Here are the details of a couple …and they had an amazing story. I took their permission to share the story with you…

He is 42 she is 37 years old. He works for a huge pharmaceutical company and earns well. Lots of cash, lots of goodies. His total savings as of now Rs. 8-9 lakhs in some mutual funds, about 10 lakhs in his provident fund and a house in which they are living – worth Rs. 1.2 crores – and has a loan of Rs. 48 lakhs on the house.

It was easy to assume that they are earning well and spending well….correct?

Hmmm no. Not so fast.

She is a Mumbai girl…and got a credit card at the age of 18…and into credit card debt by the time she was 22. She had a Masters degree but no great job. She was employed in a low paying job, but had expensive habits – really expensive habits. She was rescued once by her father..which was perhaps accidental.

He is a Chennai boy and far more conservative in his money management skills. Well qualified and holding a good job, he got his first credit card at age 29 – one year before his marriage.

If there was a credit card score, she would have scored really low, and he would have scored really high. Luckily now he was paying all the credit card bills.

To me their expenses on a month to month basis looked to be normal – except for eating out in ‘branded’ restaurants only. Then I found some high branded clothes and other accessories. A branded holiday in Europe…

They were buying very ordinary stuff of items which were consumed inside the house, but very high branded goods when it came to items used outside the house. Which meant their spending pattern was clearly a ‘show’ spending – what others thought about their spending was far more important than what they thought about it. I had to tell them the following: (no not original, based on the sayings of a Guru, part of the Krishna Movement)

Humility and inner peace normally go hand in hand. The less compelled you are to try to prove yourself to others, the easier it is to feel peaceful inside.

Proving yourself is a dangerous trap. It takes a large amount of energy to be always pointing out your accomplishments, bragging, or trying to convince others of your worth as a human being. Pride, showing off  and arrogance diminish your positive feelings! To make things worse, the more you try to prove yourself, the more others will avoid you, talk behind your back about your insecure need to boast, and perhaps even dislike you.

Ironically, however, the less you care about seeking approval, the more approval you will get! People are drawn to those with a quiet, inner confidence, people who don’t need to make themselves look good, be “right” all the time, or steal the glory.

Most people love a person who doesn’t need to show-off, a person who shares from his or her heart and not from his or her ego.

Well all this is a part of being conscious of Krishna…..some people call it the simple Art of Living, some people call it Siddha Samadhi Yoga, ….I am quite sure that the original is from the Vedas.

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  1. sorry not to have said it in the story ..identifying the products as ‘show off’ and ‘not seen by friends’ was done by a friend in a completely different context. It helped me in this case. Keep wondering am i a financial adviser or am I intruding into their lives? Not sure how they look at it 🙂

  2. Subra

    The message you have given is very important- humilty and mental peace go hand in hand.
    Good case study for every one in the “middle class”. The younsters / current generation is prone to this behaviour simply because they were born with more showsha enviornment- flshy , expensive gadgets , bikes and lot of show-off stuff.

  3. Excellent Story! Only thing is it’s not as rare as it may sound. In the current metropolitan/cosmopolitan society the %tage of such people is really high. One just needs to look around(sometimes even inside) and observe.

    Regards
    Raja

  4. Hi Subra,

    From your previous blog post “Important resolution…” Point No.9 “I will not marry a person who is financially incompatiable with me” under heading “Here are some more resolutions – on the will not do side!

    Person did not following this rule.

    Cheers

    Atul

  5. No Atul will not agree. There are many guys who will want to do all this but want the wife to take the blame :).

    If you say ‘NO’ you should say it STRONGLY like what Bharata said when he was offered the kingdom by his mother and Vashishta! Not like Sugreeva who was perhaps internally happy at being made the King….so he is guilty of:

    1. not checking her financial personality before marrying her and
    2. dancing to her tunes (I tunes?) LOL

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