So. You wanna be rich, eh? Been thinking of all the cool things you could do with, say, seven million dollars in your multiple bank accounts, all the things you could buy on a whim, things you've always wanted to do or have. You think you're ahead of the game when you say, "Money can't buy me love." You think your Karma is due for a booster shot when you envision that fat donation to the charity or religious organization of your choice. You smile impishly at the thought of denying the government its tax money with your battery and arsenal of lawyers, accountants and financial planners that you can hire. You dream loftily of that trip to Bermuda you've always wanted to take or that vacation in France that has been haunting your dreams for a decade.

You will be so glad to be rid of the days when you don't know where your next meal will come from. Insurance will be paid (but pointless once you're rich). Bills will be a fogotten memory. People will flock to your feet just so that you can step on 'em a little and, perchance, leave a few rolled up bills in your wake. The new car. That new house. That new wardrobe. That new life.

But I'm here to tell you: It's a trap.

You won't be any happier with a ton of money in your bank account than you were when you didn't have it. As a matter of fact, things will get damn boring sooner than you'd expect. Why? Because you'll be able to afford anything that comes across your path (except, maybe, Temptation Island).

One of the biggest draws of not having money is so utterly simple that many people miss it altogether until they're no longer faced with it. When you're rich, risk goes out the window. When you're broke, and suddenly find yourself with an extra $100 in your pocket, you decide to splurge on yourself- get some books you've been meaning to read, perhaps a new VCR or DVD player. The accounting system in your head tells you that you should put the money away and save it for something bigger and better, but the temptation to spend it immediately gnaws at you until you actually do go out to Opry Mills for a 15-minute shopping spree. It's the risk of teetering on the edge of being broke again that makes poverty so entertaining. Now, I'm not saying that having TB and no money to visit the doctor is fun, but if you're sitting on that edge with "money to burn", well you're almost compelled by the powers that be to burn and burn fast.

When you're rich, that goes away. No more risk, no more element of danger.

This, I think, is why so many rich people gamble and play the Stock Market. It's that certain, incomprehensible desire to be dangerous, to risk losing it all, that makes gambling so much fun for those who can afford it. That's the key: Risk is for those who can afford it. Certainly, there are people who get addicted to gambling, addicted to the rush of it, but there are many more who just like the uncertainty that comes with it, which is beyond them in normal, day-to-day life for the wealthy.

Once that feeling of danger is gone, once there is no more element of challenge and adventure, you begin to miss it rather quickly. It turns some souls rotten and cruel, hateful of themselves and others all because life is worth living to anyone but the rich.

Money doesn't create happiness. Money doesn't buy you love. Money doesn't solve your problems. The more money you have, the more headaches you inherit.

So enjoy it while you don't have it. Live a little. Get a life by spending that extra dollar.

While money does not buy you happiness and it certainly does not buy you love, there are two things to remember regarding money.

1. There are two types of problems with money - the problem of not having enough money or having too much money. Which problem would you prefer to have?

2. You can be poor and unhappy, poor and happy, rich and unhappy or rich and happy. Being happy, of course, is the preferred option, whether you are poor or rich. On the other hand, would you prefer to be unhappy and poor or unhappy and rich?

Brought to you by the money is good re-education team.

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