Let me start by saying that I am extremely excited.
In less then twenty four hours I will be sharing living space with a family of four. Dawn and Bryan and their two kids will be moving into our two bedroom apartment with us (Mindy is visiting family for a couple weeks). This is a temporary location, but it is the beginning of our community. I believe I’ve mentioned this community thing on here once or twice, but I’ll be writing and maybe podcasting a LOT more about it in the months to come.
There are a million and a half reasons why we are choosing to live together, and I’ll try to begin articulating those as time goes on. For now it’s a matter of preparing the space so that everyone feels welcome. That means a few things for me (like packing stuff up, and we’ll see what it means for all of us tomorrow. It’s such an exciting time.
I think the first couple nights are going to seem like middle school sleep-overs. We’ve already had a few of those with Bryan and Dawn (once cause of car trouble, once cause I fell asleep), but it’s going to be an exciting time. We have exactly two weeks to find a new location to live. I’m not sure where that location will be (it will be in Nashville).
We are still at a great dilemma as far as renting or buying, apartment or house, distance from work, etc. We are trying our best to keep the conversation open, but it’s also difficult as the clock counts down. If you have any wisdom to share please do.
(I had to watch that darn movie three times in a row in high school English)
Whether this statement is true or not, money plays a vital role in our society and interactions. Recently, I’ve been reminded of money’s role in a variety of ways.
Credit Cards- I posted a while back inquiring and pondering whether credit cards where really worth having around. I’ve found them beneficial in that I’ve received a couple hundred dollars in cash rebates and I’ve only paid a couple dollars in fees (due to my negligence). But, those cards just add another facet of concern that I don’t really want to have at the moment.
Student Loans- These things are scary. You’d be amazed how much money these banks will throw at you. We got more then we thought we’d need for school this semester and they sent us a check for the extra. Fortunately I was smart enough to send it back (and then some). Are loans for education worth it? Isn’t it still debt?
Purchasing a house- It sounds cool when I talk about it with our friends, but then I also think about the commitment and responsibility involved. This is some serious stuff we are talking about. Your talking quite a bit of cashflow here. But some say it’s better then renting, others say not.
Beggars- I’m not sure that beggar is the best term, but that’s what they are doing is begging for money. What do you do when your asked for a dollar?
I’ve continued to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and it continues to put this driving question in my mind. How can we invest in Real Estate in a way that is ethical?
Currently though only thing I’ve come up with is to do Real Estate in rich areas where it’s not directly affecting the poor. As I said in a previous post, so many options of making money in Real Estate seem to be doing so at the expense and oppression of the poor.
So, here is the deal. I want to make a lot of money. I want to make money so that I don’t have to raise it, or break my back working for it; I want to have money so that I can do all the things I desire to do and not have to worry about it. The stock market sounds interesting to me as does Real Estate. Lucrative business ventures are great too, but here’s my catch. I want to invest in things and in ways that I believe are ethical.
I’ll try the real estate thing, but not if it means ripping off someone just because they are in a tight spot, and not if it means pushing the poor out of their neighborhood, and not if it means charging oppressive rent prices.
I’ll try the stock market, but I don’t want to invest in companies that run sweatshops. I don’t want to support companies that make their millions in alcohol, pornography or the slave trade. I want to make money helping the world become a better place.
Anyone know of any good places to go for that kind of financial advice? Because I haven’t a clue.
As a gift over the holidays, Mindy and I received the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It had been recommended to me before and I had browsed the first chapter but hadn’t picked it up.
I’m currently a good chunk of the way through it and it brought up an interesting financial issue that I have. In the book Robert Kiyosaki will give examples of was that he made money. The two primary ways have been small stocks and Real Estate. I’ve read my fair share of money making and finance books and a lot of them, as well as plenty of people say there is money to be made in Real Estate.
You look at the ideas, me being somewhat of an entrepuneur, and your mind start whirling through all the possiblities and the idea of being able to make a ton of money quite quickly through buying and selling real estate (I know some of you are surprised by me talking like this). When I think only about the financial side of the real estate business, it’s quite tempting to try and jump in. And that’s when I step back and think about some of the social implications.
I’ll start with a typical example. Pick up your average ‘Make millions in Real Estate’ book and one of it’s tips will be to go to the bankruptcy office, or look for foreclosure notices, those are places to get houses for dirt cheap. Never have I seen in ANY book or tape or information anything that addresses the needs or situation of the person that is bankrupt or foreclosing. If anything it might mention that they’ll be glad to have the money, but I highly doubt they are glad to lose their house. “Your misfortune is my fortune,” that’s basically what it is, and that just doesn’t sound right to me.
The other major problem with real estate that I see is the power it has to push people around, particularly poor people. Gentrification is somewhat of a buzzword, but it’s happening and it’s frustrating and sad. Pick any major city and what’s happening is people with low incomes, but people who had a stable home, are being pushed out of their residence and left to move somewhere else. Now that the city has become popular again, those with money are forcing (I’ll explain in another post) out those without money. This includes housing projects (Cabrini Green of Chicago is now condos). This troubles me.
I like the idea of buying a house some day. I like the idea of living in community with people in a place that we own. I worry that my purchasing and profiting will be at the expense of others. There is oppression in the way we do real estate and I want to have no part of it. I only hope I can find out a way that is possible.