AndrewHenderson

Laughing Through Life: August 29, 2012

by Andrew Henderson

Stop me, if you heard this one before:

A young college co-ed came running in tears to her father. “Dad, you gave me some terrible financial advice!”

“I did? What did I tell you?” the dad said.

“You told me to put my money in that big bank and now that big bank is in trouble.”

“What are you talking about? That’s one of the largest banks in the state,” he said. “There must be some mistake.”

“I don’t think so,” she sniffed. “They just returned one of my checks with a note saying, ‘Insufficient Funds’.”

I read this joke recently on the Internet and I immediately thought about our local, state, and federal governments and their heroin-like addiction to spending money and what will happen if it continues.

My money. Your money. Your Uncle Bob’s money. They like to spend it — even when there are “insufficient funds.”

The dictionary defines addiction as a means “to devote or surrender oneself to something habitually or obsessively; behavior that impairs the performance of a vital function, a harmful development.”

According to one report, addiction causes you to lose your sense of balance and rationality.

Officials also say that beneath all addictions is a longing for immediate gratification — to feel good, powerful, worthy of admiration and problem-free — and an insistence on ignoring the long-range, self-destructive implications of the behavior.

Sound like a politician? It sure does to me.

This summer is almost over and my wife will be going back to teach at an area high school after having most of the summer off.

And with that, we recently sat down and went over our budget for the rest of the year.

My wife and I are of the Dave Ramsey mind-set when it comes to finances. In other words, we are cheap.

No, just kidding. Every dollar that we make each month is accounted for. Every dollar from my salary and her salary. Every nickel, every dime, and every cent.

It all goes into budget lines, such as grocery, mortgage, gasoline, tithes, gifts, insurance, entertainment, debt or retirement, and, of course, my favorite: the blow money line.

In essence, everything that we earn is earmarked for something. For example, after all the bills have been paid and after all the food is bought, whatever is left over goes toward the debt (if we have any), retirement, the college fund, or what I like to call “Andy’s Secret Vacation Trip To St. Louis To Watch The Cardinals” line. Shhh, my wife does not know of that line!

We do this because both my wife and I enjoy spending money. We really do. Who doesn’t? Probably one of the hardest things to do in this world is not to spend money.

If I give you $20, will you not spend it? Will you just keep it in your wallet or purse? I can guarantee you that if you give me a $20 bill that sucker will be spent faster than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

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