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Growing Your Money … Patience Pays!

1 February 2010 2,001 views 2 Comments

I started a new project this past weekend; I went into my office, took one box of old files and went through them to determine what to still keep and what to shred.  I love old movies; so, with the soothing company of hot tea with honey, Fuji apple slices, and a favorite movie, I took a tour down memory lane perusing through files that dated back nearly 30 years.

Going through the paperwork was very enlightening and entertaining; it gave a revealing snapshot of where my money went … both spending and saving … what my priorities were, what had value to me.  I kept the check that was written for the purchase of my daughter’s first pair of shoes.  My credit card had a different name back then and charged an annual fee.  My house payment was huge; and surprisingly, my utilities were nearly the same as today or even higher than they are now, except water.

Here’s the deal:  it is my opinion that you take a tour through some of your records and files and see how you have spent your money over the years.  If you do not have records that can adequately illustrate your spending habits, I suggest the next best, or maybe better, thing:  take a close look at all the things, the stuff, that you have accumulated over the past year, past years, and ask yourself, “Did I really need it?  How quickly did the desire wear off?  How much did I really use it?”

Just as we observe with our kids and even our friends’ and family’s spending habits, we often observe that they have a tendency to buy stuff that we feel is a waste of money; however, wouldn’t it be great if we had the foresight and fortitude to see with clarity at the time, what we are purchasing and ask ourselves, “How much do I really want, or need, that?  Will I really be as thrilled, fulfilled, and gratified with it in a week, a month, a year or more?”

This exercise worked well with my two kids as they were growing up and wanted to buy things.  I gave them the choice of buying something now, or saving that money, growing it, and buying something better later, helping them think through and analyze whether it would have a more lasting use and value to them.  I would have them play out in their minds what it would be like having the item now, that money is spent and gone, and would they be satisfied with the outcome in a week, a month, a year, especially if it was an item that was constantly being upgraded and improved … wouldn’t it be wise to wait until the bugs are out of the item (if it was new to the marketplace) and purchase it when it had been improved and the price reduced as it became more available.

I remember when my kids and I saw our first big-screen TV in 1998; it was nearly $20,000!  We tracked the price as it fell precipitously over the years; I got very tempted when the price hit four figures but waited to see how much farther it would drop.  Then, the technology began to morph it into something so much more amazing, so I waited and watched the prices drop even more while the sets got thinner, better quality for the price, and the bugs were disappearing rapidly.

I still have not purchased a big screen TV … yet.  I am thrilled with the improvements in the technology and am keeping current and well informed with the latest updated features.  With the new LED, 3-D, HDTVs that are now in stores with no “glasses” required for the 3-D effect, the only remaining factor of concern that I am tracking and requires my scrutiny is the price.  In the meantime, the money, that would have been lost being spent on what is now dinosaur technology, is growing while the price of TVs is dropping – a very beneficial inverse relationship working on my behalf.  Patience pays!

2 Comments »

  • Jen said:

    This would have saved us a lot of effort early on.

  • Paulina said:

    Yours is a clever way of thniknig about it.