Dear Dr. Archer,
I'm a 22 year old female who is going through some rough times. For starters, my fiancé and I are broke and staying with his dad for a couple of months. My sister got kicked out of her house, and now she's staying with a friend of my mother's. My fiancé's brother is causing their dad too many problems.
I have all this stress around me, and I don't know what to do about it. I could solve it all if I had butt-loads of money. Ha! Now, do you have any suggestions for me?
There are many, MANY people who are short of cash and say, "If only I had more money! I wouldn't have any problems at all!"
I am here to tell you, Jordan, that is not the truth; not by a long shot. Whether poor, middle class, upper middle class or rich, everyone has problems -- they're just different problems.
Studies show that as long as a person makes enough for food, shelter and basic necessities, you won't be happier with 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 or even a million dollars more. I hear you laughing, but it's true- money cannot and does not buy happiness
As an example, let's look at Bernie Madoff. Living in a $7 million penthouse, Madoff is now serving a 150 year prison sentence for his $65 billion ponzi scheme. It didn't matter that he had more money than he could count or ever spend; he wanted more, more, more and was willing to break the law to get it.
So please, Jordan, get that thought out of your head. Often times more money merely creates more problems.
As far as the concerns you listed, they're really not your problems. Your sister's problems are her problems. Your fiancé's brother's problems are his problems. As far as you're concerned, I'd think twice before marrying when you can't even afford your own place- bad plan.
Do yourself a favor while you're young. Get an education, secure a good job, and the rest will fall into place. Doing it right the first time often leads to a more successful outcome. Although it often takes a longer time to get there, it’s well worth it. Trust me. Good luck.