Thursday, November 22, 2007

money, money

My daily forecast today said, 'Your attitude towards money is the root of all evil".

While I am not sure how my attitude towards anything can be the root of ALL EVIL, I admit that my attitude towards money is not at all what it should be.

First, I am always wanting more. It seems to me that I have spent an entire lifetime making ends meet, and whoever I've been with at a given time in life, has always been struggling to make ends meet, and making me struggle with them. So, I'm always awestruck at the copious amounts of money that other people seem to have.

Or at least, the copious amounts of money that other people seem to spend, even if they don't have any.

I swing between scrimping miserliness, saying no to Dhanno's ordering out pizza, or no to Teja buying yet another pair of shoes, and gently persuading Dhanno and Teja to take cold water baths, or fewer baths or no baths at all, if they can help it, and all that.

And if by some chance, I have a 6 month balance in my bank, I feel empowered enough to stop working, and start living it up, going to see the latest film on Saturday evening at the multiplex when the tickets are more expensive, buying clothes to go out, even though I hardly ever go out, persuading Teja that we cannot do without a new cell phone/TV/camera/car/or some such thing (depending on the exact amount in the bank) until the bank balance starts gasping for breath.

Even after years of managing my own accounts, I have learnt nothing about calculating interest. So I pay off my bills as soon as I receive them, losing vast amounts of interest, which would have accumulated in my account, if I had put off paying the bill until the last day, according to business friends. I keep paying roaming charges on my cellphone, even when I don't travel, when what I should be doing is activating and deactivating the facility as and when I need it, thus saving that precious 25 rupees a month, which builds an ocean of money, and so forth, again according to business friends. I buy things that will give my family and me pleasure, when I can afford it, instead of building up my capital, which is the worst thing I can do, according to the same business friends, who I can't help thinking, are rather gloating about my ineptitude for finances.

After 22 years of a working life, I still have no property, no savings, no shares or funds, no jewelry worth the name, and certainly no diamonds.

So, the day begins with a sinking feeling of impending disaster.

But the producer I worked with recently, ND said he had started work as a journalist, hashing and rehashing the astrological forecasts for the day, at a local newspaper. Maybe, my forecast today was the work of some such novice journalist hacking on her way to becoming a more serious reporter. And perhaps I can still avert ALL evil, at least for some more time, at least until the money from my last job runs out.

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