Holidays, Money

Not a Penny to Waste

When my husband attended one of his first meetings as a new faculty member, what he remembered most was a statement from the head of the business school.

“We have money for everything we need but not a penny to waste.”

Dean Richard Scott

We claimed that declaration as our money mantra, and it outlasted all others. (See here and here) Over the years, we have neglected things we needed and wasted a bit, but it has been a good compass. In times of want we have said, “We have money for everything we need,” and in times of plenty we have said, “We don’t have a penny to waste.”

I especially like the reminder during the holidays when both temptations exist: not allocating enough money for celebrating and unnecessary splurges.

Do any statements guide your money thinking?

Holidays, Memories

Year End Review

The importance of organizing and reviewing family photographs on a regular basis is among the critical things I learned along the way. Photographic records of family history are precious for too many reasons to list here.

Three years ago, we spent New Year’s Day putting the finishing touches on our boys’ photo albums. They now have a visual record from birth through the beginning of college.

As we looked at photographs of events we had forgotten, I wished we had reviewed them on a regular basis. We could have savored the memories. Perhaps we would have implanted them more deeply by discussing the photographs.

‘I don’t remember going there’ are sad words to hear when a family vacation trip was important to you.

Organizing photographs on New Year’s Day would have kept the album work manageable. It would have also given us a family activity on a day that was usually quiet and unscheduled.

News Year’s Day is a time to look forward. It also can be the best time to look back in a practical way, one which will yield fruit for many years.

I implore you to spend time looking at and discussing your photographs with your spouse and children.