Monday, November 8, 2010
And shoppers are continuing to eat out. This was very surprising to me at the beginning of the recession. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that restaurant parking lots were still full while people everywhere around me (who I knew were filling those parking lots) were complaining about "just getting by." Recently though, I read an article about a new upscale restaurant in Portland, Maine. (Digression here: I tend to read -and therefore know-more about my home state than I will ever know about NC. Election night I followed the results of the governor's race in Maine very closely on the web while watching TV at the same time. I was very annoyed when our local TV newscaster kept breaking into the national news with updates on NC races. Guess I'm just a Mainer at heart....)The owner of the new eatery was proclaiming great success and offered the following explantion: Many middle to upper class folks are cutting out "big" extras like new cars, lavish vacations, country club memberships and private schools for their kids. So to make life "bearable" while having to do without the finer things, they justify going out for a nice meals just as, if not more often than before. Ahhhhh, it all makes sense now. I've never been in that position, so the mindset is completely foreign to me.
My conclusion is that we spend our money on what we value...and we'll sacrifice just about anything to do it. A heroine addict will sacrifice his family and his health to get enough cash for his next high. A woman who values fashion will sacrifice the trust of her husband by taking money from his wallet or hiding the credit card bills from the latest shopping spree in order to wear the newest styles. One family I know was "devastated" when they had to pull their child from a local Christian school, but then promptly took the whole family to Disney, a trip that I later learned cost far more than a year's tuition. Make no mistake, rich or poor, we all-myself included-do this. We pay for what we value.
I challenge you to think about what it is that you personally value. Better yet, take a close look at where your money is going, for "where you money is, there will your heart be also." You might be surprised.