Beliefnet
A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

When I was a child, I thought we were rich.  In reality, we were not.  Yet, I seem to have always had an exalted idea of my lifestyle.  There are a few things that I gage weath by:

1.  Do I have enough money to go out to eat at least once a week?  It doesn’t matter whether I actually go out to eat.  The standard is if I have the money.  Lunch money is my standard.

2. Do I have money in the bank?  It doesn’t matter how much money.  I need just enough to keep the check my husband wrote and did not tell me about from bouncing.

3.  Do I have extra money in my pocket that isn’t earmarked for a necessity?  Of course, women have handbags but you understand.

4.  Super Rich bonus:  Did I find a $5 or $10 bill in a pocket of the pants I put on this morning?

5.  Does my car have gas in it?

6.  If not, do I have enough money to put gas in the car so I get home?

7.  Can I pay for the cart of weekly groceries that I’m pushing into the cashier’s aisle?

8.  Can I pay the monthly household expenses: house, water, electricity?

9.  If not, do I have something that I can sell?

10.  Can I afford a $1 iced tea at McDonald’s if I get thirsty when I’m driving in the car?  Again, I don’t have to actually buy the tea.  I have to be able to buy it.

11.  Can I afford to turn down the A/C to a comfortable range while I am sleeping?  During the day, I can keep the A/C at an oppressively hot level.  Therefore,  night time temperatures are my gage.  We live in Florida.  In the winter, I can always put on extra clothes when it is cold and enjoy the refreshing cool air.

12.  Can I scape up enough money to share with someone who has a genuine need?

13.  Do I have enough on school mornings to give each child their lunch money?

14.  Do I have one really nice dress in my closet that I can wear should there be an emergency? 

15.  Super Rich Bonus:  Does each member of our family have one nice set of clothes that we can all wear at the same time should there be an emergency?

Every person has his or her own richness-scale.  Perhaps it tells a good deal about us and our happiness level when you look at how rich we perceive ourselves to be.

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