Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Personal Economy

We had a birthday party for my mother in law just the other day.  Her sister was in attendance, she lost her husband to cancer in February.  Some ,hopefully, well meaning friends are basically trying to take over her finances and trying to make decisions on her behalf when it comes to the possessions of her late husband.  She is really torn up emotionally over selling his car and now they are pushing her to sell other personal items that he held dear. One of these friends has even gone so far as to take items and have them appraised, without her permission.

The advice I gave her was this. When you get ready to start selling or giving away your husbands things, I don't want you to just let people take them. I want you to take each item in your hands, physically touch each piece. Then ask yourself these questions; do I need this, do I want this, will I be sorry if this is gone? If you cannot answer no to all three of these questions, you are not ready to give up that item yet.

Talking to her got me thinking. Why don't I modify these questions and apply them to my everyday life. The modified questions would look like this. Do I need this? Do I want this? If I want this why? Will it improve my quality of life or make me more productive? Will this thing make me more secure? If I cannot answer yes to at least two of these questions I will not purchase the item.

We are not prone to overly wasteful purchases. Our last fairly large purchase was a tablet for my wife. She researched for about three weeks. She was having trouble justifying a nearly $300 purchase. If she had just wanted the tablet because it was the latest and greatest I would have agreed with her, but she uses it for school, scheduling, eBooks, and music. I use it from time to time and the kids use it while traveling. We have lots of files on it, in short turned out to be a very good purchase. Honestly, if we all ask ourselves these questions how many things would we not purchase? How much better would our personal economies be?

Remember to Keep It Rural.