money myths

Get Rich Slowly is one of my two favorite finance blogs. It has innovative ideas as well as a balanced perspective toward money, and I have found far more relevant tips here than elsewhere.

Every now and then, as you’ve probably noticed, I find a post that I like so much that I can’t help sharing it. Today, that includes this one:

I particularly appreciate the section on money myths. I think there are several included which are worthy of separate blog posts all of their own, but I doubt I’ll actually get to doing that, so let me just point out my favorites:

  • It’s not wrong to be rich.
  • The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
  • It’s important to budget on what you actually earn, not on what you hope to earn.
  • Just because you can’t take it with you when you die doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t save money responsibly while you’re alive.
  • A person’s standard of living is not based on how much they spend and consume.
  • Buying a home isn’t always better than renting one. (Especially if you are like us and move at least once a year. It simply wouldn’t be worth it at this point in our lives.)
  • Having to pay for something yourself doesn’t have to mean it’s worth more to you.

I think that each of these points are things that Keith and I have learned to some extent during our marriage. The last one is one that I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone else say before, but I have certainly seen the truth of it in at least one area of our life together: our car! We just hit 200,000 miles on the 1997 Camry that Keith’s parents gifted to him more than six years and 110,000 miles ago. The blessing of a continually reliable vehicle and not having to make car payments has been something for which we have truly been thankful.

I’ve just now begun to chew this over, but I think that when people have helped me financially – whether with college scholarships or with gas money – I have appreciated it and remembered it long after I have remembered the so-called satisfaction of earning my own way the rest of the time. I’m not suggesting that it would be a good idea to always receive without having to work for it, but I do disagree with the idea that helping someone will cause them not to appreciate it – whatever the “it” might be – as much. If done right, I think generous assistance can not only be a blessing that cultivates a heart of thankfulness, but also a catalyst for the one who has received to continue giving to others.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Comments (2)  

on going to weddings

Our family of three took a trip to Utah over Thanksgiving weekend. It was our first time returning there since we moved away more than two years ago, and so it was largely a visit to see old friends. The big impetus for us to go, though, was the wedding of a dear lady who is very much due for a beautiful new season in her life. We had the privilege of seeing her glow as only a bride can. We had the honor of witnessing the joining of two hearts and two families. It is not something we will soon forget.

Weddings are one of those unnecessary expenses and time-consuming activities that Keith and I believe are worth it. On our first full day of marriage, we were driving to Oregon for our honeymoon and talking about our own wedding when we decided that as a married couple, we would go to the weddings of our friends whenever we possibly could. We were so blessed by those who had traveled, set aside studying for finals week, and so on to be with us as we pledged our lives to one another that we just felt it was one of the most important decisions we could make to be there for others in the same way. Looking back on the 25+ weddings we have attended since that time, there were definitely seasons when it has been inconvenient or literally took all of our money to get there and back. But we have never regretted going to the weddings of our friends.

So why does it matter so much? We go to weddings not just for the free food – although that is always nice – but because we believe that marriage is an institution created by God and worthy to be honored. It is a privilege to be invited to witness two people enter into a lifelong covenant relationship. Marriage is greatly undervalued in our culture, and we feel that it is a beautiful thing to be able to support our friends not only on their wedding day, but also in the years ahead to be able to pray for them and encourage them to live by their wedding vows.

This blog is about finances, of course, but there are so many things in life that are more important than finances. It is easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking money is the important thing, but it’s not. It’s what we do with it that matters. It is given to us as a tool and a blessing. Going to weddings when it is not the most convenient timing continues to be an encouragement to me, both about what really matters in life and as a reminder of all the other times God has provided for the details in situations. Many times we have taken off work and spent money that we couldn’t afford so that we could go to the weddings of our friends, and look! Nothing disastrous happened. Maybe we’d have a little more debt paid off if we hadn’t gone, but who cares, what good is having provision if we don’t use it to build relationships?

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 9:12 am  Comments (1)