TIME Money

Why ‘Don’t Worry About Money, Just Travel’ Is the Worst Advice of All Time

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Chelsea Fagan is a writer and founder of The Financial Diet, a (non-boring) blog about personal finance.

It demonstrates only a profound misunderstanding about what 'worrying' actually means

I have an internet acquaintance that I’ve been following on social media for a little over two years now, an all-around nice, smart girl who blogs and does odd jobs and has recently decided to go back get a Master’s. In Europe. For a degree that, by all reasonable accounts, is probably not going to lead to a great job. And she knows this, I think, because she talks about it as “an opportunity to learn and expand her mind,” more than any sort of preparation for a future career. Which is fine, but the truth of the matter is that she is able to enjoy such freedom — to be a wanderer of sorts who enjoys travel, study for the sake of study, and long conversations over good dinners — because she comes from a good bit of wealth and, if not subsidized entirely, never has to worry about her safety net. She won that particular bit of genetic lottery, and it’s useless to begrudge her the freedom that fate bestowed on her.

But it is useful — important, even — to begrudge her the attitude that comes with it, one that is all too prevalent amongst young people who do not have to worry about the foundations of their future financial security: This idea that you must travel, as some sort of moral imperative, without worrying about something as trivial as “money.” The girl in question posts superficially inspiring quotes on her lush photos, about dropping everything and running away, or quitting that job you hate to start a new life somewhere new, or soaking up the beauty of the world while you are young and untethered enough to do so. It’s aspirational porn, which serves the dual purpose of tantalizing the viewer with a life they cannot have, while making them feel like some sort of failure for not being able to have it.

It’s a way for the upper classes to pat themselves on the back for being able to do something that, quite literally, anyone with money can buy. Traveling for the sake of travel is not an achievement, nor is it guaranteed to make anyone a more cultured, nuanced person. (Some of the most dreadful, entitled tourists are the same people who can afford to visit three new countries each year.) But someone who has had the extreme privilege (yes, privilege) of getting out there and traveling extensively while young is not any better, wiser, or more worthy than the person who has stayed home to work multiple jobs to get the hope of one day landing a job that the traveler will assume is a given. It is entirely a game of money and access, and acting as though “worrying about money” on the part of the person with less is some sort of trivial hangup only adds profound insult to injury.

I was able to travel, and even though I paid for my life abroad with my own work, it was still a result of a healthy amount of privilege. I was from a middle-class family who I did not need to support or help financially, I knew that I could always slink back to their couch if things didn’t work out, and I had managed to accrue a bit of savings while living at home for the few months before I left. There are millions of people who have none of these things, and even if they wanted to pay for travel on their own, would simply not be able to because of the responsibility or poverty they lived with. For even my modest ability to see the world, I am eternally grateful.

And what’s more, I understand (perhaps even better after having traveled a good amount) that nothing about your ability or inability to travel means anything about you as a person. Some people are simply saddled with more responsibilities and commitments, and less disposable income, whether from birth or not. And someone needing to stay at a job they may not love because they have a family to take care of, or college to pay for, or basic financial independence to achieve, does not mean that they don’t have the same desire to learn and grow as someone who travels. They simply do not have the same options, and are learning and growing in their own way, in the context of the life they have. They are learning what it means to work hard, to delay gratification, and to better yourself in slow, small ways. This may not be a backpacking trip around Eastern Europe, but it would be hard to argue that it builds any less character.

Encouraging that person to “not worry about money,” or to “drop everything and follow their dreams,” demonstrates only a profound misunderstanding about what “worrying” actually means. What the condescending traveler means by “not worrying” is “not making it a priority, or giving it too much weight in your life,” because on some level they imagine you are choosing an extra dollar over an all-important Experience. But the “worrying” that is actually going on is the knowledge that you have no choice but to make money your priority, because if you don’t earn it — or decide to spend thousands of it on a trip to Southeast Asia to find yourself — you could easily be out on the streets. Implying that this is in any way a one-or-the-other choice for millions of Americans is as naive as it is degrading.

Everyone needs to forge their own path to financial independence and freedom. And perhaps you are lucky enough that your path involves a lot of wandering around, taking your time, and trying a bunch of new things — because you know that security will be waiting for you at the end of the rainbow. That’s fine, and there is no need to feel guilt or shame over your privilege, if only because it’s unproductive and helps no one. But to encourage people to follow your very rare path, because you feel it is the only way to spiritual enlightenment or meaning, makes you an asshole. It makes you the person who posts vapid “inspirational” quotes that only apply to a tiny percent of the population who already has all the basics covered. And God forbid anyone who needs the money actually does follow that terrible advice, they won’t be like you, traipsing around South America and trying degrees for fun. They will, after their travels are over, be much worse off than when they started. And no souvenir keychain is going to make that reality sting any less.

This piece originally appeared on The Financial Diet.

Read next: 3 Credit Cards That Will Save You Money on Summer Travel

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Money

We Still Don’t Have Safe and Reliable Money

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Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

If we're going to have fast, reliable online transactions, we need a system that actually works

They said it was imminent. They said so two decades ago. But I am still waiting for a truly fast, reliable, and safe form of money for people—all 7 billion of us. So many other things that were once unimaginable to us are now true: we can connect with anyone on the planet almost instantaneously—to talk, see each other over video, and send each other pictures of our cats and dogs, even kids. But if we want to move a penny, or 10 rupees, it is no longer a brave new world, not even close. It’s virtually impossible for someone to easily transfer money to another at a low cost, unless both parties are physically present at the same place and same time.

Not so, you may protest. We have Apple Pay, Paypal, Google Wallet, Mastercard, Visa, M-Pesa, Bitcoin, hundreds of alt-coins spawned by Bitcoin, all of which claim that they will dethrone good old-fashioned cash off its mantle. But not so fast. Despite all the hype around the supposedly new-fangled digital alternatives to money, these remain either expensive or inconvenient. Credit card companies charge retailers two to three percent of any transaction, which we’re all paying for in the form of higher prices, passed on by merchants. Direct withdrawals from bank accounts are cheaper, but have traditionally taken a long time to clear, sometimes as long as a day.

The drawbacks of these digital alternatives are evidenced by the resilience of cash. Eighty-five percent of all transactions globally (and 40 percent in the U.S.) are still carried out using cash, particularly transactions involving small amounts of money. There are good reasons why that is the case. Cash is convenient. Cash is private. Cash is intuitive. Cash does not incur explicit transactions costs.

And yet cash is also cumbersome to carry and store. It can be stolen and forged, remains uninvested and usually loses purchasing power over time, and most importantly, cannot be transferred easily across large distances. And so, the pressing need for a digital currency that works.

If you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast, you are probably reading this with great impatience, eager to get to the discussion of how Bitcoin and its alternatives are the answer. Cryptocurrencies, which are digital, encrypted currencies that operate independently of a central bank, are almost costless to move instantaneously, offering both privacy and security. I am also a cryptocurrency enthusiast. But I am not ready to declare victory. At least, not yet.

First, transactions using cryptocurrencies are not convenient. They are not intuitive. Just watch someone pay for coffee at a coffee shop that accepts bitcoin as payment (there are some). Only geeks are likely to find it simple and easy to use. You may protest that this is what people said about email and Internet 20 years ago and look where we are now. Perhaps so. But the transition to electronic money will not be as easy or as simple. Why? Because we are talking about money. Bitcoin’s “blockchain” technology keeps a permanent, public, and seemingly inviolable record of all transactions, which is distributed publicly across many private computer servers around the world in a decentralized fashion. It’s brilliant, elegant, and revolutionary—but also, to quote the author Nathaniel Popper, “one big hack away from total failure.”

Money attracts both fraud and regulation. And uncertainty. Financial regulators are conservative, wary of any new technology that is easy to use and accessible, unless it be proven completely fraud-proof (an impossible standard).

And so, regulators are over-zealous in clamping down on innovation. They will reflexively (and absurdly) invoke “Know your customer” (KYC) regulations and “Anti Money-Laundering” (AML) requirements every time someone proposes something new. It’s as if regulators never want to hear the benefits that might come from financial innovation, however much they might offset any potential downside. But someone who designs a faster car should not be prevented from manufacturing and selling it lest thieves use it get away after robbing a bank. We need to rely on other means of deterring crime.

When we discourage innovation and proliferation of convenient, secure, and costless digital alternatives to money for fear of money-laundering and related crime, we are continuing to disenfranchise nearly 3 billion poor people in the world who would benefit the most from the financial inclusion that frictionless digital money and payments will generate for them.

Here is a concrete example. Imagine that a woman working as a day laborer in India earns 100 rupees on a given day. She may go to a grocery store on her way back home to buy goods worth 80 rupees. If technology made it possible for her to deposit the remaining 20 rupees (which is only about 30 cents) immediately in an account that earns interest or put it immediately in an investment that is expected to grow, without incurring any transactions costs, this could transform her life. Even “small” transactions costs of 5 or 10 cents per transaction would induce her to keep the money in the form of cash, which would not only fail to grow, but may be spent in an impulse purchase by her husband or children.

Similarly, a migrant worker should be able to send money he or she earns nearly free of transaction costs to the family that may live in a different city, or even a different country. Nearly $600 billion of such remittances are currently made across borders. And they are expensive, outrageously so. Nearly 7 percent is lost in intermediation.

How about services such as the mobile phone money transfer business M-Pesa, which is ubiquitous in Kenya? Given the lack of banking alternatives that exist in many African countries, M-Pesa services have deservedly received attention and acclaim from media, policy makers, and global development advocates such as Bill Gates. But even services such as M-Pesa have high transactions costs.

Given the revolution in communication technologies, and how they’ve transformed so many non-monetary domains, it seems reasonable to demand that in the near future we do away with most everyday transactions costs, which are unnecessary. We should shoot for a one- or two-tenths of a percent as an acceptable fee, whether we are seeking to pay with our Apple Watch at the corner deli or seeking to pay for a meal in rural India.

How do we get there?

First, financial institutions need to abandon the stupid idea that every transaction, no matter how small, must be verified. Every time I buy a cup of coffee using some form of electronic money, the retailer need not check with Visa or my bank if I have money or I am credit-worthy to be offered an implicit credit of a few dollars. Such verification should happen infrequently, only when the aggregate amount in question has reached a large predetermined amount. After all, most people have reputation capital these days; in our increasingly interconnected world, even sellers on e-Bay from far-off places like Guangzhou in China can be “trusted” given their reputation scores.

Second, the new digital money needs to feel simple, intuitive, and easy to use even in even the most illiterate parts of the world. You often hear experts advocating financial literacy and educational programs to “teach” people how to use new technology-based money. But the most effective adoptions happen when people learn by imitation. So, this electronic money must become ubiquitous. People should see it being used by rich and poor alike and in developed and developing countries in essentially similar ways. No one offered cell phone literacy classes or programs when the technology was introduced, but cell phones quickly went from being aspirational objects to being widely adopted as the costs fell sufficiently low. Now more people use cell phones than toilets in the world. In the same way, electronic money is likely to grow when middle-class consumers start using it regularly, even when transacting with the poor.

Lastly, the dream of the libertarian cryptocurrency enthusiasts that money will become totally anonymous, far from the reach of the government and inept regulators, is not practical. We want technology that empowers individuals, but we need shared institutions such as the courts and regulators that protect people and the integrity of the currency being used. After all, 7 billion people aren’t going to make the transition purely on faith.

Bhagwan Chowdhry is a professor of finance at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the co-founder of Financial Access at Birth. More about him can be found here.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Money

This Is What It’s Like to Be a Rich Man in Greece Who Can Not Legally Pay His Debt

People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank in Athens on June 30, 2015.
Thanassis Stavrakis—AP People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank in Athens on June 30, 2015.

The cautionary tale shares a number of lessons on currency control

The Greek government shut all banks in the country on June 29 after the European Central Bank capped emergency funding to the lenders.

Cash withdrawals from ATMs are now limited to €60 a day (about U.S. $67) for Greek citizens. Foreigners who can find an ATM with cash are exempt from the limit, but cash-poor tourists are finding it very hard to find ATMs with money.

More important, Greece has made the first step down the road to capital controls by prohibiting the transfer of money to destinations outside Greece unless approved by the Ministry of Finance.

No one knows what the impact will be on Greece and the rest of the world. However, history can shed some light on the situation. Before joining the euro, the Greek government had previously implemented strict capital controls and foreign transaction limitations. My personal experience suggests these temporary measures will hurt the economy in the long term.

What do countries gain by currency controls?

I visited Greece in the mid-1980s, a time when the country had very strict currency controls. It was illegal to exchange foreign money in the country except at a bank.

Countries often implement these kinds of policies because it gives them a chance to impose a hidden tax on all foreign exchange transactions. The tax is hidden because the official rate is very different from the free market rate.

Argentina is a country where the official, or “blanco dollar,” rate is very different than the black market, or “blue dollar,” rate.

For example, today going to a bank and exchanging one US dollar will get you about 9,000 pesos at the “blanco dollar” official exchange rate. However, the “blue dollar” rate is about 13,500 pesos, which gets you 50% more for your money. If exchanging US$20 at the official rate gets enough money for dinner in Argentina, using the “blue” rate will get enough money for lunch plus dinner.

Other reasons why countries implement controls are found in a very readable overview of the topic published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis (see table 1 here).

My experience with Greek currency controls

I arrived in Greece in the mid-1980s for a 10-day trip and exchanged U.S. dollars without a problem into Greek drachmas, the currency prior to the euro.

I had a wonderful time seeing famous ruins such as the Parthenon, cycling through picturesque towns and eating great food. My last day in Greece was in the middle of the week. I was staying in Athens and had already purchased a boat ticket to another country. I woke up, paid my hotel bill — which emptied my wallet of Greek drachmas — and planned on stopping by a bank to get some money to pay for laundering the clothes I had dropped off two days earlier at a nearby cleaners and then heading down to the port for a leisurely lunch before departure.

I was surprised to find the streets empty, many shops closed and not a single bank open, all in the middle of the week. It was May 1, International Workers’ Day, which is commonly called May Day. The streets were soon filled with tens of thousands of Greeks marching and chanting slogans.

Luckily, the cleaners that had my neatly pressed clothes was still open. However, while I had lots of US dollars, and even an American Express credit card, I had no Greek money. The owner explained to me that if she took dollars in payment, she could be arrested for violating the currency controls. She took pity on me and gave my clothes back cleaned for free and even handed me a subway token to get me down to the port.

I was rich man who could not legally pay my debt. To this day I am confused on the right thing to do. Paying her in dollars was a crime. Not paying her was stealing. Before leaving the shop I surreptitiously slipped roughly how much I owed in U.S. dollars under a vase near the cash register when the shop owner wasn’t looking. Hopefully, the currency police didn’t catch her.

Currency controls made it difficult for me to spend money and greatly dampened my desire to visit Greece again. The important question Greek politicians face is whether implementing currency controls will help save Greece’s banks.

Economists have not reached a unified consensus on the answer. Some research suggests controls are economically good, some research finds it economically bad and some finds it not important. The business press, however, often cheers the removal of currency controls, with examples like Bloomberg attributing the economic resurgence of Poland to policy changes, such as the elimination of capital and currency controls.

My opinion is that implementing currency controls now will stifle tourism, which makes up directly and indirectly about 16% of the Greek total gross domestic product (GDP). It will also not help weak Greek banks very much, because people have lost faith that they can access their savings.

Reducing tourism and not rebuilding people’s faith in Greek banks ensures Greece’s economic revival will take even longer after the debt crisis is finally resolved. Capital controls look to me like a short-term bandage that only allows a long-term wound to get more seriously infected.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME deals

How Apple Is Changing the International Data Roaming Game

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Dominic Lipinski—PA Wire/AP

Instantly connect to a local data network in more than 90 countries and territories

Data roaming was once one of the great pain points of traveling. Slowly, but surely, it is easing up—and perhaps going away all together. A short history, for the uninitiated: first, the EU proposed legislature to end roaming on the European continent by 2017 (a bill that was just approved today). Then T-Mobile made it free to roam in 120-plus countries (sluggish network speeds be damned). A third development was the perhaps quietest—Apple launched a technology called Apple SIM poised to instantly connect travelers with local data networks the second they touched ground in an international country. The only catch? They didn’t have any significant telecom partners available when the technology deployed, so the development flew largely under the radar.

Until today, that is. This morning, Apple and GigSky have announced a partnership that includes the ability to instantly connect to a local data network in more than 90 countries and territories upon touchdown—no need to visit a kiosk, talk to a service agent, or really, do anything at all. Instead, iPads with AppleSIM cards will automatically offer the option to sign up for a data plans as soon as a local network is in reach. (The GigSky network includes most of Western Europe, from France and Germany to the Netherlands; Australia; South Africa; parts of the Middle East; and beyond.)

Because travelers are accessing onto local networks, rather that roaming from their domestic carrier, prices are impressively affordable as long as you’re traveling on the beaten path. Entry-level data plans begin at just $10, covering anywhere between 10MB (in Papua New Guinea) to 75 MB (in Italy); in countries with better access, the premium plans top out at 3GB for $50. By comparison, AT&T’s best deal currently charges $30 for 120 MB or $120 for 800 MB. And unlike with most major telecom companies, travelers won’t need to worry about overage or monthly recurring charges—GigSky’s plans are inherently short-term.

For now, the technology is limited to iPad—AppleSIM has been coming pre-installed on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 models with WiFi + Cellular capability (and have been since that model debuted last year). They’re also available at Apple stores for a mere $5 if one isn’t already in your device. Not sure whether you have one already? Simply pop out the SIM card and see if there’s an Apple logo on it.

Now there’s only one caveat that remains: at this point, Apple could confirm no plans to bring the technology to iPhone. But perhaps a year from now, we’ll have another surprise to report on that front.

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Food & Drink

5 Ways to Save Money on Food This Summer

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James Ransom/Food52

Pickle your produce

Summer is a time of freedom, of relaxation, of popsicles and swimming pools and sweaty armpits. But even though summer might feel like a departure from the everyday grind (wait, summer vacation doesn’t exist in the real world?), if you’re like me, you still have to stick to a budget. Even more so if you’re spending all your dollars and cents on 50+ S.P.F. sunscreen and the air-conditioning bill.

So here are a few tips for how to live it up and eat your way through summer, culled from the archives of My Broke Kitchen wisdom:

1. Make the most of summer produce

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James Ransom/Food52

It’s time to eat all of the summer things! All of that vibrant, juicy produce you fantasized about while eating your umpteenth kale salad this winter is here, and you’re already used to it. Make sure not to waste an ounce of it, and pickle whatever you can’t eat—it’ll add some zing to the colder months ahead.

 

2. Travel smarter, not hungrier

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James Ransom/Food52

Whether you’re prepping for a road trip or long flight, don’t be reduced to eating overpriced, underwhelming snacks. Pack your own before you head out and you’ll arrive at your destination sans hunger pangs.

 

3. Eat more greens

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James Ransom/Food52

When you can’t stomach turning on the stove and your budget’s too tight for takeout, turn to salads. Refreshing, bright, and cool, they are everything your body wants right now.

 

4. Take a vacation from mealtime norms

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James Ransom/Food52

Thanks to sticky hot weather and general vacation atmosphere, the rules for what constitutes a meal become more lax in the summertime. Toast is no longer just for breakfast and vegetables with dips are promoted from snack to entrée.

 

5. Yes, you can still grill on a budget

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James Ransom/Food52

Just because you can’t spring for lamb chops doesn’t mean you don’t get to participate in the primordial satisfaction that is cooking your food over an open flame. Here’s how to grill—for a crowd—without spending a fortune.

 

6. Summer is the time for dinner (and brunch) parties

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James Ransom/Food52

Long summer nights embolden you to stay out way too late (and spend way too much money) eating and drinking outdoors at every biergarten, bistro, and coffee shop in the area. Skip the big check and invite your friends over to your home for a dinner party or a budget brunch. When the urge to eat outdoors becomes too strong to resist, pack a picnic and head to the nearest park.

This article originally appeared on Food52

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TIME Money

These 3 Decisions Will Change Your Financial Life

Make these decisions consciously

There’s nothing worse than a rich person who’s chronically angry or unhappy. There’s really no excuse for it, yet I see this phenomenon every day. It results from an extremely unbalanced life, one with too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what’s there.

Without gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, you’ll never know true fulfillment. But how do you cultivate balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance?

For nearly four decades, I’ve had the privilege of coaching people from every walk of life, including some of the most powerful men and women on the planet. I’ve worked with presidents of the United States as well as owners of small businesses.

Across the board, I’ve found that virtually every moment people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives.

If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and often financially stressed. But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.

Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on.

At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.

Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.

Which area do you tend to focus on more: what you have or what’s missing from your life?

I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.

Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional well-being and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to deeply feel grateful with your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfillment can be found.

Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?

If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.

When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:

Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?

Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.

Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.

When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?

If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?

Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?

Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.

I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85 percent to 90 percent of those assembled raise their hands.

How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side effect.

But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like “life is not worth living,” that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.

Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.

When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit on what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.

So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.

Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:

Decision 3: What will you do?

The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.

If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.

Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.

Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.

Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behavior on those they respect, enjoy and love.

The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.

Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by.

It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.

Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.

It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.

This piece was adapted from Tony Robbins’ new book, Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

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TIME psychology

Why You Spend Too Much Money and How to Stop

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Eric Barker writes Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

  • The word sale makes us less likely to comparison shop and yellow tags fool us into thinking we’re getting a discount even when we’re not.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Family

Why I Think It’s Selfish to Have an Adult-Only Wedding

The truth is, I just can't afford so many kids-free weddings

Wedding season + kids + babysitter = a tulle-filled circle of hell.

This summer, my husband and I have approximately 10,000 weddings to attend. O.K., that’s an exaggeration, but it definitely feels that way. In and of itself, our plenitude of weddings are a good thing. Drinks! Dinner! Butter cream frosting!

The only problem with all these weddings this summer is that the vast majority of them don’t include an invitation extended to our offspring.

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And while I totally get that most couples don’t want to fork over the cash to pay for some snotty-nosed children to eat a few rolls and bust a move in the chicken dance, adult-only weddings have become my nemesis.

On one hand, I love the idea of an adult-only wedding. The chance to eat a kids-free meal and drink it up with my husband — which actually means like two drinks because I’m the world’s biggest lightweight (thanks kids for those perpetual pregnancies) — is pretty much my idea of heaven right now.

But the truth is, I just can’t afford so many kids-free weddings.

And frankly, after the third one, they kind of lose their appeal a little. Green beans and rubbery chicken, a few painfully drunken toasts, did they cut the cake yet, and are you ready to go yet?

I know every couple thinks their wedding will be different and the event of the century, and I appreciate that — I really do. I’m happy for you all, and I’m sure you put a lot of thought into that cupcake table and the vintage-inspired centerpieces, and the photo booth props, really. But a wedding is a wedding is a wedding.

For couples that have kids, an adult-only wedding is a painful decision-making process that includes weighing the cost of a babysitter with the most special night of your lives, which is just another weekend in ours.

For us, to attend the ceremony and a reception, I’ll easily shell out over 100 bucks on a babysitter, plus the wedding gift. It’s a horrendously expensive date night and I’m sorry (and no offense to you and the love of your life), but that’s really asking a lot of your guests with young children.

I know you think that you might be doing us a favor by giving us a “night out,” but that’s not really the case when $100+ could buy me a whole lot of date night elsewhere.

Part of me doesn’t buy all the justifications couples use for not inviting kids to their wedding. The uber-fancy wedding, granted, I can accept. I wouldn’t want my kids breaking any crystal, either.

But if you’re like the rest of us, hosting a pretty standard wedding and reception and aren’t inviting kids because of the cost, it’s a tough pill for me to swallow. I’d rather bring my kids after dinner, or pop them on my lap to share my buttered roll, so we could all attend your special day without it costing me an arm and a leg to be there.

And is it just me or do kids sometimes make the party?

Who else has such a carefree lack of inhibitions (sober) on the dance floor? Who else can you do the robot with and not feel like an idiot? Everybody dances more when there are kids around and parents don’t have to hurry home to pay the sitter.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be a good little wedding guest this summer and shell out the cash to a sitter when I can, and send a polite card when I can’t, but part of me wishes that if you care enough to want me (or my money) at your wedding, you could make it a little easier on me to be there with my family.

Because I want to be there, I really do, but preferably not while going bankrupt in the process.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

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TIME Money

How Rich Immigrants Can Solve L.A.’s Housing Crisis

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Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

If the city wants affordable homes, it needs to tap into funds from wealthy foreign investors

How could Los Angeles pay for more affordable housing?

One answer is money from wealthy immigrants.

To build apartments that are accessible to low-income residents, high-rent cities across the country—from San Francisco to Miami—have been tapping funds from EB-5, a federal government program that offers U.S. green cards to foreigners in exchange for investments in U.S. businesses. Launched in 1990 as a vehicle to create jobs, the program requires each investor to give at least $500,000 to a business that provides 10 full-time jobs to Americans. The investment is “at-risk,” so there’s no guaranteed return.

As an immigrant, a former securities lawyer and the founder of a business, I immediately found EB-5 compelling, and have worked to spread the word about its advantages and make it more transparent. I’ve created EB5 Investors Magazine, EB5investors.com, and a series of educational EB-5 conferences.

But the program was rarely used and little known until the Great Recession hit and traditional sources of capital dried up. Since then, real estate developers have embraced EB-5 funds from foreign investors around the world as an alternative for financing all kinds of construction projects, including buildings that contain affordable housing units. EB-5 funds helped build 115 affordable units at Stadium Place, an office-hotel-retail-residential project located in front of the Seattle Seahawks stadium. San Francisco’s massive Shipyard development in Bayview-Hunters Point, one of the poorest sections of the city, includes several hundred million dollars from individual EB-5 investors. As part of its negotiation with the city, the Shipyard developer pledged to devote 30 percent of its planned 10,000 units to affordable housing. And last month, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said that his city plans to target EB-5 immigrant investors as a source for financing an ambitious agenda to build affordable housing.

Like Los Angeles, most of the cities that have benefited from EB-5 appear toward the top of “least affordable’’ lists of U.S. cities. They all have large populations of homeless people, although Los Angeles has the highest number. (The homeless population in L.A. County grew by 12 percent in the past two years; the number of tents, vehicles, and homemade shelters being used as housing jumped 85 percent.)

But Los Angeles hasn’t cultivated EB-5 projects that involve affordable housing. Instead, L.A. developers with EB-5 have focused on building hotels – an easier route when you have to show job creation. Flag hotels in big cities are also easier to “sell” than low-income housing with migration agents in China who connect potential immigrant investors with projects. Of course, San Francisco and Seattle projects face the same reality and have gotten deals done. That suggests that developers here need a nudge to be more creative; one nudge might involve some form of city incentives.

Yes, there are challenges. Real estate developers, will tell you that affordable housing—defined as housing priced for people making less than 50 percent of a community’s median income—is notoriously difficult to greenlight because it is perceived as unprofitable. But what they don’t understand is that the use of EB-5 funds can help developers overcome that hurdle.

The big advantage for developers is that EB-5 funds are relatively cheap capital. Most EB-5 investors want to immigrate to the U.S. to raise their families, send their children to American universities, and take advantage of the entrepreneurial opportunities. A large return on investment is down the list for these immigrants. That translates into reduced demand for a high rate of return, which ends up costing the borrower less.

Another advantage: developers don’t have to put as much cash into projects, because of the lower proportion of equity in most EB-5 deals. In a typical deal using EB-5 funding, the developer maintains equity amounts equal to between just 15 and 25 percent of the total project cost.

Los Angeles affordable housing advocates would do well to look into EB-5 funding as an alternative source for financing mixed-use projects that include affordable and workforce housing. The money is there. Investors from China, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East already have invested billions of dollars of capital through the EB-5 program with the hope of raising their children in the U.S. What better way to use wealthy investors’ funds than by helping to finance the construction of housing for middle and low-income Angelenos?

Ali Jahangiri is the founder of EB5 Investors Magazine and EB5Investors.com, a platform allowing investors to communicate directly with attorneys, and developers to connect with EB-5 regional centers and funding sources.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Economy

Global Stocks Stumble As Greece Debt Troubles Escalate

Spain Greece Bailout
Andres Kudacki — AP A broker speaks on the phone as he looks at a screen at the Stock Exchange in Madrid, June 29, 2015.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 213 points Monday amid Greece's deepening debt troubles

(NEW YORK) — Global stock markets are stumbling as investors worry about fallout from Greece’s deepening debt troubles as talks between the country and its creditors broke down over the weekend.

Greece has shuttered its banks to prevent nervous depositors from pulling their money out, and the country faces a deadline Tuesday to may a big debt payment.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 213 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,733 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time Monday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 gave up 24 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,076.

The Nasdaq fell 71 points, or 1.4 percent, to 5,009.

The declines were steeper in Europe. Indexes fell 3.5 percent in Germany and 3.7 percent in France.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.36 percent.

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