The Jones

I have never felt the need or desire to keep up with the Jones, Kardashians, or anyone else. 12 years ago, my sister built a new house. They got a very good deal, and I was happy for them. My mom wondered why we didn’t build a new house. I like our house. It’s big enough, great location and the price was right. 3 times we bought houses when it was a buyers’ market. We’ve remodeled and decorated at a price we could afford. If the bank said we qualified for a $1500.00/mortgage, we felt more comfortable with a $500.00 one. My kids have wanted things, and they’ve been given plenty. Could we go buy a 30,000 dollar car for our kid? Sure. We could finance a new house, new cars, lots of name brand clothes and accessories. We could have lots of things. If we made all the payments every month, we might even kid ourselves into saying we can afford these things. But at what price? The price of college educations, retirement, a rainy day? Yep, we’ve saved for a rainy day. We’ve had a few rainy days. My purse is a Betsey Johnson. She’s a NYC designer. It’s a cute purse. I bought it last fall, on sale at Steinmart-not because it was Betsey Johnson, it could have been Betsy Ross for all I cared. I bought it because it was cute and on sale. Big time on sale. I was proud of my daughter the other day. She needs a carry on bag for college. I was planning to spend between $100.00-200.00. She called me the other day. Hey mom, I found a carry on bag I really like. “How much?” It’s half price. “How much?” 60.00. “Perfect – go for it.” Maybe I’ve rubbed off on her. My favorite two sayings have been. “Just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean you should buy it. She loves her $15,000.00 used Nissan Sentra just as much as the $30,000.00 car she thought she wanted. And my other favorite saying is, “Just because someone has it, doesn’t mean they can afford it.” There are too many people living a lie, up to their ears in debt, no savings. We all have the dream of giving our kids the moon, but we need to consider the real cost of giving them everything…

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