Friday, August 21, 2009

Nickels and Dimes

Our financial wellness or even prosperity often times is based on how we deal with nickels and dimes.
Recently a close friend of mine told of a time she was working in a well-known bank and a lady came in to make a significant deposit of dimes … amounting to close to $4,000! It had been the dimes she had her son save throughout his years at home and it was time to ‘cash them in’! Whew! That’s a lot of cash!! and the thing is, this was her youngest son – she had already done the same with her 3 older children – two of them had saved close to $5,000 and the other was right at $4,000 as well. Amazing!! and all they did for 18 – 21 years was save the silver dimes!
Also, recently I was looking for something for my website – a way to do ‘captcha forms’ – and yeah, I knew I could buy into a program but I was trying to see if I could get it for free. On one of the forums I ended up at on Google.doc was an interesting post by someone who obviously was wealthy (a lawyer) and he was pushing the free version. His point: why would I pay for something if I can get it free?
From another wealthy person I recently heard the admonition to never buy from someone that ’searches you out’ to sell. Always be in the position of you doing the search for what you need. That makes sense to me. How many times have you engaged in ‘impulse buying’ and how much money have you wasted just because something struck your fancy? You get that new purchase back to your home and many times it sits on the shelf or stays in your closet because it wasn’t anything you were ever intending to buy.We all have this clutter, don’t we?
As well as these simple thoughts is the lesson I learned from some friends of ours recently. In their beginning as a family they made a conscious decision – they would pay cash for what they needed/wanted and have enough set aside for emergencies. The husband is newly retired. The wife has always been  one of those ’stay at home’ moms – whose boys are now grown. They live in a lovely house and have more than enough to just merely ‘get by’. They are looking forward to a pleasant retirement without financial worry. Besides being financially comfortable, they are 2 of the most generous people I have ever had the privilege to know. They give in big ways, too, not just $10 here or there. They never have bought on credit. They owe nothing. He bought a new BMW convertible to celebrate his retirement – paid cash. Sweet!
And I just gotta share this one. Another couple who I love to visit and I count as dear friends and mentors has been married 66 years! They are as cute as can be. He still drives and they go everywhere, do everything together. They are so in love. They are living in a city in their own home, have enough money to do all they need and are able to help others in benevolent ways when ever they have the opportunity. The first house they bought in another state is still theirs. Instead of selling it when they made their first move, they held on to it and rented it out. That was over 40 years ago and they had a vision then that has paid off clear to today. My friend said that they have never gone without a month’s rental income on that property. And, what they bought for $11,000 is worth $140,000 on today’s market. This money helps them live month to month, sure, but their primary purpose to have kept this stream of income wasn’t to survive, it was so they would always have ‘extra’ in order to help someone who needed it. The people they’ve helped out over the years … wow, now if you knew who they were … that’d be a story worth telling. But most of the time, they did this ‘helping of individuals’ in an anonymous manner through their church. True story.
Use wisdom in the small ways and you’ll be blessed in big ways. Spend frivolously and you’ll always be wanting … you’ll never be satisfied, never find peace.
That’s just the way it works.

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