Thursday, April 30, 2009

Personal Finance Wisom from My Grandfather

When I was a kid, my grandfather - may he rest in peace - always wanted to give me money. Not a lot. Maybe $10 or $15 whenever I would come to visit - about once or twice a week. I wouldn't want to accept those gifts and politely refused them on a number of occasions. I just felt these gifts were too much like charity - I did not want his money and I didn't want him to think that I came to visit him and my grandmother so that I could get a gift. The money would have been nice, but I felt it was too similar to getting paid for visiting my family. It just didn't sit right.

Anyway, one day my grandfather told me a story which stuck with me since. Here it is:
A man goes to visit his good friend on Friday and asks: "can I borrow $100? I will pay you back on Sunday night." The friend is intrigued, but nonetheless lends his friend the money without any questions. As agreed the friend comes back on Sunday night and repays the loan. The same thing occurs again and again for several weeks and the loan is always re-paid on time and in full on Sunday night. Until one day when the man comes to ask for the weekend loan, the friend finally breaks down and asks "I'll lend you the money, no problem, but can you tell me why you need this money and how you always return in full when the weekend is over?" The man smiles and says "I don't actually use the money you lend me. I just keep it in my pocket. You walk differently and have more fun when you have money in your pocket..."
My grandfather simply wanted me to enjoy life and have fun. From that point on, I always accepted his generous gifts, happily. I loved my grandfather deeply, and his life story remains an inspiration and a lesson to me.

Even though it's a bout a completely different topic, I reminded of this story by the title of this post on blunt money.

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