Sunday, October 12, 2008

Credit crunch antidote - Simple living, high thinking

CREDIT CRUNCHHH..That’s the talk of the town around the globe. “What’s this all about?” asked a Sri Lankan worker whose job it is to water the trees on Sharjah’s famous Al Wahda Street.
I wondered how to explain it in simple words from what I have read in newspapers.
Well, it goes like this: Willi (fictitious name & story) never believed in taking loans. One day, his brother meets with an accident. The doctor said: “Pay off $5,000 or lose him.” Determined to save his brother, Willi approached a bank seeking loan for the first time in his life. The bank wanted a guarantee. Willi owned a house. “Why $5,000, you are eligible for much more, enjoy life,” coaxed a bank agent eyeing his own commission from the deal. Poor Willi was dragged into the materialistic cesspool. His brother recovered, but he fell neck-deep in debt. The loan interest mounted and mounted and mounted, while the home value slumped.
Willi is in a soup and so is the bank. And so is the country and so is the global situation.
Dunno whether I explained it right. Gardener Nijam nodded his head and I felt like a successful professor.
My friend Faiyaz has a simple solution: “Don’t fall prey to lifestyle lure. It has glitter but no heart. Materialism is a dangerous path.”
I agree and disagree. Personally, I have managed to live all these years without a credit card. Believe me. I live in the UAE and on occasions walk around the only seven-star hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab, to attend press conferences. I have traveled to Hamburg and still could move on without a credit card. We all need money, but we sure can balance our budget within our means. I should be stupid to think I will become a Bill Gates overnight. I can dream of becoming one. But I can spend like Bill Gates only after my bank accounts have a similar balance as his. Oh, this philosopher instinct. For all that I say, I am highly materialistic too. So, there’s a bit of hypocricy.
But, live within your means. Sorry, if I am forwarding an unsolicited suggestion. But you will accept it one day as the right path.

RR/ Oct.13, 2008


your sassy reporter said...

That is what loan sharks do, they will eat you alive. But sometimes we have no other means to pay for emergencies like this. And in a material world it needs material answers too. My answer to this work hard and save your earnings. But what to do in a financial crisis like this where unemployment looms. Let's just pray we can all get pass through this. I will be glad to meet your friend from Manila. Does she have a blog here too? Thanks for visiting my blog!

Eppie said...

This attitude about material wealth can save a person many a financial woe. The key is to recognize that whether rich or poor, in debt or out, material possessions do not make a person permanently happy. Rather than trying to live beyond one's means, one should learn to be satisfied with what one has — and to improve on it as time and money eventually permit.