Psychology in Economics:Analyzing myself

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Self-analysis essay for Psychology in Economics class with professor Frederic Widlak at WSB-NLU
2011

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Psychology in Economics:Analyzing myself

  1. 1. 1 Name: Aleksey Narko Index Number:18782 1. Economic issues during My Childhood. I was born in 1991 in the country which for a long time was called BSSR and which was part of a big state – USSR. It was quite a difficult time for the nation, for the people and of course for my parents. Difficult because of the appearance of the 15 new countries at the map of the globe and all those big problems connected with it, such as inflation, lack of places for people to work and others. My family was living in Belarus: my father was hardly working as a mechanic in Minsk (capital of Belarus) , me and my mother were living for almost two first years of my life in Lida, the city not far from the border of Lithuania. My father was travelling from Minsk to Lida (it is about 165 kilometers one way) to see me and my mother. We stayed in Lida for so long probably because it was easier for my mother to take care of me as my granny was more experienced in looking after children and she could give her a wise advice of how to do things right. This period of time I hardly remember because I was too young. I only know some information told by my parents when I was older. As I know all the children during the first years of their life are not very demanding. They don’t need a lot of toys or special gadgets to have fun. All they need is diapers. rattles, pacifiers, simple cloth and love. I was getting it all. Childhood is the first period of every man’s life. The period of time which is one of the easiest because you are always under the control of your relatives. During this stage you have not a lot of problems; even if you have them you can always ask for help those people who take care of you and quickly solve even the most difficult ones. At the age of five I went to the kindergarten. Before this I wasn’t thinking a lot about my toys and other belongings. During this time I had no idea about the role of money and where people are getting it. My father was working and he was bringing home a lot of things and I
  2. 2. 2 was thinking that he gets them in exchange for his work. At the kindergarten I had a lot of friends and we compared a lot of things, which each of us had. I remember myself asking my parents to buy me a robot that was working on batteries and could move. It was because of my friend who had it, and I was jealous of him. Soon I got what I wanted and I wasn’t even interested how my parents got the thing which I wanted so much. The main thing for me was the result. Soon my parents explained me that if you want to have something – you can buy it. If you want to buy this thing you need to go to the shop, the place where goods are placed. But first of all you need money-special paper which works like an exchange product. First you work – for your job done properly you get this paper and then buy whatever you want. But the problem when you are a child is that you depend on your parents. Only they decide whether to pamper you with something or not. They can squeeze you a lot. They tell you if you behave yourself well in the kindergarten or get a good grade at school you will get a toy car. And later when you become older they are telling you that the better you study the better future you will have and the more good things you can have if you finish school with good grades and university with red diploma. Maybe only at the age of seven or eight I started to ask my parents for pocket money but it was very seldom and for such small things like sweets or gums. Even at school money was not so much important for me as for my friends who were collecting them to buy something, for example a computer game. But for me it was useless because I was getting it without any problems from my parents. I think at the age of fifteen years I started to get “special papers for exchange” for my Birthday or New Year from my granny and aunt because at that time it was easier for them to give me money than to think about a specific present. And they thought that I was already old enough to use them wisely and buy something really useful. My mother didn’t like it because she had another opinion about this.
  3. 3. 3 At the 10th and the last forms of school I was taking the pocket money from my parents all the time because at this stage of my childhood I already understood that money give you freedom and if you need to at least feel independent a little from your parents you need to collect money and start working as early as possible. 2. My transformation to economic Adulthood. I am nineteen years old guy now. I study at the university in another country far away from my relatives and school friends and I think that a year ago when I started a new period of my life better known as “Economic Adulthood” I started to understand in a better way the sense of the word “money” I became practically fully independent from my parents. All I needed from them in order to survive in another state is money and some moral help. When you come to a new place, you understand that you are totally alone. There is nobody to help you if you have any problems, nobody to rely on. So first of all I needed to find friends or people to whom I can trust. After some period of time I have found them. Then there was a need for me to learn how to spend money properly. My parents were too far to give me any advice. At first I was spending really a lot. Even now I don’t have a proper technique to spend what I have in my pocket. But it was coming with time. I started to divide things into three categories: • What I must buy and better today than tomorrow. • What I need to buy, but I don’t really need it now. It is not so necessary for me as I can really survive without these goods. • What I want to buy or I would like to buy because this thing looks nice but it is pretty useless for me. One of the biggest problems I can recognize at this stage of my life is so called “struggling with my eyes”. When I usually come to the shop, especially if it is a big supermarket or a department store I usually feel the quality which is mostly associated with blond woman. I want to buy everything. Even if I already have something at home (it is usually products) I want to buymore
  4. 4. 4 of them, just in advance. My brain usually doesn’t care about whether I will still have time to consume this product before the expiry date comes. Another thing is that I usually buy products, (at the shop I don’t think which dish I will prepare using them) put them at home, somewhere at the shelf or at the refrigerator and forget about them. Than when I see these products spoilt I am often very disappointed with myself because didn’t think carefully with my brain of whether I really need them, went to the cashier, spent my parents’ money on buying them so that fatherly I will throw them away into the rubbish box. But soon I created a technique for myself so that carefully “separate the wheat from the chaff” and buy only the most necessary staff. The other problem was that for a long period of time I couldn’t really control my spending. I was buying and buying and then at the end of the month I was having no money on my account and was asking my parents to put me more. Of course they were angry for me and I was also angry for myself. That forced me to become my own, personal accountant. It means that I was collecting all my receipts up to the end of the month when I was calculating the entire amount spent during this period. After this I was carefully considering the goods I bought, the money I spent on them and was thinking on how to cut the costs. When you spend money and you want to do it as wisely as possible and it is not your money so you have a limit of them you are always looking for the ways of economizing. It can be either consuming less (sit on a diet) , looking for the shops with the best prices (some people prefer second hand shops because of this reason), buy things together with your friends ( in case of food prepare it together from mutual ingredients). But not all these ways are effective in my case. Nowadays I even think that my parents were right to send me to the school where I can study Management in such a good level. This faculty is the right one for you if you want to understand the real role of “valuable paper” for you and for society as a whole. Even if young people don’t study Management, Economics and other courses connected with numbers and calculating them
  5. 5. 5 I think that they still need to care about it. The reason for it is that if you are even the most prosperous and good worker in the company, you are getting a very high payment for what you do but you don’t know how to spend money in a proper way it will be a serious problem for you. It is all because the money has the ability to quickly escape and if you won’t teach yourself or won’t be taught by your parents or relatives how to take care of them at the end you can appear in a debt pit. Moreover during the period of “Emerging Adulthood” a person needs to learn how to become independent, fight with the problems which individual faces, learn how to make strong relations with people and some other important issues. That is why from my point of view young people after ending school really need to live for some time separately from their parents nest to try another life, experience practical problems and social relations in a different way. I believe that this transformation to economic adulthood will make me stronger and better prepared for life and able to form a good family and live a lucky life in the future. 3. Economic behavior in my household After the stage of transformation to Economic Adulthood I am sure I will be ready and able to form a family and a household. But first of all before having family my goal will be to find a good, well paid job with a position where I will be able to fully actualize myself. Moreover I plan to marry not earlier than at the age of 24 or 25 – this is the age when I will finally find the person I like and fully understand my true feelings to her. Furthermore before marriage I plan already to work at least for a year and a half or two years at lest so that I can gain some capital necessary for marriage, honeymoon and at least 3 first month of life together without a feeling of lack of something. Many people find this stage of a lifecycle very difficult as you need to make a lot of very important decisions and in fact start a new life. Many new-married couples feel need in housing
  6. 6. 6 as they want to live separately from their parents and don’t show the dependence on them , which is very difficult. At the age of 25 or 26 I plan to have a baby with my wife. It is also quite complicated because having a baby means more responsibility and now you are not only responsible for yourself, your wife, but also for your baby who will definitely need your care. I will need to spend a lot of time at home looking after him. Having a baby also means that my wife won’t be able to work for quite a long time and I will become the only source of financing for the household. Of course parents will definitely help a lot but I think I will already be accustomed to rely on my own strength and it won’t be quite a big deal for me. Having a baby means also new source of spending as there will appear a new member of the household. But as an example of my own family I would say that most of the time up to a period of time when I was fifteen my father was bringing money in our family and my mother was educating and taking care of me (as I was quite a problematic child because I was very often ill) But after I became fifteen my mother went to work and the situation changed a bit. Probably the most important thing at the household is the division of money. Of course in the most cases husband is the main one to bring the money in the family and rule how to use and spend them. Neither I nor my wife won’t be able to spend all our money separately on ourselves. There must be a rule of fair division of sources according to each member’s of the family needs. There will also be a necessity to accumulate some resources for the near future. Obviously the main source of expense will actually be a child. Older members of the family such as wife and husband will do their best to provide the kid with all the most necessary cloth, food, medicine or anything else needed. Another important issue is how to plan your spending for the near future although as Niels Bohr once said:” Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future,” but still there is a necessity because nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.
  7. 7. 7 From the early years I will start teaching my child (or children) what capital is and how to use it wisely. It will be very useful for them and the earlier I will start it, the better they will be able to implement all this knowledge in their own lives. 4. My forecast of Economic Maturity in Mid-life I think the stage of maturity in my case will start at the age of 44-46. By this time I think I will gain enough experience and knowledge of how business is done and how it looks from inside and will probably decide to work for myself and open my own company, employ people and change my role from being controlled to being controlling. Most likely I will become a boss of a consulting company. Why? Because I will probably like to change my routine and try something completely new. Of course it will be quite a big challenge for me because it will be easy to stop at that point and lose a lot because I have gone quiet a long life ladder of success with the same carrier. The only thing that will probably stop me from quitting my stable job and opening my own company will be the feeling that I stay on the top of my career opportunities. At this stage I will be fully independent from my parents and will help them live their lives without financing problems. I will have two children, a big house, and a good car. Most likely I will have enough money to stop taking care about it so much as during my youth and adulthood. Now I won’t work a lot – I will perhaps look at life from a different side, feeling its real taste. My children will be at the university, I will still take care of them, teach them how to survive in this world and how to become prosperous. I will try to become the best example for them of how to work hard at the beginning in order to have a calm life in the Mid-life and when you become old. As a company owner I will search for new ideas, new techniques to make the company the best at the market as the main point is always to improve yourself and how you do the things and
  8. 8. 8 never stop and stay still. I will try to invest money in other interesting projects and buy shares in order to increase my capital. Moreover I will try to spend more time with my family. It will be much easier at this stage as I will probably have more free time than before, because of less work to do and maybe I will be more interested in it because when you are young your ambitions can spoil your life as you like your job and can stay at it as much time as needed but later on you understand that your family members are much closer and important for you than your job. Moreover when my Mid-life stage comes I think I will really understand the real role of my children in my life and how much I missed by working overtime and not seeing them. Nevertheless I hope I will make up a leeway and understand that I still have some time before they stop studying and I will allow them to leave the family’s nest. I would most likely think about charity at this time. I will find the organization which I like and trust and give money to it. Because this is how it is done: all your life you work hard to become a rich guy and get all you want and need and then at the Mid-life stage you understand that you don’t need so much and you can give the money you have gained by this time to someone who needs them more. Why I will do so? Because at this stage I think I will understand that money doesn’t play such an important role as they did before. I don’t need to care about myself- I have everything I wanted, beautiful wife, children, who are ending or have already ended the university, company ,that I wanted to be the owner of a long time ago, and life. At this stage I think most of my dreams will come true. During this period I will probably desire to adopt a child with my wife. Because my own children will all have their own families and I will miss them a lot. That is why in order to help myself and my wife to fight with this so called crisis of being alone without children we will take a boy or a girl from the orphanage and help ourselves and her or him to start a new happy life. That is how I will help him to become a true member of the society more easily.
  9. 9. 9 5. My economic situation in Retirement and Old Age The Stage of Old Age will come to me at the age of 60-65 years. At this period of time I will be an experienced manager on retirement. My company will pass by inheritance to my children. I will be almost free. I will start a new lifestyle. New ways of living. I will probably stop living in a big, polluted, noisy and crowded city and buy a house near the sea somewhere in Norway, where the nature will inspire me. I will regularly meet with my friends, play tennis or golf with them at my own area, prepared for it. I will definitely keep myself active. Because my active routine will keep me in shape which will make me happier. Every morning will start for me with early exercises outside at the beach to keep me fit and my body flexible and strong. Besides finally I will have plenty of time to take care of my health-I will be on a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits and fish. At the weekend I will spend hours at the beach swimming, sailing, fishing or simply watching the sun and enjoy the sound of the waves, crashing at the rocks. But mostly I will spend my time with my family or doing hobbies, hopefully I will have plenty of time doing both of these activities. Another activity that I will enjoy is reading to the children in the local library. This will help me relax and fulfill my lack of communication as well as make children happy. This will definitely create me the meaning that I will definitely crave at this period of my human being. Moreover I will focus on the things that will make me laugh and enjoy my last years. These things will be spending a lot of time on playing different games with my grandkids. It will become a win-win outcome for all parties. I and my wife will have a great time with our offspring. The parents (my children) will get a break from their children and from having to look after them and my grandchildren will get the chance to spend some quality time with their grandparents. I will be able to learn a lot from hanging with them and listening to what they have to say. Going to the cinema with my wife and watching a funny comedy will be also good for entertainment. Spending time with the people that really matter for me will become a part of my daily routine. Many people say that one of the toughest things about working is not having enough time to spend with the family members. I will make up all the time lost for my
  10. 10. 10 hard work. Now that I won’t have a necessity to work anymore, I will get together with my family and friends as often as possible and create cherished new memories together. I will probably spend more time on collecting my favorite stamps and coins from different countries since I will have much more time on my collection than before, therefore I will be able to buy more or sell some of my unique collection more often. Most likely I will attend the meetings with my colleagues from my previous job as it will be still interesting for me and they will feel the necessity of hearing the advice of a more experienced employee at the retirement. I will definitely volunteer to help a non-profit organization such as Green Peace or any other. But my greatest habit will probably be travelling and taking pictures. I will have plenty of my free time for this. I will travel the world with my wife for three or more month a year. I will definitely go to the most unusual, interesting parts of the globe, stay there for a bit to understand the people’s culture and even maybe start learning new languages. Some of my destinations will be Tibet mountains, Swiss Alps in Switzerland, Venice in Italy, Iceland Volcanoes, Amazon Basin in South America, Yosemite Valley in California, Niagara Falls in the United States, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Sahara Desert, Tadj Mahall in India, The Pyramids in Egypt, the big wall in China, The Great coral reef in Australia and many many other places. During my long adventurous journey I will make a dozen of pictures and than will probably print a journal or an album of the photos from the most attractive places in the world. After printing it I will give it as a present to all of my relatives and closest friends.
  11. 11. 11 References: • Browning, M. ,1992. Children and Household Economic Behaviour. Journal of Economic Literature, 30 (3), 1434-75 • Job Interview & Career Guide, 2009. Mid Life: Career Change at 40 & Career Change at 50+ Available from: http://www.job-interview-site.com/mid-life-career-change-at-40-careerchange-at-50.html [Accessed date 4 August 2009] • Meyer C., 2009. What is a Midlife Crisis? Available from: http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/isdivorcethesolution/f/midlifecrisis.htm [Accessed date 29 december 2009] • Nathanson C., 2008. The Mid-Life Challenge: Make a Plan to Re-ignite Vocational Passion. Available from: http://www.jobseekersadvice.com/career_advice/articles/mid_life_challenge.htm • Yap C., 2007. "Time" Planning for Retirement? 4 Dynamic Ways to Spend Your Retirement Time. Available from: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/quottimequot-planning-for-retirement-4dynamic-waysto-spend-your-retirement-time.html [Accessed 14 December 2007]
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