Going Thrifty-From “Blah” to “Nifty!”

11 05 2012

The shiny penny…

the turtle wax…or….

the Super-Deluxe Shine ?

The buttons on the car-wash machine used to blink like the lights strung around a Christmas tree.

They waited impatiently to be pushed as my Dad would feed the dollar into the slot. (It was a rarity

indeed if he was lucky enough to get it accepted on the first go-round. Why do machines never seem to

want to take our money? Everyone else seems to like it alright?)

We would always go with the least expensive option.

Why? might you ask. The answer is found in a childhood memory.

Dad: ” Hey, you know what kind of animal I’d be if I got to choose?”

Me: “What?”

Dad: “A chick cause they go “cheap, cheap” like me!”

I think I’m now beginning to see eye-to-eye with my Dad.

Being frugal isn’t all that bad. I used to be ¬†really concerned with having “the cool” brand of something, but

I’ve found it’s really not all that it’s cracked up to be.

More pressing than the dollars saved, is the peace that letting go of a perfect image can bring.

Enjoying some luxury items every now and then, or spending extra money on a nice gift for someone is by no

means outrageous.

I’ve just come to the conclusion that penny-pinching may save me some stress and could even help

starve out the selfishness, self-consciousness, or even vanity that’s quick to creep in when we focus too much on external things.

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One response

11 05 2012
Mike

Well, this is a double edged sword. There’s spending and then there’s excess. Excess is bad, as it cause debt and that cascades all across the economy and was the catalyst for the situation we find ourselves in now.

Even then, though, debt in and of itself is not -inherently- bad. In fact it is often quite necessary for positive economic growth, but it is risky. For instance, us college students taking out loans to pay for college. 9/10 this works out for everybody.

Why? Because we end up being far more productive than if we hadn’t gone to college. We pay back our debt and then some! We are productive members of our society, and of course our economy.

If people don’t spend, companies go under. If companies go under, people lose jobs. When people lose jobs faith in the (floundering) economy tanks, and people spend even less.

And so forth.

Really, it’s all about harmony and being mature with your money.

On the other hand, though, I find it hard to believe that certain things need to be as expensive as they are.. Education for instance. Why must we go so far into debt? What are the factors which lead it to be so?

I guess the bottom line is, debt is now so integral a part of our model of economics that I can’t say it’s bad. What I will say is bad, though, are many of the underlying causes which lead to this new perspective of debt.

Insurance needn’t be as expensive as it is, government need not be as huge as it is, our ‘free market’ need not be as monopolized -and- government controlled as it is…

Naturally if you put 10 economists in a room with my statement they’d all fight with each other over every little detail. Still, I’d like to think I’m being objective.

Spend your money on positive things, invest in the things that truly matter.

For instance, I have a… Disadvantaged.. Friend, and if I land the job I’m hoping for I intend to fly him out to where I am so we can share an apartment and help get him back on his feet.

Why? Because I love him, he is my friend. A brother. I am investing in him. I know that he can be the great person that I see, if only he had financial stability and confidence in himself.

And so I spend, far more than I probably would if I weren’t performing this act of charity, but in the long run I foresee this being a huge net positive for all parties. Society gets a productive, intelligent individual, he gets financial freedom and self confidence (that he deserves) and I get to see a cherished person rise to their potential.

For that, I would gladly pay so high a cost.

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