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Monday, April 04, 2005

Money and Materialism

This month marks a great time in our financial lives. We pay off our van, which means no car payments!!We have 2 rental houses rented for the first time (we've had one for over a year). We just paid off our church building fund pledge 9 months early, which was about 10% of our monthly income. In other words, our monthly disposable income has increased dramatically. I am so excited!! But oddly enough, I am excited that our savings and investments will increase, not because we can now go buy a lot of new things. But it has made me think of my generation and those younger than me...

We live in a society where very few "young adults" have any sense of saving. Instead, it is all about instant gratification. We want it NOW. People go into debt over dumb things that are totally unnecessary, but that they think they have to have. They look at theri parents and want to be where they are now, not realizing they accumulated things over the years.

Matt and I look at our finances and are excited that we can save so much $ a month, because it means we are setting ourselves up for a good retirement. We don't make a lot of money, but we are smart with what we have and we use our brains. What has gone wrong with society? Does blame lie with our parents, those who have given us everything whenever we have asked, without teaching us the word "no". I have done this with my 7 year old Jake. He has book orders every month, and of course he expects to get something every time. Last month I told him no, and when he assumed it was b/c we didn't have the money, I corrected him and told him I did have the money I just wasn't going to spend it on books this month. The look on his face showed me this is something we need to do more often. Why have we become so materialistic? I like nice things, but not enough to go into debt to get, or to have no savings so we can have those things.

I find this attitude, which is so prevalent, rather disappointing and can only hope and pray my boys will grow up with a different attitude. Is it about what you have or your attitude about it?