Financial lesson from a beggar

I always wonder how people become homeless when they once had a happy and wealthy past. What makes one become a beggar? Did they spend all their money until they went bankrupt? Were they not looked after by their friends or families? What can we do as an individual in helping them? May be we should interact with them and get to know their past life, which could help us in guiding them. But they never listen most of the time. What I see in movies is just they feel low and never get to speak straight with strangers. Maybe because of the inferiority complex they get after seeing people, they remain introverted. I hope one day I get courage in changing the life of such a person.

This fictional story I came up with when I was learning about investing in stock market. I usually trade when I have some leftover from my salary. Also I never spend everything in trade, I will have something with me as savings. When I do, I ensure it gives me some level of profit. Even 1% above the buy value is good to me. But I have seen people investing everything they got and end up in losing them or selling for a loss. This story could seed a thought in people who spend all of their money on something not of human interest.

Once there lived a blind beggar who had a wealthy history in the past but ended up in the streets after the lump debts he borrowed from banks. He had to sell everything and repaid 90% of his debts. Unable to pay the remaining, he fled from his hometown and reached 100kms away with his shirts, pants and some of the leftover money. He could not afford his stay and he had to keep the money for his food as it was his top priority. He was sighted in the past but a month after he reached his new place of stay, he got diagnosed with Glaucoma and never had money for his surgery. Eventually he decided to beg from the people and live the rest of his life. With all his money and eye sight gone, he went to the streets begging for his living.

One day in winter, it was freezing cold everywhere that the hands and fingers turned numb. Blind guy used to touch the cash or coins to calculate his left sum. But the cold made him difficult to count. He was hungry and went to an outlet to buy a meal. He asked the waiter about the price of a meal. Looking at his appearance, the waiter checked the lowest price on the menu and said "15 bucks sir". He then asked the waiter to help him in counting the money he had as he was not able to count. Waiter agreed to help him and found he had only 5 bucks, "Sir you have only 5 bucks."

"Oh my bad, can you help me with a burger instead of a meal?"

"Yes sir, we have a burger for 5.5 bucks. And I can pay 0.5 on your behalf, you can have your burger"

"Thanks for your kind words, but how about less than 5.5"

"Sorry sir, we don't have less, 5.5 is the lowest"

"My fate, Okay I will come back after I get few more bucks"

"But sir you already have enough to buy this burger"

"No, I cannot spend everything I have just for a burger. I cannot repeat this mistake. Maybe I will find one for a lesser price or I will just have some water for now. I don't want to become a poor beggar again."

End of the story.

Takeaway from this snippet?

Blind guy knew about the money he had and did not choose to spend all of his money on meals or burgers. To him, taste was not a priority. It was about the quantity and the price. He decided to keep a few in balance so that he can live hopefully for the next immediate meal. That is how these helpless people push their life. They spend a few and keep remaining for the next meal. They do not think about the next day or two days later. Maybe if they have that much in hand, they would think to store but still they don’t stop asking from people. They just think about the Present and Immediate Future and get prepared accordingly.

We can earn in thousands. We spend everything in EMIs and fake luxuries, as the month ends we regret our spendings. Still we never stop buying things that never add value. Save your money when you have enough in your hand. If you have less, adapt your spendings accordingly. If you have more, assume you have less and try to minimize as much as you can. It does not mean to not enjoy life, enjoy your life what you have excluding the leftovers. Save now than to live in despair later.

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