The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Reward

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I want this bag. You can read the details here.

Now, given that my job pays very well and Husband and I are good savers, I could easily go out and just buy it.

But, I don't roll that way. Instead, I am going to set aside a little money every paycheck so that I can pay for it without taking a huge hit. Also, I am saving to buy new things for when we move into a new house and I don't want to dip into that fund.

See, I've always done things that way. I remember when I was in high school and I wanted a Swatch watch in the worst way. It was only $30.00 dollars, but back then, that was a lot. Also, my parents did not have much money. So, I saved up my money. The day I got to go to the mall and buy my watch was quite a happy day. I earned the money and delayed the gratification. It made the reward much more sweet.

Husband and I have always done this. Some of you may remember how Husband saved for over a year for a Fender Strat electric guitar and amp. He would put aside money in an envelop every payday. Even though he could have just paid for it or put it on a credit card, he took his time and gathered enough money so that when it came time, he had the cash to pay for it and we did not take a financial hit.

It's funny because one of my students asked me the other day why I am so frugal, despite being so affluent. I never considered myself to be affluent. I told the student that Husband and I do make a good living, but we work very hard. There was a time when we didn't have much money at all. When we first got married, we could barely make ends meet. We didn't have cable for many years. We never took a vacation. We had credit card and student loan debt. But, we lived within our means, paid off our debts and worked very hard. When one of us would get a salary increase or more money would enter the picture, that was not the time to go crazy. We made sure that things were taken care of first, and if there was extra left over, then we could use it for fun. We have saved a lot of money over the years. It has not been easy, but now that we are in our 40's, it has paid off.

I guess it goes back to how we were raised. Both of us came from lower middle class, blue collar, union families. Our parents worked very hard, but there was not much money. In my family, there were many times when only one parent was working. As a result. we learned how to live without and save for what we want. So, even though we can afford some luxury items, it's just in our nature to save for it, rather than go crazy.

So, I will get my sweet reward soon. I can wait.


Rebecca said...

That is actually the way most people handled their finances before banks and credit cards became so free with their offers. And it really wasn't such a very long time ago, it was just in the eighties that consumerism jumped the shark and we've been derailed ever since.

Only those who, like you and your husband, retained a sensible approach to finances managed to escape the most recent financial crisis unscathed. And even a lot of those, through no fault of their own, got caught in the crossfire. So, good job on getting what you want in a way that won't hurt you. Very smart.

Hopefully, younger people witnessing this now will learn from it the way people who went through the Depression learned to be frugal. Our country will be a lot better off if they do.

Fabulous bag, btw. :)

Seeking Solace said...

You know, it's so true. There was a time when people delayed gratification. I grew up in the age of layaway.

Hopefully, people will start to embrace those ideals again. Our country would be better for it.

rented life said...

I've been trying to figure out where I get those frugal tendancies from. My parents aren't exactly like that (they are super careless but more loose than I personally can be comfortable with.) Husband's parents are very careless with their money (which is why they are in the position they are.) Husband and I are more like you two (which is another reason why we love you!)

Rebecca, I don't entirely agree with the statement that being sensible means escaping from this financial crisis simply because I'm in the position I am in because I lost my job. It's not for lack of being frugal. there comes a point where it doesn't matter how much money I saved up in anticipation of that, if there's no new work, we run out. We're paying the price for other people's financial mistakes. (So are those who you mentioned in the crossfire...sad stuff.)

Sorry, rant over. :)
and love the bag!

Seeking Solace said...

RL: I agree 100%. It's the idiots out there who make it hard for those who did the right things but fell victim to the economy. They should not have to suffer because of other's stupidity.

I know something great is coming your way.

Rebecca said...

RL, I know, it's the hundreds of thousands like you who lost your jobs that I was referring to as being caught in the crossfire. Also, those who had saved and invested so carefully for retirement only to watch the value of their savings dwindle by 60% - those things, and others, were results of the financial collapse. Naturally, even with low debt, there is only so long that savings can last with no income.

Hopefully the worst is over and the improvement, though slow, will be steady. But for the good of the country as a whole, it will be best if we all end up with the caution that Depression era generations grew up with.

The problem is that nothing drives the economy faster than consumer confidence. Which means the more we spend, the faster our economy will begin thriving again. But we need the spending to be money we have to spare, not credit that will put us back in a hole. Which means we are all benefiting from SS buying her bag with money she's saved! :)

rented life said...

Rebecca, that's what I find so interesting-how come there are people like me (and SS, and assuming you) who know to save and spend within our means? It's certainly not something I was taught and the majority (overwhelming majority) I know DON'T do that. Credit card debt makes me physically ill. But so many people we know carry such huge amounts--often so close to their limit that if they get a late fee they go over. I just can't understand it.

I read an article (I think in the local paper) about an increase in high school students wanting to learn about finances. When I was in high school we learned how to balance a checkbook. My students now have no clue. Perhaps the kids coming up will be the change?

Rebecca said...

RL, part of it is personality and the other part is a reaction to the environment of upbringing. A combination of nature/nurture like most everything else. Some people are frugal by nature to varying degrees. Some people were brought up that way, some people are conservative with their finances because they never felt secure financially growing up - either because of their parents employment or spending habits. But responsibility can, and should, be taught.

I certainly believe that kids in school should be taught about finances. And not just their personal finances, but also about how the country's economy affects those finances.

Particularly since they will be the ones eventually controlling how this country is run, I think they need to be taught why this last crisis happened. Regulations were put into place after the Depression to make sure such a thing never happened again, and these regulations were repealed a couple of years after Clinton took office. Then came the boom years, but they were not sustainable...then came the crash. Now we need to put those regulations back, but the people in charge - on Wall Street and in Government these days - "forgotten what reasonable regulation looks like". It's a major problem, and you can read a little about it here:

Nope, I was one of those people who were brought up wealthy and never considered that the source of my income might fail or dry up. It was a very rude awakening, and the best I can say for me and my family is that at least we didn't stand around whining "why me?". We smacked our heads for being so freaking stupid and all of us, grown ups and kids alike, started making our way as best we could.

At least it wasn't a sense of entitlement so much as ignorance. And all of our kids, who were raised with the expectation of being quite well provided for, had always planned to make their own way regardless. They are just doing it in somewhat less comfortable circumstances than they had foreseen, but it's probably doing all of them some good.

In any case, it's certainly brought home the lesson that money isn't everything. Though we have much less now in material things, our situation has brought us closer together as a family and we haven't lost our sense of humor. Laughing instead of crying has saved us many times.

My father owned a private jet and my daughter gets food stamps. But, you know what? There are worse things. My poor father got cancer and all of his money couldn't prevent it from killing him. More than 30 years later, our finances are in a shambles and my mother just had a stroke. But she's walking and talking, going out to dinner and movies, still enjoying a very decent quality of life. The rest of us are healthy enough at the moment and managing to enjoy ourselves and each other. My daughter is fortunate to have a job and, while she's struggling as a single parent, still clings to her original dream to have her own business some day. Yes, there are worse things.

Still, every little bit helps, so keep buying those bags and stuff for the house, SS! Oh yeah, and the house! That'll really give us all a boost. :)

Kai said...

What a GORGEOUS bag! LOVE the color!!