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Do you Gari? » The Money Matrix!
May 22, 2002

The Dream

When I was young

When you were a kid - did you ever say to yourself, "when I grow up, I'm going to become a doctor, to help people"? How about "I'm going to become a pilot"? What about "I'm going to help my parents so much that they won't have to work so hard"? or were you the type that thought money was not that important in life, like me?

Just like you, I had a dream. A passion to become what I wanted to become. Only to find out that my dream could not be realized without ownership of the world's dominant, money.

Have you ever heard the term "I've been around the world"? That was me growing up. I was born in a place in Honduras called, Trujillo, where my mother is from. Later on in life I moved to another place in Honduras called, Triunfo de la cruz, where my dad is from.

These two places were very different, yet I found something they had in common. In both places, most of the kids very extremelly creative. We used to build our own toys and trust me we had a heck of a great time doing it. In Trujillo for instance, I used to build these things called "carretas." You can think of it as the bike of today, only better. We did not know where the marbles (mables) came from, but we used to play the games and trade them like crazy. As far as playing top (trompo), I would say I met the best top players of the world in Trujillo. There was this guy named "Marito" AKA "que le truene." Bests of the bests.

We used to build toy boats (botes), kites (papelotes) out of coconut trees' leaves and slingshots (ondas) for hunting birds and iguanas. Fishing was my weekend thing with a good friend of mine, "Alfredo Mejia" AKA "Compa" and a few cousins, including, Milton, Jimmy and Rene. I was mighty happy! I felt like I could dream of anything I wanted and in a blink of an eye, I would build it and most importly at $0 cost.

Lesson 1: The Baby step

My first baby lesson, I learned from this. When you truely want something, you make it happen.

The Hardcore Reality

Now that I'm older

Eventually my mother brought me to the states with the help of my step-father. The transition made me feel trapped in a freezer. Not the New York winter freezer, but the creative freezer. I could no longer close my eyes, dream, and implement my dreams as I used to. New York people do not play carretas, nor do they hit the marbles. These folks, party big time. These folks ride bikes, big time. These folks, are in style with fashion, big time. More importantly, all of these things require money and lots of it.

Lesson 2: The teen step

My second teen lesson, I learned from this. When you live in the states, $0 cost does not apply anymore. You have to think the $$$ way.

Work your way

Before I knew it my dreams were overcrowded by reality. New York time flies. I went from Junior High School to High School to College like riding the train from Brookyn to the Bronx.

My loving mother working a night and weekend job. A few friends of hers doing the same thing. Some other people I started meeting worked as hard as they could to support their family as well.

Lesson 3: The adult step

My third young adult lesson, I learned from this. You have to work hard for the money, to get what you really want. Although working smarter will get you there faster.

Think the money way

I'm not a great sports fanatic, but I think is in baseball that they say "three strikes and you're out." Well by this third lesson, I started getting serious about this money thing. Although it had taken me a while to realize that my $0 cost concept from back home was not coming back, I had gotten the message.

Amazingly enough, everyone was so much into their daily responsibilities that, I had to notice with my own efforts, how hard they were working every single day and how broke they would be every single month. From my own experience, I can tell you that in my house my mother was working so hard just to pay the bills.

At this point I'm not paying the bills, so I don't care much. I've never been a TV lover, but I love listening to music, so I would leave the radio on all night long. The lights would be on until the light bulb would burn. The water running even when not needed.

No wonder my mother was just working for the bills, hm? Her own son was a contrubution to it. Hey don't start criticizing me yet. I have an excuse. I was young and stupid. My thing back then was "out of sight out of mine." But before you continue to hit me in the head more, can you really blame me for this? My mother never sat down with me to tell me how hard she was working to pay the bills I was lovingly creating.

The Money Step

My lucky day is here

Everything was a bliz, until I made the move to live on my own. Only then, I started to slow down to think about the financial implications of playing the radio all night long, wasting water when not needed and talking on the phone for hours and hours about stuff that I wouldn't even remember the following day. Only then, did I stop to feel what my mother was feeling all along.

To me - the money talk starts from the house. And I remind my visitors when they come to visit my place that the water is draining my pockets and the light is iluminating my bills.

Instead of waiting for my lucky day to win the lotto, or to land that perfect job that pays top dollars or a big miracle that will come to save me from my poverty, I learned to do something with the little that I have. I've learned to start saving off the one thing that kills us all, in the states, the bills. I found a way to keep the bills' money to myself and help out my love ones.

The dream has come true

Now I know that we're living in a dream world! The only thing is that the dream has been stolen from you and I by the companies that get our moneys every month, making us think that we really need their services and products. I read once, that a product or service is only as great as you perceive it in your head. I know my perceptions are not always correct, are yours?

Let's play money

Let me give you a practical example of what I'm talking about. I would like to start with the phone. This is something most people have in their home.

Would you be interested in saving money on the phone? If you were, how soon would like to start saving?

Say you're still reading up to this point, which tells me that to a certain extent, you're interested in saving money starting today. I've met people that spend hundreds of dollars on the phone every month. By the way, I think that I should tell you that, these are regular people like you and I. Not business people that are using the phone to make money off it, but instead they use the phone to have the phone company make money off them.

Follow your guts

I get a lot of opposition about my crazy ideas from many folks. Until they start seeing the results that is. Only then they decide to follow along. Some of these oppositions come from people that are very close to me, such as my father, mother and step-mother. Although, I would take a sound advice from anyone at any time, all the times I go for what my guts tell me, and so far it has work for me.

Unload the extra weight

Most people I know are spending over $60 on the phone bill alone, every month.

Most of these folks feel that they would die if they did not have "call waiting" or "caller ID" or "three way calling" or even a cell phone. My only advice to them is "thank you". By the way, that was a message from the phone company. You're paying for convenience when you should be saving that extra $6 a month of "Caller ID." My father has insisted that I need "Call waiting." I might be wrong, but I love my $20 a month phone bill without that extra weight that most people carry.

Savings a month from the phone bill alone $60 - $20 = $40. From this I usually put 50% into my bank account, that's $20, and the other $20 I usually send it to my mother on top of what I'm already sending her. A get big smiles from her everything she gets an additional $20. Did I had to work harder for this extra money? NO, I just got tired, once again, of letting my money go to the phone company.

If you were to use this same technic to your other bills, do you see how you can do a lot more with the little that you already have? You may not want to become a doctor anymore, but you can surely love saving $20 here and $40 there to get what you really want out of life. Remember that $20 is much better than $0 a month. Start this way and you will see how your savings are going to grow over time.

As time permits, I will provide you with tools to help you save money and have your dreams accomplished based on the reality of your life rather than the fantasy world that most of us have in our heads. If you would like to notified when such financial tools become available, send me an email at gk@garinet.com or let me know through garinet's message center.

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