Recently read an insightful article from Paul Jarvis entitled, “Ownership Is Resistance.”
In it Jarvis writes:
“In a single generation, we’ve moved away from ownership. We’re now in an on-demand, gig economy where what we can truly own is constantly diminishing. Car ownership is being replaced by ride-shares or leases. Labor is being replaced by contractors without rights or health coverage. Homeownership is rapidly declining as well. Even what we used to post online, via our own servers and platforms, is being replaced by borrowing space on Facebook or Twitter.
The price to own larger items like cars and houses has been rapidly increasing at a rate far higher than inflation. This pragmatically prices most people out of outright ownership.
What we do not own, we do not have sovereignty over.”
All this brought to mind when my late Grandma June told us about how much she bought their house for (about $1,000 – in cash). Granted, it was in a small Midwestern town – but the fact they owned the home outright, is startling when compared to our 20 and 30-year mortgages.
In a lot of ways, our grandparents were wiser than us. Yet many of them lived in simpler, less complex times.
So is all this entirely our fault? Not totally.
Everything costs so much today. As Jarvis states, the price to own cars, houses – not to mention: education – is outpacing inflation.
All these costs make ownership of anything more difficult.
How can we stop getting owned (and start owning)?
It almost seems like the “powers that be” are out there to own us. And in many ways – they are. From banks to credit card companies (and even our workplaces) – many of us are losing the battle or getting behind.
To be honest, when we have a recurring payment of any kind – someone is making money off us.
So what should we do?
It's important to see where all that money is going. One way to do it is by tracking the outflow. Where is it going? What are your expenses? Can you drop/get rid of anything?
Another way to get a hold of your financial matters is to check out our 2 Checking Account System that Charlie and his family started. This will help you further manage your finances in an efficient manner. I also started using the system a year or so ago to better manage the input/output. It's an extra level of money management that doesn't require a lot of legwork.
After you've done the heavy lifting – it may be a good time to sit down and see what you currently own.
Here's a list of some of the things we own:
- 401k / investments
- Two vehicles
- 30% of our home
- Newspaper business
- This site (% of it)
- Miscellaneous items of value
- Talents (cheating a bit here)
Obviously the best things to own are those that are putting money into your pocket: assets. (That bunny of ours – while cute – is a costly little bugger.)
This has been an objective of mine over the past year or so when I've been trying to focus on creating, buying or optimizing assets that will (eventually) put enough money into the account to cover all our monthly expenses.
But, there is only so much time in a day to do these things. Often ownership comes with responsibilities that take away from another (more important) valuable asset: time.
Something to keep in mind.
How about you?
What do you own (if you're willing to share)? How important is ownership to you?