In the movie “Under the Greenwood Tree,” three attitudes about money — which can be seen starting at about the 48:55 mark — can be summarized this way:
- Fancy Day tells Dick Dewy regarding their relationship that
- she has a “duty” to perform to her father and education,
- “some things are not meant to be” which they “must accept” because
- “it’s what has been dealt us.”
- Dick’s father
- is content with the “steady sort of work” from the family business — which we find out has been the same size since his grandfather started it 100 or more years before;
- says that he and his son know nothing about the business climate in a neighboring city;
- is content with the home he has, which he said he was born in and will die in; and
- proclaims that “I want no more than I’ve got.”
- Dick Dewy himself, who, not being content with accepting the hand dealt him:
- dreams of a business larger than the one he and his father have, possibly by buying out another business or expanding into neighboring villages;
- expresses a willingness to learn what it takes to expand the family business;
- speculates on building a “proper house” with the proceeds from an expanded business; and
- wants “a lot more.”
Under the Greenwood Tree
Labeling the Attitudes
At this point in the movie, these three attitudes about money may be summarized as follows:
- Fancy is “resigned”,
- Dick’s father is “content” and
- Dick is “enterprising.”
Regarding Dick’s father, there is virtue in being content with what one has. But so many factors can affect what we have (or think we have), including job loss, inflation, life-threatening illness, natural disaster, etc.
We cannot protect ourselves from every form or degree of injury or loss.
Identifying Your Attitudes
One good place to begin is by looking to see how you came to have your present mind-set.
What “family model” was passed on to you by your parents, friends or mentors?
We also described contrasting attitudes on saving money.
If possible, you may wish to find out how the influencers in your life came to have their own attitudes about money.
Examining Your Attitudes
After you’ve identified the attitudes about money you’ve learned, ask yourself if you’re satisfied with those or if there may be a better attitude about money to have.
Your willingness to consider the possibility of a change is crucial. If you aren’t willing to change, you won’t.
There is a delicate balance between wanting to improve one’s circumstances and being consumed with a lust for more.
You can ask yourself questions like these:
- Do I desire to provide something better for my home support team?
- Is there a charity that I wish I could give more money to?
- Do I simply want to make more money than someone else?
- Has money become a/an [fill in the blank] in my life?
If you find that you’re not satisfied with your learned or adopted attitudes about money — and/or where you are financially — then you are ready to explore the possibility of a change.
Limitations in Trucker Earning Potential
We describe on our budgeting page knowing regarding your financial situation:
- where you are,
- where you want to be, and
- how you will get there.
For most people, the ability to save money is tied directly to how much income they can generate.
As a professional truck driver, you surely must know that your earning potential is limited by numerous factors. You can only work so many hours per week (Hours of Service regulation).
If you are a professional truck driver who is paid by the mile, even when everything is going in your favor, you can only drive so many miles in a day.
Various factors, including
- rush hour congestion,
- road construction,
- bad weather, etc.,
can all take a toll on your paycheck after a while.
Are you content with all of that or is there something else you need to consider?
Your attitudes about money should include not only meeting your needs for today but saving up for the future.
Some truckers are forced to retire from trucking. If this happens to you, will you be prepared financially or able to smoothly transition into another occupation or lifestyle?
The action (or inaction) you take today about your income can affect how much money you have (or don’t have) in the future. We describe this in greater detail on our page about retirement planning.
Money saving tip: Answer a few questions:
- How much am I able to save from my paycheck each week?
- Where do I have that money saved and in what form?
- What is inflation doing to my savings?
- How often do I have to tap my savings — and for what?
- Is my savings account my only “retirement fund“?
- Are there better investments to help me preserve or grow wealth?
Plan now for the future. Consider what will happen if you take no action today to change your financial future 5 years from now. Inaction is every bit as much a decision as taking action.