So here’s the way I think sometimes. Any of you who know a millionaire might have come across this.
The reality of a millionaire’s life is so different from everyone else’s. To him, $300 is nothing. It’s the walking-around money in his wallet, which he’ll replenish the next day at the ATM. It’s so little, that he doesn’t really think about it and wouldn’t really miss it.
Now, I know that millionaires don’t become millionaires – or stay millionaires for that matter – by throwing away $300 at every opportunity. But I also think that the way they spend that $300 can be a little lavish compared to the rest of us. Valet parking and an expensive lunch, just because the restaurant is right there. A few $5 magazines for the plane. A new cellphone, even though he just got one and will have to pay the fine to cancel the previous service. The $300 buys him comfort and ease more than anything else.
But I know what I could do with $300. I could get my son a really sweet, memory-making Christmas gift like one of those battery-operated ride-on Jeeps. I could buy my mother a new oven with a knob that works. I could get tile and material for the new floors in my two bathrooms. At the very least, I could put a dent in a credit card bill.
I don’t mean to, but I can’t help but think, “What a waste! Why doesn’t the millionaire give me the lousy $300 so I could do something useful with it?”
Ah, perspective. I may be an economic rung (or two or three) below him but I always try to remember… there’s someone an economic rung below me who’s looking at me buying that coffee at Starbucks and thinking, “What a waste.”
Think your $5 wouldn’t put a dent in someone’s day? Some people consider that enough money for groceries for a decent breakfast for the whole family. It’s also a pair of shoes at the thrift store or a couple of Walgreen’s toys for a little girl’s birthday. And look at you (me), wasting it on a lousy Eggnog Latte.