Many of our money decisions are tinted by broad cultural perspectives. Home ownership, for instance, is more likely when parents are able to help their children, either through a loan or an inheritance — and when a stable career allows the buyer to remain in that location.
Kids in this situation are likely to hear the advice that renting is “just throwing money away.”
But for youth in other cultures? They’ve always rented. They live in big cities. They can’t get a down payment together. Maybe investing in education is a higher priority. Or in wealth that can be easily transported in the event of persecution. It’s a great topic for cross-cultural discussion. What would you do in their situation? What advice would you give?
Consider the way Americans frequently proclaim their “right” to do whatever they want with their possessions, in effect saying their wealth exists independently of everyone else. But does it? Does the constitutional right to the “pursuit of happiness” extend to hedonism? Or is it something some of us would insist is far more in line with common wealth? For that matter, does it differ from pleasure?
No wonder some of us want to keep our financial affairs wrapped in privacy! Secrecy is first-cousin to deceit, and money is not exempt. “Lies sever community; secrecy smothers it,” Jim Corbett writes in Goatwalking.
That is, it comes at a price. The next question is, Who is expected to pay?
When you unlock money issues in the light of open confession, transformation occurs. Believe me.
Let’s go back to that matter of your home.
Whether you own or rent, what does your residence say about you? What do you identify as your needs — and what would you see as your dream home?
Tell me something about your furnishings. Anyone else into IKEA? Or antiques?