Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Beans to Jeans

Interesting title, eh? It seemed to fit well with my current thought process, so I went with it. :-)

Yesterday, I had to visit our local hospital's lab for some bloodwork. I have a completely inactive thyroid and in order to keep my medication levels correct, I have to get a blood count done on a fairly regular basis. Usually this is a quick in-and-out process that only takes a few minutes of my day. This wasn't the case yesterday. For a myriad of reasons (none my fault), I had a lengthy wait until I was called back.

As I sat in the waiting area, it began to fill up a bit. Some people sitting near me began discussing the start of school. I wasn't eavesdropping, but they were only a couple of feet away and I couldn't help but overhear - the conversation was obviously innocuous, anyway. The woman asked the man if he had finished his daughter's back-to-school shopping. When he replied affirmatively, she asked what he had spent. He snorted and told her, "$135. And it was ONE pair of jeans!" She was shocked and asked him WHY so much for jeans. He explained that she HAD to have this particular brand, and since they cost $135, it was the only clothing they had bought for her.

The conversation continued, but just that part of it really got me to thinking. In the practice of frugality and making the most of what we have, we tend to focus on the little things that add up to save us money, such as substituting beans for meat in dinners. Washing out Ziploc bags for multiple uses and turning off lights when we leave rooms help us stretch our dollars. But in the midst of all the little things, how much do we consider the BIG things, like teaching our children that money and possessions are not the most important things in their lives?

I know I can't imagine my children even asking me for a pair of jeans (or ANY article of clothing) that cost over $100! They are perfectly happy to shop at thrift stores and garage sales and get very excited when we go to a regular retail store to buy things. None of the three of them care if they have "Tommy Hilfiger" on a shirt or the latest trendy jeans. Now, I know they are still young (the oldest is just 13), but I truly don't believe that will change. It's just the way we are raising them.....bringing them up as the next generation of savers, not spenders. We plan to continue to do this, and hopefully they will never become materialistic.

In the greater scheme of things, both the little things we do (the beans) and the big things (the jeans) are equally important. Just some food for thought. Here's hoping you never "have to" buy a $135 pair of jeans!!!

1 comment:

Annie Jones said...

One thing that bothers me is that so many people like the man in the waiting room seem to be bragging a little while they complain. It's almost as if they are saying, "This is ridiculous, but don't you think I'm cool for going ahead with it?"

Kat's only six, so her concerns with clothing are whether it's comfortable and whether it's a color she likes. I hope those continue to be her only concerns. :)