Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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WANTS VERSUS NEEDS
There’s been a lot in the news about the government’s concern over people overextending themselves because of lower interest rates. I understand that concern. After all, if we don’t act responsibly with our credit cards and get into trouble with more debt than we can pay, then how will we ever be able to pay their ever increasing taxes? So, the government has a vested interest in our financial responsibility so that we can afford to pay for their fiscal irresponsibility…chuckle.
I don’t know about you, folks, but every once in awhile, I succumb to envy. It’s not that I want for anything. Everything I need, I have. Yet, every once in a while, I want more.
It could be anything, really. I could be stopped at a traffic light when someone pulls up in a big, expensive, top-of-the-line truck and think to myself, “Man, I wish I had a truck like that!” I don’t need a truck. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the vehicle I’m driving. But his is newer and has more toys. I don’t even know what toys he has, but I catch myself momentarily wanting them.
I’ll see a house with stunning curb appeal. The thing looks huge, maybe three thousand square feet or more with a triple car garage. I’ll think to myself, “Man, it would be nice to have a house like that!” There’s nothing wrong with the house we have. We have more space than we need. In fact, now that my children are adults, it’s only a matter of time before my wife and I will want to actually downsize.
I know I’m not alone. I also know I’m not the only one who, at one time or another, bought a bigger television, even though there was nothing wrong with the one I already had. I’m not the only one who’s ever bought a new cell phone, despite the fact that my old one works just fine. I’m fairly confident that I’m not the only guy that owns tools that have never been used.
My Wife: What did you buy?
Me: A new screwdriver set.
My Wife: You already have several sets.
Me: Yeah, but these ones are magnetic, so the screws stay on the end. Pretty cool, eh?
My Wife: How much did they cost?
Me: Why are you asking?
My Wife: So I know what to price them at for next year’s garage sale.
I’m not sure where this came from because I certainly wasn’t raised to always want. In fact, my mother was very good at keeping us kids in check when we asked for something. She’d answer our requests with a simple question. “Is that a need? Or is it just a want?” Needless to say, I saw a lot of really cool toys in catalogues that I never got to play with… chuckle.
The government should give the folks of my mom’s generation a huge thank you. Because it’s that common sense approach that kept a lot of my generation from buying more than we could actually afford. Unfortunately, my generation has done a poor job of passing on that common sense, leading to our government’s current concern over Canadians’ average household debt.
Not fulfilling wants in order to save for needs isn’t really that hard, folks. I may not have a mansion or a big, new truck every year, but I have what I need. And despite not always having what I want, I have the knowledge of knowing that somewhere, someone with much less than I, is feeling blessed... so I must have it pretty darned good.