Archive for February, 2010

Saving Things

February 18, 2010

Last weekend my brother and I cleaned out all the personal items from my mother’s apartment. We took pictures off the wall, ornaments and framed photographs off of tables, and items out of drawers. Then we packed the things carefully into boxes and shipped them to Connecticut where we will gather with the rest of our siblings and distribute these things. As we did this I often found myself stopping and remembering – an event, an adventure, or just a conversation. These memories are so precious;even though recalling them can be somewhat bittersweet. What I teach my clients and what I now must remember myself is that I do not need to have lots and lots of things to remember my mother. I will be taking a few of those things that my brother and I so carefully packed and I will treasure them. Just as I treasure my memories.

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Cash Vs. Credit Cards

February 7, 2010

Recently, I was at a fund raising event. When Nick and I arrived at the event we were given a little goody bag which contained two poker chips. Each chip was worth $20,000.00! WOW! We traded in the two chips for chips of smaller denominations and then Nick watched while I played Black Jack and Craps. I lost lots of money playing Black Jack and made lots of money playing Craps. When the gambling time was up we traded in the poker chips for raffle tickets which we used to bid on the silent auction items. Are you wondering yet why I am relating this story? It occured to me that these poker chips were not unlike credit cards. I never would have gambled the way I did if I had been using cash. The chips had no real value to me. I think sometimes we loose sight of the fact that each time we pull out a credit card and use it to pay for something we are spending money. Sometimes we know the money to cover the transaction is in the bank; sometimes we are counting on a to be received paycheck. In my book, Flying Solo: A Guide to Organizing Your Home When You Leave Your Parents’ Nest, I have a chapter titled Organizing Your Budget.  I write about the benefits of using cash to pay for things. Cash is real. The decisions you make when using cash are significantly different from the ones you make when pulling out a credit card.