Yearning to be Street-wise

Contributed by: Kamzason Hangsing
Dated: 25th August, 2013

“Broke”, was the word explained to me by my girlfriend. When she told me that she was broke, I thought she was hurt by her friends or maybe her parents, so she felt broken from inside… :-P Anyway, here I am, who is broke too, and remain so for most of the time.

Since the time I became financially independent from my parents(though not fully), I could not help but reflect on the cost of living of human life, cost of a living, with not only the “needs” but also the “wants” that come along with it. Every once in a while, I tend to question myself and imagine the lives of the people living on the streets or those in the rural areas, which makes me wonder how these people manage to survive with the amount of money they must have been making.

Seeing a beggar in the street- if asked how much he must be earning? I do not think it would be more than 2500 a month? How does he still manage to survive with the rate of inflation in the country and then there are those who earn at least 50k a month and still live in debt…

I tend to reflect on the way I spend my money, and I could hardly remember me spending on things which I could say was worthwhile. It takes a great deal to draw the line between wants and needs. And I am too often blinded with the broad line between needs and wants becoming as thin as invisible.

Just as Robert Kiyosaki quoted it, “Ultimately, it’s not how much money you make that matters but how much money you keep—and how long that money works for you.” it is all about how you manage the money that is at hand.

Not denying the fact that hunger and thirst must have been the chorus of their life or a lot of them must have been trapped in debt. However, as I try to trade places and try to think through by placing myself in their shoes… instead of me understanding how grave their situation must be, it made me realise how immature I am, how not-ready I am to manage my own independent life. To just picture a life of those living on the street keeping all the rain and pain aside, I think they are not stupid… I consider it undeniable, that these people must have possessed a great skill (financially), to survive and move on with life. May be the situation they are in has made them to be wise with their decisions and managing their needs well to keep their family intact…  though many  of them are not as wise as I project them to be, stashing away their money in alcohol and gambling. Still I could not help but admire those who manage to live on, meeting the needs of the family.

At times, I tend to picture the world, the world of two unfortunate types of people. On one side are those on the street struggling to fill their stomach each day. On another side, there are those with gadgets and branded clothes at one end of their identity while at the other end is the list of all the debts that needs a serious concern. 

With all these thought popping inside my head, I look at myself and ask if I am ready for the journey… wondering if I have learnt enough to clearly differentiate between appetite and pleasure. Well, its not a question of whether I am ready or not… I have already boarded for the journey…

I hope the maturity to draw a wise line between needs and wants and be financially wise comes with ageing, but I am afraid it won’t!