a friend to me. However, the friends who are true ones and need help or a job, would certainly have my help.

    I cannot clean my house properly. Money would certainly work for me to get what I need. My children are 1000 miles from here. I won't help the two who could help. The one who would volunteer money is struggling after a divorce to support her two children. Yes, I could help her.

    My car had not had the oil changed for 27 months and 10K miles....until last week. I don't have enough money to care for my car, teeth, yard, and health. So, being wealthy would not hurt my feelings at all.

    I am very grounded and would not squander my money. I could rest easier at night. At my age, I am astute as to what is really important. I am not saying I might not have a little fun spending money--getting a PhD would be my fun.

    Something I read once:

    "Money won't buy you love, but it makes a good down payment." Yes, I know how it sounds, but it is true.

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  17. I meant that I won't ask the two children who can help me. (Yes, I would help them if they needed it.)

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  18. Great post Ilona...I'm never jealous of what others have...some have worked hard for it, some were handed it...either way my wants are small and I can afford them by being frugal elsewhere...

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  19. You have a good point, Ilona. However, the fact remains that while the upper crusts enjoy their luxury super yachets (which employs a cast of 1000s), there are queues waiting at the foodbanks in towns such as Coventry.

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  20. Great post Ilona, well balanced. I too don't have the funds to buy a yacht but I have enough to feed & clothe myself and treat myself and others every now and again. When I shop for a dress, top or pants I often think that I'm helping someone make a living....well that's my excuse anyway! My only reservation on where the super rich get their money is if they've got it illegally. A man not far from me was jailed for money laundering, obtained by importing drugs into the country.

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  21. Brilliant post, you have changed my slant on life on so many things and made me think more about the world about me, so now Im trying to be frugal in my world but I dont resent people with money as so many have earned it and as you say it does provide jobs and money, it is sometimes hard when others around you seem to have a better quality of life but many times its only material, I have started to enjoy the simpler things in life now even if Im nearly at retirement age its taken a long time and blogs such as yours.

    Thank you
    Jane

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  22. Practical Parsimony, unsure why you come over as agressive, it it just you,re manner?. Are you really a friend following Ilonas blog? very critical, yes we all have views but for some reason you always sound prickly. Why?

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  23. I love your attitude to money Ilona, if only more folk thought the same.

    I would love to win the lottery (wouldn't we all), I do occasionally buy a ticket so I at least stand a chance :-)

    If I did win I would set myself up with a good home and a way to earn an income and employ people, help out all my family and then after squirrelling away a little emergency money I would give the rest away. Not to the big charities that beg us constantly for money or direct debits, but to little charities that work away in the background, that live hand to mouth and do their very best to help the folk or animals that need help most.

    Then I would be happy and satisfied.

    I do agree that if someone has worked to earn enough money to be able to buy and run a boat/yacht/ship whatever, it's entirely their choice what to spend their money on, that they are creating jobs and an income for someone else out of their hard work or good fortune is brilliant and should never be disregarded.

    Yet another brilliant blog post.

    Sue xx

    Sue xx

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  24. It is a sad fact that lots of people spend their life wishing they were rich. They say that they know money won't make them happy (because that's what people say to console themselves when they really deep down believe that it WILL make them happy). Of course it wont. Basically if you cannot find true happiness with very little money then you are not likely to find true happiness when you have loads - I think the ability to run away from unhappiness is enhanced when you have money, but ultimately the money makes it harder for you to discover what real happiness is. But you will find happy people everywhere, among the rich and the poor. I guess the knack is to simply BE happy whatever your circumstances.

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  25. I have to add that if "things" make some people happy, so be it! When people show up in an expensive car or tell me about their new fancy McMansion I am NOT impressed! When I used to ride horses all the time, no one really cared if you kept your horse in a shed in your back yard or on your 200 acre estate. we all had a good time together-horses are great equilizers! I think any one who is serious about a hobby finds that- the ones who are out to impress are probably following that hobby to impress- not simply for the love of it!

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  26. I think I understand PP. She lives here in the States where a person can sink very fast without much safety net. I am originally from the U.K. and on a basic level it is a much more caring society than here. The scary thing is being old and poor here. I encourage PP to get as much help from the government as she is entitled too - also check out (aggressively) all the free clinics around and also the senior services in her area. (They dont have anything like Help the Aged - it is all done on a local level) There is no public transport here outside the cities so if you live in rural areas that very often suffer from profound neglect, you are sunk.

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  27. I was rich once Ilona, as the result of a big bank heist in the sixties. I don't think I was any happier when I had lots of money. When, not if, I win the lottery I am going to buy myself a great big shed,and maybe a roadworthy grey Ferguson tractor to drive around on. I shall be happy then!

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  28. Brilliant post Ilona, you echo my feelings too.

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  29. 10/10 Ilona - spot on with your thoughts on life as usual :D

    Personally I would rather not be super rich, they really don't ever seem to find inner contentment and never really know who they can trust.......

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