Do you have your urine and mayonnaise ready? Have you been studying the fictional TV series “The Walking Dead”? Is your underground bunker stocked with enough bottled water, aspirin, and AAA batteries to get you though not just the winter, but well beyond it? If so, then you are ready for the Mayan Apocalypse.
Yes, my friends, I’m sorry to say that the end of the world is apparently upon us. We’ve only got a few short days left until some type of cataclysmic event rocks our planet, forever changing it and all of us who call it home.
So what does all this have to do with your money? Hold on, I’ll get there…
What Is The Mayan Apocalypse?
Just in case you aren’t a regular viewer of SyFy (formerly the Sci-Fi Channel on most cable and satellite providers), let me bring you up to speed on the looming “end of the world”:
According to some so-called “experts,” December 21, 2012 marks the end of the Mayan “long count” calendar. This calendar dates back more than five millennia, but is apparently supposed to “reset” later this month. On that same day, the sun will be at the center of the Milky Way, causing some to suggest it will lead to a reversal of the field of gravity here on Earth, launching us all into deep space around 11:11 pm.
What NASA Says About All This
NASA’s pretty unequivocal on its take on all this Mayan Apocalypse business, stating plainly on its website:
The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.
Take that, un-credible scientists!
The fact is, according to NASA, the Earth and the sun align at the near-center point of the galaxy every December, not just this year. NASA also points out that the end of the Mayan calendar has been overstated; it’s the end of one of the Mayan’s calendar, but the beginning of another.
And as for the claim that a as-yet undiscovered planet is hurtling towards Earth, that’s just not true.
The “End Of The World” And Your Money
Ok, now that we’ve established that December 21, 2012 isn’t really going to be the end of the world, let’s back track and pretend – just for a minute – that it is. What would you do if you knew you only had a few days left on this planet? How would you spend your money?
Would you use it to bring all your family together under one roof?
Would you use it to venture to a far-flung destination, checking off something from your bucket list?
Would you buy a new car, TV, or clothes?
Would you stop paying your bills and paying down your debts?
Would you just let it sit in your bank account, collecting paltry interest?
Here’s the thing: even though the world is not going to end on December 21, at some point in the future, we’re all going to face the realization that we, as humans, are mortals. None of us are going to live forever, and we sure as heck can’t take our hard-earned money with us.
I’m using the Mayan Apocalypse as an excuse for examining my financial priorities. What’s important to me when it comes to money? Is it more important to earn and save it, or to enjoy it? Sometimes, we get so bogged down in the minutia of day to day personal finance that we forget that money can be fun. It can open new doors for us, new opportunities, new adventures. And it shouldn’t take the threat of the end of the world for us to see our money as more than just a responsibility or even a burden.