"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Monday, December 8, 2008

Have We Really Forgotten?

Since I married in 1988 until today I have seen a huge change in what newlyweds start out with. Immediately the rush to have a large home with an office, crafting room, a three car garage and then fill it have become the norm. Whatever happened to NOT charging items and slowly buying things as time goes by? I have no problem if one has the means to purchase whatever they choose. My problem is with those who believe that charging is an option.

Those are the people (now 1 in 10) who are behind or are in foreclosure in their homes. I am not making wild assumptions but clearly connecting the dots.

Perhaps making do, and going without would have made all the difference in those who no cannot afford the homes they are in. Assessing our lives post Bill's accident made it clear that we had to downsize on our home so we could live within our means. This did not take away the very ideals and dreams we have. No instead it just placed them on another path.

Making do is a lesson that we must teach our children. Currently we are a need it now generation..."it's my money and I need it now", to borrow from a now infamous (annoying commercial). We must get out of this mindset or my money means nothing. It means that I owe more money than I have and I expect to be bailed out either through bankruptcy or through federal programs.

Is making do hard? Yes, but we are are not that far from the generation who had a motto:
'Use it Up, Make it Over, or Make it do.'



A Steward said...

Thank you, I agree. But our whole society is "brainwashed" to think this way. TV, mainstream novels, etc... For us, God had to "reprogram" our thinking with His Word. And we still keep discovering that we are still not as good as Stewards as we think we are.

Penless Thoughts said...

I really think those of us who slowly worked for what we wanted to have, and slowly acquired, as we could afford to, have a much deeper appreciation for what we do have. The other thing I see is.... even when people get all this "stuff" they don't take care of it. Most items in my home we've had for years, and quite a bit of it is now second generation, having been handed down from our parents. I treasure these items. They are more than "things" they are happy memories that I cherish.

Pat said...

I recall the saying:

"How much is enough? Just a little bit more!!"

Xenia said...

I love that motto, and am pretty sure my Scots grandmother said it, or something very similar.

I remember the year she took an old man-sized woolen overcoat, cut it up and made winter coats for my brother and me.

Oh yes, and it was after she departed this earth that we found several quart jars in the basement....full of quarters!! I love and miss her very much.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this. I've thought a lot about this too, and I think that our parents' generation and those before, had so little growing up that it didn't occur to them to want so much starting out. Now, our young people grow up with lots of things, and it is a rude awakening when they are out on their own that they can't (without incurring great debt) have everything at once. They have to "drop back" their lifestyle, whereas we and our parents before us didn't really.

Kristi said...

I am the person you talk about. I am the person who can't wait to buy something so puts it on credit. I am at the point of both foreclosure and bankruptcy. My mom saw it coming; we didn't.

One of the most important "life lessons" I want to teach my children is how to manage money. I don't have a strategy yet but "advice" isn't enough-they need to be trained.

So how did we get here? We think it's our money. It's not-it is a gift from God. Instead we begin to feel entitled to things and stuff. I learned from an early age that spending money could make you happy (or at least feel that way while spending money), you felt powerful and respected, people would hang out with me because I always offered to pay. The thing is- what I enjoyed was the company, but I was willing to do anything to get it! When my husband was deployed recently and I couldn't take it anymore, I piled the kids in the car and took them to Target, bought them a popcorn combo for a buck and shopped for several hours, or until the kids started going crazy at which point I would cram whatever I could into my cart and head for the door. I rarely left with less than $300.00 in stuff and I can't even remember what it was. I did this at least once a week.

There have just been so many mistakes but I think my point is this (like that? I'm not even sure of my point!), money management isn't something you can take a class on and know, though they help. You can't just get advice from people when you feel like it is important. Money management and your relationship to things is what needs to be drilled into you from an early age. It helps to avoid TV and commercialism, public school (private too!) but kids are innately sinful so it has to be a way of life.

Hope all that makes sense and is in some way useful. Sometimes I feel like people can put their nose in the air and look down at what has become of me, but that is unfair. I want people to know "it happens to the good guys too"- people who thought they were responsible.

Kristi said...

I should specify that I was not offended at the post or the comments, just something I have been thinking on lately. I would have looked down on myself a few months ago. Going broke is very humbling. :)