Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I Am Grateful For

I started reading a new book which could loosely be categorized in the personal finance genre. It is called Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I got it because it sounded like a fascinating money story -- she made and lost a fortune. But there's a lot of self-help type advice in it that I thought was cheesy at first, but now I think I find kind of valuable. One concept she talks about is gratitude, and making a list of things that you are grateful for in terms of money. So I thought about it and this is what I came up with:

1. I am grateful I do not own a house -- I never have to worry about some big housing related emergency expense that will cost me thousands of dollars in one go, or about my property taxes going up, or whether the homeless shelter they are opening in my neighborhood is going to bring down the value of my property, or feel like I am trapped and can't move for a dream job, or any other reason, or freak out that I sunk my life savings into an asset that has lost more than 1/2 of it's value.
2. I am grateful that I have low expenses -- I have kept my expenses low which gives me a lot of flexibility. If I want to blow some money on clothes or makeup, etc. each month, I can. I never feel deprived, because I can always treat myself without having to sacrifice savings.
3. I am grateful that I can afford good medical care -- I go to a homeopath/therapist. She is really helping me grow as a person. She is expensive. $200 an hour and I go once a week. Insurance covers part of this, but I spent almost 2K last year on her. But I can afford to. Also, if something horrible happens to me, I have long-term disability insurance so that should give me some financial resources.
4. I am grateful that I can afford to travel. I keep praying that the value of the dollar holds up so I can continue to travel internationally. I have seen how challenging it can be for people of developing countries to travel outside their country, even if they are middle or upper middle class, just because of the currency.
5. I am grateful that I had a good example of how to save. My grandmother is a saver, probably more on the stingy side actually, and my mom is a saver. It's like a religion. I was born into it and never questioned it. I'm happy that's my DNA and not to overspend.

I am grateful that I have a lot to be grateful for!

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