I’m not quite sure what really resonated with me about this video. I guess it is the fact that it is a message that I have heard before from other doctors when I was in the medical community. And it is a realization that I experienced myself in my life.
The lessons about material wealth and happiness are ones that many will learn as budgets become tight and financial worries interrupt disturbing volcanic dreams.
In the face of a potentially really bad economy in the United States, we are going to have to revaluate our lives and determine what it is that truly brings us happiness if money is not going to be freely available to buy us happiness.
What do you do to find happiness for little or no money?
title="Does Money And Things Alone Bring You Happiness?"
description="A look at money and happiness and the connection between them. Can money buy you happiness."
I’m confident that people today in Mountain House, California are not feeling very happy.
According to the Wall Street Journal article, A Town Drowns in Debt as Home Values Plunge, the residents of this town have the distinction of being the most upside down of any community in America.
Apparently 90 percent of homeowners in this town owe much more than their homes are worth. The average amount people are “upside down” on their homes is $122,000.
Jerry Martinez, a general contractor, and his wife, Marcie, an accounts clerk, are among the struggling owners in Mountain House. Burdened with credit card debt and a house losing value by the day, they are learning the necessity of self-denial for themselves and their three children.
The cutbacks by the Martinezes and their neighbors are reflected in a modest strip of about a dozen stores in nearby Tracy. Three are empty while a fourth has only a temporary tenant. Some of those that remain say they are just hanging on.
“Before summer, things were O.K. Not now,” said My Phan of Hailey Nails and Spa. “Customers say they cannot afford to do their nails.” She estimated her business had fallen by half.
The Martinezes bought their house in early 2005 for $630,000. It is now worth about $420,000. They have an interest-only mortgage, a popular loan during the boom that allows owners to forgo principal payments for a time.
But these loans eventually become unmanageable. In 2015, Mr. Martinez said, his monthly payments will be $12,000 a month. He laughed and shook his head at the absurdity of it.
People deciding to do without are hurting a second mall close to Mountain House. There is a shuttered Linens ’n Things, part of a chain that went bankrupt. Another empty storefront used to be a Fashion Bug. Soccer World could not make it. Shoe Pavilion is festooned with going-out-of-business signs.
Can’t see the video? Watch it here: Does Money And Things Alone Bring You Happiness?