Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Should You Trade Up?

While I'm still sorting through my thoughts about my blog, here is an article Josh received via email this morning:

Should You Trade Up?

by Michael Webb
Author, 50 Secrets of Blissful Relationships

Athena and I have never had a car payment. Our current vehicles are 6 years old and our previous car was a 13 year old Honda Civic that ran just fine until the final few months.

When our Honda Civic was getting up in age (and didn't look so shiny) we have had friends and family ask us point blank "when are you going to get a new car" and tell us "certainly you can afford something new". Yes, we can afford just about any car that we could possibly desire. But no, we don't have any plans on trading in our perfectly fine Honda for something new(er) simply to impress others. Yes, when safety or reliability become a factor, we'll be shopping for something else.

I find it curious, but not surprising that every person who has suggested that we upgrade our car has been divorced at least once.

Back in 1988 Diamond Cutters International conducted a poll asking women if they would ever consider trading in their engagement ring for a bigger, better diamond. 46% of the respondents said yes.

Fifteen years later, these same women have been polled again. Of those who were willing to trade up, 81% are now divorced. And what about those sentimental ladies who would never trade in their original ring? 78% are still married.

Are you the type of person who wants a new car every few years and sees each raise as an opportunity to move to a bigger house? Are you easily bored with the latest gadget you bought just a year ago? Do you always have to have the best television among your peers? If so, studies have shown that you have a much greater chance of being tempted to "trade-up" spouses too.

Learn to appreciate what you have and don't be so quick to want to get the latest model. Otherwise it might REALLY cost you.


Mrs. Haid said...

Somehow, this reminds me of a Dave Ramsey story.

How about keeping the engagement ring, but getting another, larger diamond ring, too? Maybe as an "hurray! I am still in love with you and here is a new, lovely diamond to show you!" ? Because I'd like that option.

Chrissy said...

I don't think the point of the writing was only the ring. I think it's just the overall mindset of always wanting something bigger and better.

Jennifer said...

Overcoming the mindset of wanting more or bigger is really, really hard. I always feel like I need to reread "The Total Money Makeover" every few months so I'm content with what we have. I think we're ingrained to think that not only should we upgrade when we can but that we deserve to upgrade.

Mrs. Haid said...

I think its really a hard thing. I used the ring specifically. i have a really difficult time not falling into "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" mentality and just being content with what I have.

Even if its a really nice ring that my husband worked really hard to purchase, but somehow looses its luster when I am around some of my newly engaged friends who have fiances who are 30, not 22, and can lavish them with a much larger stone. I know it sounds bad! Perhaps I just love glitter. (but not more than my husband or our relationship!)

Chrissy said...

My mom was a college student and my dad was a second-year teacher when they got engaged. You can imagine what they could afford at that time, but my mom still has the same set. And now, 31 years later, with two incomes and other things they do to bring in money, my mom still wears the same ring. I think part of it is the principle of the thing (for lack of a better term). Of course I would think that every couple could afford more as the years go by, but that original ring reminds us of a time in our lives when all we needed was each other.

Nel said...

My life has been more of a down grade over the past 5 years of our marriage. We now appreciate and work very hard for the nicer things that we have. We only buy things that we have the money for right then - we have NO credit cards. We are set with what we have for the next 5 years and this will teach us patience and to appreciate very much what we have and have to work for!

I LOVE my ring :) I would like to get it dipped again as my White Gold is starting to 'yellow'. But love my ring and wouldn't want anything to replace it!

As for vehicles... our life isn't a contest with friends or family - we do what we need for our family and worry about our own needs and not what everyone else is doing and making and getting.

F&F Mali said...

Thanks for the article, Chrissy. I really liked it. We are definitley living in a "trade up" kind of society, bombarded by commercialism convincing us that what we have isn't good enough. I hate when I fall into that trap, especially this time of year when Christmas becomes more about the presents than about the saviour being born.

Causey Fam said...

What a great article! Thanks for sharing!

Mindy said...

I showed this to Ryan because I told him this very same thing before... he'll trade me in like he trades in his iPhones/computers/cameras, etc ... Yikes. Now I'm scared.

He better not trade me in because I seem to have innate wisdom about marriage. It's weird.

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