After several quality moments in deep thought, I have concluded that being an American is a very taxing occupation. Of course, we have to give it to our government (and boy would I like to give it to them) that when it comes to creativity they lead the pack. They have found more creative ways to tax the American people than any generation of politicians this country has ever known. Moreover, you can be sure, if they have not thought up a tax yet, it is just around the corner.
It is very comforting to know that they have left change in your pocket that you can believe in. You cannot buy anything with it, but you can believe in it. Personally, I do not want change I can believe in, I want dollars I can spend.
In my humble opinion, which is the only thing humble about me, the government should contact the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and have her oversee the stimulus plan. After all, she has been doing that in our household for many years.
Several things she has used to stimulate our household financial plan that I think the government could implement.
First off, she has an absolute rule that if you do not work you do not eat. This was a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Even on my day off, I needed to do something that would qualify in her mind, as work or I would not be able to eat that day. I suffered many hungry days before I acclimated to this rule of our house.
I'm not so sure but it might be a good idea to put this kind of rule in place.
Then she had another rule that first did not make too much sense to me. After all these years, I have begun to appreciate this rule and highly recommend it to others.
The rule simply is, never buy what you cannot afford or do not need. This was hard for me to get a hold of in the beginning. But I have learned that what I cannot afford I probably do not need.
We had just been married only a year or so and I had gotten into my head the idea that I wanted to buy another car. So I began looking around for another car. I knew I could not afford a brand-new car, but there were many used cars that caught my fancy. Then I broached the subject with my new bride thinking she would be as excited about this as I was.
"What's wrong with the car we have now?" she queried.
This question caught me by surprise and I stammered, "There's nothing wrong with the car, I just think it's time that we got another car."
She then did something I really did not expect her to do. She pried into the financial situation of purchasing another car. I do not give her this much hassle when we go grocery shopping and buy groceries.
Then she put me on the old grill.
"Does the car we have now paid for?"
I thought for a moment and said, "Yes, it's been paid for several months now."
"Will we have to make car payments if we get this other car?"
Duh, of course we would have to make car payments if we got another car. Anybody in his or her right mind would know that. Not being in my right mind, I even knew it.
Then she asked me one of the most stupid questions I had ever heard at the time.
"Can we afford car payments at this time?" When she said this, she looked at me with one of those looks that rather made me squirm.
As it was at the time, we were just making it financially. Paying off our old car had helped in the financial department. Then it dawned on me, getting back to making monthly car payments would put us back in the same bind as we were a few months ago.
Thinking about the whole car business, not only could I not afford it, I really did not need it. The old car was working just fine and there were other priorities that demanded attention from our checkbook.
It was at that time we established the principle that if we wanted something we would save our money until we could afford it. And it was amazing to me that by the time I saved up enough money for something I discovered that I really did not need it. I cannot tell how much money I have saved by discovering how much I really did not need. The difference between want and need is sometimes just a matter of time.
I have been thinking of what the apostle Paul said. "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:7-10 KJV).
Money does not solve anything but rather, is the source of many sorrows.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.