I was watching a homeshopping channel this morning as callers were talking to the hostess about how they love to shop online and how many packages come to their door. Some even laughed about sneaking those packages into the house. Yesterday, I was in a local department store packed with shoppers standing in line to check out, many were using credit cards. It started me thinking about the sale of my mother's estate, and what I have learned in the past year. My mother loved quality goods whether it was clothes, jewelry, or cars. Most had to be sold to support her for the last few years of her life, and what I discovered was that I was hardpressed to get 30% of what she paid. Dresses that were $200 might recover $30 or the coat she paid $400 might sell in a consignment shop for $25. Her diamond estate ring that costs $3200 didn't bring more than $1000, etc. Why do we spend our hardearned money for these luxury items when they have little value. We can't put 20% down on a house but we can buy a brand new car that loses value the day we drive it off the lot. We can't pay for our children's college because we bought a bigger, more expensive home than we really could afford or even worse, we bought that vacation home instead of saving for our children's college. We not only had to have that new dress (not on sale) because it is the newest style and heaven forbid that we wear last years dress to that function but our children grow up with all the insecurities of listening to parents squabble over finances. Do we sacrifice a solid financial future for that golf membership or the country club membership or what is even worse, we buy our 16 year old a brand new car but we don't have the $10-20,000 for their first year of college. I was recently shocked when I ran into a friend at the beach who had just sold her business. She and her husband were looking for jobs with health insurance as a benefit because they never had any and as they are getting older, they need it. She was sick last year and she had to pay cash over $20,000. Why was I surprised, she lived in the most elite neighborhood in our hometown, drove a new mercedes every few years and they belonged to the country club. The money from the sale of the business was all the retirement money they had. It is so sad that people sacrifice a solid future by squandering today for meaningless "things". Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard are my heroes!
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