We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sticker SHOCK

     Recently our van was pronounced D.E.A.D. . We had just had this fixed, then it went back in for that, then something else happened. That third time it was the final strike. To fix the latest thing, would involve a total engine tear down / take every thing apart, which is a huge time involved task, and the process there-of would most likely reveal even more problems, which would increase both the parts and the labor.  So the van is dead. It served us well. It has over two hundred and thirteen thousand miles on it. But that means we are currently with out a vehicle of our own.  Thankfully, Papa Honey is loaning us his truck. But we need to get another vehicle of our own.
    Brian had been looking on line, such as Craig's list, etc.. Yesterday we ventured out to look on local used car lots. For one, to see what certain vehicles looked like in person, how much room they really had, etc.. And secondly, to look at how much they were priced for.
     About number one. While some have suggested that it's time for us to move down to a small little car for just Brian and I, that option does not at all fit our life style. It is normal for us to be hauling stuff, or people, or a combination of people and stuff. And sometimes it's our GRAND children and their stuff. Definite priorities to us!
     About 'secondly' - oh  my  word  did  we  get  sticker  shock !!! A particular vehicle we were really drawn to, was nine (9) years old, had over one hundred and thirteen miles on it and yet it was priced at seventeen THOUSAND dollars. And on it went. Till our sticker shock wore into sticker numbness.
    "They must be getting it, since all of them are priced like that", "I know... but how in the world can people afford it?".
   That conversation brought a multitude of various things to mind.
  ~ Things such as, hearing just how many credit cards and loans some people are carrying.
  ~ Things such as, knowing a bunch of people who have filed for bankruptcy.
  ~ Things such as, 'getting' even better why minimum wage employees want the minimum amount drastically raised, yet being confused as to why they don't 'get' that the companies will in turn then just raise all of their prices, because there is no way that companies are going to take a cut in their gross profits. 
  ~ Things such as, a conversation we had with a friend several years ago, about the price the wife had paid for their daughters high school Sr. prom. $400 for a prom dress, then $ for shoes and a manicure and a hair appointment, etc.. Made me question if it was really her Sr. prom or her wedding. I had questioned how many hours he had had to labor to pay for all of that. I was informed that you can't look at things from that perspective any more.
    WHY  NOT ?!?!? Isn't that what you have to do to pay for said expenses?  And if you put those expenses on a charge card, the company adds interest to your balance, thus raising the total you have to pay, which in the end equals that many more hours you have to work. It really does boil down to being that simple. And it really does equal out to that vicious of a cycle. But that IS the way it is!
     Another thing which came to mind, was part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, 'Farmer Boy'. In the particular section which came to mind, the dad was teaching the son the value of money. And how before you could spend it, you had to earn it. And when you looked at something you thought you wanted, you had to keep in mind just how long and how much effort was it going to take you to earn that amount. Once you thought all of that through, you could then make a realistic decision about whether or not you wanted to purchase or even start saving towards said item. 
    Seems to me, that the world needs to start spending an hour every Sunday afternoon, reading their way through that book! And reading it aloud. That way more senses are involved and thus the truths therein are more likely to get grasped / sink in. 
    If "how your going to pay for it" doesn't actually figure in, as in, how in the world do you realistically plan on paying off that loan, or that credit card, or that mortgage, etc., then no wonder people are literally drowning in debt. No wonder businesses are going belly up. No wonder our national economy is in the condition it's in. People need to read that simple children's story and take heed of the wisdom contained there-in!!!
   So how are we going to get a new vehicle? Honestly, we're not sure yet. We've placed the situation in God's hands. He's proven time and time again that He is capable of both providing for us and of doing "the impossible" (things we refer to as 'miracles'). We are ever so thankfully that He is and does! ! !