Thursday, April 24, 2008

Do You Really NEED a New Car? For that matter a new anything???

I know that my girls were so excited the other day when I took the car in to get some regular maintenance done on it. They were certain we were getting a NEW car. I am unsure what it is about NEW that has gotten them so excited. I almost feel like I have failed them that they are not content with the car that we have.

In doing research, I found out that Hondas and Toyotas are two of the BEST cars to own because they can LAST a LOOOOONG time. I took my car into a hole-in-the-wall shop that came highly recommended from others. I was talking to him about how most people feel the NEED to get a new car when their car is around 100,000 miles. He said yes, and that it was sad. I asked him how long he thought our Toyota Sienna (all paid off for over 6 years now) would last us. He said, IF WE TOOK CARE OF IT, it would last us 20, 25 possibly even 30 years.

WOW! This car that is totally paid off could last us into retirement! Or at least past the time we really NEED a van (because prayerfully by then all the children will be happily blessed in marriage and needing a van of their own). :)

But I had to think about how I can teach the children about this. God wants us to be good stewards of what He has blessed us with and given to us. God provided this van for us, and by being good stewards, this van will last us many many years. And while NEW may be fun and exciting, isn't it fun and exciting being able to goto DIsneyland? Would you rather have a new car or a trip to Disneyland? I bet you can figure which one they opted for. Being good stewards allows us to indulge in things that we might not have otherwise been able to indulge in.

And I have noticed that since we have been buying less for the children and requiring them to buy more things for themselves, they are learning to appreciate and care for what they have. And they are being a bit more selective about what they are buying. Beforehand, they were wanting anything and everything. Now they look at it and notice if it is torn. If it is, is it something that they (or Mommy) can fix? If so, can we talk the person down on the price? And even then, is it worth it?

It is NEVER too early to start teaching your kids this. My oldest is now 8 years old and she has the BEST eyes. She catches things I sometimes miss. That would not have happened if I did not always have her with me and talked to her through my shopping. Explaining why Momma said no to buying something. Explaining why Momma passed on buying something even though she wants it. By talking through my shopping with my children, they are learning.

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