Sunday, November 27, 2011

Learning to discern between needs and wants

The news reports of the past few days have been filled with incidents connected with the so-called Black Friday 2011. One interesting observation, I heard on the radio, said that spending was up but savings were down. In other words, people were taking money out of savings to spend on "deals." So what were the mobs of people out buying? TVs, cameras, tablet computers, laptops, games and toys just the things needed for people who are living on savings and out of work. One of the best selling items, that people waited in long lines to buy were different models of the Amazon Kindle. Guess what? They weren't on sale. All of the models sold at the regular price. I could order one today at exactly the same price they sold for on Friday.

It makes me sad to see this, especially when all of the comments are about how good the sales are for our economy! Here is a quote from the website, Provident Living:

We must learn to distinguish between wants and needs. We should be modest in our wants. It takes self-discipline to avoid the “buy now, pay later” philosophy and to adopt the “save now and buy later” practice.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) taught: “All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” (“Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts,Liahona, May 2004, 42).
How many people's lives will be better because of what they bought on Black Friday? Can there be unlimited increases in the amount of consumer credit? The Federal Reserve Statistical Release states that overall consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 1 and 1/2 percent in the third quarter of 2011. Revolving credit has gone down slightly while non-revolving credit has risen.

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