Moving Programs From An Old Computer To A New Computer Moving Day and My Father’s Simple Way of Saving Money

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Moving Day and My Father’s Simple Way of Saving Money

Over the past few years, society has made it easier for us to spend money and provided us with a variety of good things to spend it on. We use debit cards, credit cards and finance everything from yachts to our next child. Moreover, the spending attitude is expressed all around us through the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, art of advertising. When combined with that ease of spending, it’s easy to see why we spend more than we save, and many of us are feeling the debt crunch, even at higher income levels.

Now, I’m not against spending. In fact, my own personal participation in the phenomenon was brought to me recently when I moved into a new house.

I have a lot of things!

The sad part is that a lot of it wasn’t really necessary. There were books that I bought and read once and then shelved to never be touched again… until I moved, of course. There was a small box with about six cell phones turned off, there was an extra TV covered in dust, electronics, games, software and peripherals (not to mention the old computer in the garage), plates, glasses, records. … the list goes on!

How many incompatible device sets do you have?

I win!

I thought about my parents living at the same address, in the same modest but comfortable house, on the same unassuming street for more than 30 years until my father’s death in 1981. Part of the reason it was comfortable was because my father used the money he saved in many ways, like NOT moving, for example, to improve and improve the house in small but valuable ways. Remodeled, carpeted, insulated and with central heat and air, it was a far cry from the simple wood-frame house he bought in 1950 and fetched a sale price of more than 10 times its original cost.

As I boxed and cursed my accumulations of “non-essentials,” I thought about a number of small, inexpensive, but serviceable cars my father had over the years. He got the best gas mileage, traded in when it was time to replace the old car, and kept it tuned and serviced by Skippy, Slim and Mr. the best performance in her lifetime. Sure, he was able to graduate to a big boat of a Ford LTD when I joined the Army in the late 60’s, but he was able to do so because of that humble string of Ford Falcons (one of whom I hurt badly) because of the years.

My father’s economic philosophy was simple. He bought quality goods (paying a bit more if necessary), took good care of them, and replaced them when they needed replacing, not when the next flashiest model came out. Often, instead of replacing any household appliance, he would simply repair the old one, or repair it if it made more sense than buying a new one. He and mom had the same vacuum cleaner for years, and I’ve had three vacuum cleaners in the last six years. Sure, maybe I can blame this on the poor craftsmanship… but who bought the super duper pinballs in the first place? Me!

Did he deny himself some toys? Sure, but by denying himself the momentary gratification of a new device with all the bells and whistles or something flashier than what he already had, he created a little more wealth in his pocket and bank account so that when the need arose or the needs became really overwhelming, he could satisfy himself or his family without fiscal damage or charges.

I have no doubt that he would have been among the first to recognize the value of the mobile and applaud its appearance on the stage. I’m also sure he would have thought long and hard about the reasons for getting one or not getting one and would have made a decision based on common sense and value rather than just the most prominent TV ad on the billboard cutest face or biggest. “circle of friends” package. His cell phone would be plain and black, it wouldn’t cook breakfast, but it would be the best value and choice for him… even if he got it at all. I can also guarantee that he would still be using it ten years later if possible.

He would have been an early adapter to the Internet, recognizing it as a tool to find information… and bargains. He would definitely shop online, saving him the wear and tear on his car, the cost of gas, and the frustration of standing in line and dealing with clerks who often know nothing about the product they’re selling.

There is a new weight loss system called Mindful Eating. Its premise is that many of our weight, obesity and health problems arise from the fact that many of us eat without thinking or knowing much about the choices we are making. The idea is that if people become “mindful” of their eating habits, they will become lighter. I think that was my dad’s approach to spending, and if I become more conscious of my shopping habits, maybe the next time I move (if I do), all those boxes will be lighter… and more a little.

By the way, my wife and I started making some decisions about this move and a lot of “stuff” got thrown away. We figure that if we move every couple of years and keep throwing things away, by the time we go to a retirement home, we should be in a small paper bag of riches!

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