“Without darkness, we can’t really appreciate the light.” ~David Archuleta
It’s Halloween, the Season of the Witch and I can’t help but think about money. I love money; don’t you? I love how people outwardly brag about their money and flash what appears to be expensive possessions that impress strangers. I love how enamored you are by the flash, pomp and show of your version of wealth. We want all the good things that come from money, yet we cannot seem to grab that brass ring, or get an invitation to party on the $80 million dollar mega yacht. This Season of the Witch, we get to look at the dark side of money in the hopes we can take this negative energy and transmute it into our best life ever and mastery of money.
Financial crimes are everywhere these days. Not a day goes by that we don’t each receive a Spam call or some other deceptive means to get us to pay someone we do not owe money to. The trick is to develop the ability to discern truth from deception, but that is even harder now with so much misinformation being shoved down our throats over the internet. I’ve had bankruptcy clients come to me after they’ve been “Romance Scammed” online when they get lured into thinking they’re in a relationship, only to find out later they’ve been scammed and they’re in debt $90,000.00 based on the unbelievable stories they were fed. This particular client had just lost her husband and was vulnerable at the time this happened to her.
Perhaps you’re in a hard financial spot from this Covid pandemic. You’ve been out of work for more than a year and unemployment has run out before you became TikTok famous. What do you do? Are you eyeing those “payday” loan companies, or have you found some online lender willing to give you what I call and “Extortion” loan with up to a 400% interest rate because you’re desperate? If you take your rent to Vegas in the hopes of striking it rich, or doubling your money, then you’re desperate.
You might even be trying to figure out how to keep your material possessions and get rid of your debt at the same time, but consider bankruptcy to be the darkest option of them all based upon what others have told you without doing any of your own research. Then, you give away all your possessions in the hopes that the bankruptcy trustee won’t figure it out. A husband got into trouble when a worker injured themselves on the job and husband was sued. He then transferred all of his marital assets to his wife and they even filed a quicky divorce, giving her all the marital properties in exchange for NOTHING. After that, he ran into bankruptcy to get rid of the multi-million dollar claim. These transfers are a couple’s desperate attempts at hiding their assets from creditors and is fraudulent when they know about the lawsuit.
In 2020, CEOs of the top 350 firms in the U.S. made $24.2 million, on average — 351 times more than a typical worker. A 2019 Institute for Policy Studies report estimates that 80% of S&P 500 companies pay their CEO over 100 times more than they pay their median worker. Source: CNBC
The Great Resignation of workers en masse in 2021 is a significant movement as the working class unites to balance the scales of inequality between the ultra-rich and the working class. There are arguments on both sides that may appear valid at first glance, but it wasn’t always like this.
Walmart ranked among the top four largest employees of SNAP and Medicaid benefits in the states whose data was included in the report, employing an estimated 14,500 workers who received food stamps, according to the GAO report’s findings. Source: Fox Business
Greed created the monster that we all must face. Corporate America refuses to pay a livable wage to their workers who make them huge profits because they force these workers to use public assistance that the average tax payor pays for. So, all you honest taxpayers out there should be infuriated to know that your Walmart dollars are going to shareholders, not workers.
In 2019, Sallie Mae took over 100 employees on an all-expense paid vacation trip to Hawaii amid the increasing student debt crisis. This trip was paid for from the interest payments they squeezed from borrowers. Source: Fox Business
Jeff Bezos has thanked Amazon employees and customers for paying for his trip to space. … “I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this,” he said to laughs from the crowd. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated. Source: Yahoo Finance
What if everything you’ve heard about bankruptcy was wrong? When would you want to know? I was on a call recently and asked the prospective client where they heard all the dark and negative thoughts about bankruptcy and they started to laugh when they realized it was all from the creditors. You see, the creditors don’t want you to file for bankruptcy so they can collect as much money from you as possible. Did you know that your credit score only tells creditors how well you manage debt? Who wants to be great at managing debt?
If you knew what I know about money, debt and bankruptcy, you’d run straight into my office and get immediate relief from your debts and live happily ever after, avoiding it at all cost. Moving from the darkness and into the light requires us to get deeply authentic with our values, emotions and perspectives on money and where we stand in the present with a clear goal to guide our direction. There is a dark side to everything and when we gain a humble understanding of the traps and pitfalls, we can educate ourselves and make choices that will lead us into the light with our money.
Setting a budget is setting boundaries with our money. We set our budget to take care of us first, then when we have more resources, we can then begin to help others. If you do this in reverse by helping others to your own detriment, you’ll sink everyone’s ship.