Monday, November 8, 2010

Money woes...

There seems to be, according to the stats, a new trend among mall-goers; shoppers are visiting 3 stores on average instead of 5, and they are visiting "with a purpose." In other words, window shopping and recreational shopping are out and buying things you actually need is in. What a concept.  Coupon shopping and "grouponing" type sites are busting at the seams.

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.

6 comments:

  1. Yeah like buying the MUST HAVE whole milk instead of powdered- hee hee
    - quess who

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  2. Dastardly whole milk...nearly as addictive as heroine, I hear:). My kids are most happy that it now costs LESS than powdered milk. Oh, the irony...

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  3. Hmmm. . .I keep getting slammed on this subject! I guess I'm just thick-headed! Our hours keep getting shorted at work and God reminds me again (graciously) that HE is my provider, not Port Huron Hospital. Some weeks He reminds me daily. . .grrr! I don't like learning this way! I don't like handing over the control because of course I can do it better while I get an ulcer and take 10 years off my life by worrying! The message Saturday night was about "extra grace relationships" or EGR's; talked about those in your life that you'd really rather not deal with. God poked me in the back to tell me that maybe I'm one of those to Him; why can't I just be thankful for what He's given me instead of being jealous of what He's given to others. Just a few reflections on your blog.

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  4. I have to say that since I started reading your blog I have become coupon crazy and just yesterday I had $17 worth of coupons off my purchases at Wal-Mart, I love it! It really makes a difference and anything lavish has lost its value or need. Thank you for all your helpful tips and the encouragement, it makes the difference in my days.
    Thanks, you are the best and I thank God that I had you as a camp counselor many moons ago...

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  5. Angela S. in TucsonNovember 9, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    I agree with you about restaurants--the same with airplanes and airports still being jammed packed full--despite the recession. Not to mention EXPENSIVE theme parks like Sea World and Disney....we've never been to Disney--and went to Sea World for less than 1/2 price w/ coupons. I thank you and a few other friends for changing me into "coupon mama." My DH has even been caught looking for and using coupons. I am not as savvy as you yet, but have been proud to save almost 50% on most of my grocery shopping trips the last month or so. Price matching, double coupons, and extra incentives, plus discount gas adds up. Lately, I've been signing up at KLOVE, won some Christian CD's, and signed up for contests on local radio and TV websites--I won 2 tkts to a Culinary Festival at a tony resort ($75/per tkt)--nice free fancy date night, a $50 gift card to a gym, as well as a Smithsonian DVD......

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  6. Thanks for the encouragement friends! We are all on the journey together and I love hearing your ideas and success stories. Angela, so happy for your Culinary Festival win...that would be such an awesome date night!!

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