Where does all the money come from? It was only several years ago that the Federal Government (that would be you and me) subsidized the automobile industry and the banks, to keep them afloat as the economy took a dramatic dip. For many, it completely wiped out their savings, stock values, retirement funds, and for many more…. Their day-to-day-job. There is still the back-lash of home foreclosures, yet today, that has forced many thousand more into the streets, or their parents, grandparents, or the homes of relatives or friends.
Skip from 2008 to 2014… just 6 years, and look at how the Banks and Automobile industries have recovered. The Banks have so much cash that they are now telling some very major customers…. Take you cash somewhere else. To give you a comparison on borrowing power, 1n late 1990, I could go around town to 4 or 5 banks, and by 12 Noon, I could raise upwards of one-million-dollars, ON MY NAME, called a un-secured “signature loan(s), or open line of credit. By January 1991, I couldn’t borrow a dime. Today, an “open-line” of credit is no-longer a banking term.
General Motors, while taking a $50 Billion subsidy, still fell short of repaying the Government some $12 Billion. But guess what, they recovered within a year, and just in 2013, manufactured 9.7 million vehicles.
In 2012, I purchased a new Yukon at a list price of about $57K, and a net purchase price of about $51K. Six months later, I had it appraised for trade-in purchases for $45K, In 6 more months, it was valued at $39K. Today, exactly 4 years to the day, it’s worth about $25K. It has about 54K miles on the odometer, and is in absolute perfect condition. To get the exact same vehicle, in a 2015 model, would cost me about $65K, or $40K difference. Can you imagine? That would amount to $10K per year, or about .75 cent per mile. Needless to say…. I’m NOT going to buy a 2015! And, if I did….I’d keep my 2012 Yukon, and just spend the $40K on an additional car. It’s not that I’m can’t afford it, it’s just that I refuse to be taken advantage of.
I look around the parking lots in schools, and see 15-16 year olds driving around in Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Land Rovers as the vehicles of choice. These cars range from $50K to $85K. These are high-schoolers I’m talking about. It gets worse for the college crowd. Look around the parking lots of the various State Agencies, Hospitals, and Federal Agencies…. The same story. So, I repeat…. Where is all this money coming from? I thought we were all broke.
Ok… here’s my point. Many of us just don’t seem to know how to “set aside for a rainy day.” Was 2008 not bad enough? How bad does the economy have to get to teach us a lesson in economics?
Proverbs 6:6-8 says: ”Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” Sluggard means “lazy” or “inactive”, and the verse implies that such an attitude might exist when it comes to saving money. The implication is that we may need to do something more, something beyond ordinary if we are to save—the business-as-usual is no-longer a viable option.
Translation: saving money requires active participation. It’s not something carried out by sluggards! Saving then is a part of the natural process. In reality, certainly in the human realm, it’s very much a survival skill. Ever notice how people who have relatively little income or a sustainable occupations, are able to survive all the uncertainty? It’s possible if you’re dedicated to a formal savings plan.
Money itself isn’t the root of all evil—it’s the love of money. We can have it and use as long as we see it as a tool, or means to another end; and not as something to be worshipped. Properly used, such as when we save for a rainy day, is just such a tool as well as a blessing.
At the very least, we can save for a rainy day and know that we’re doing the right thing. After all—that’s what the Bible teaches us.