Wednesday, May 21, 2008

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.
Benjamin Franklin
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer (1706 - 1790)

Life decisions. Some make me happy, some not so much.

We know Yosemite is going to be crowded. We don't know how much that really translates into affecting our Yosemite experience. But I don't feel like I can take much vacation time yet and when Andrew gets his mission call, I will be taking time off to drive him to Utah and visit friends there. We are just going to go and see what happens.

We are not accustomed to trying to do what we really want. We are trying to get over feeling like we cannot do anything because of time, money, someone's disapproval, crowds, etc, etc. Sometimes, it is good to just give it a try. We have to be careful about all those things, or at least consider them, but we can mange some leeway. We are realizing that waiting for all the stars to align perfectly is just wasting life. We need to adjust our parameters and level of acceptable risk. Don't be so afraid.

We are going with the spirit of adventure and if it doesn't work out, we will just go somewhere else or come home sooner. I will blow a few hundred dollars of tax refund, but I prefer to think of it as investing it in my and my boys' memories and experience. (And I had an all time great refund this year, probably never to be repeated, so I can.) I wish Joseph wanted to go with us, but he is not a big risk taker. Anna will be glad. Ben wants to take her, but I don't think it would really work. Maybe after we get better at this they will both join us.

It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.
Katharine Butler Hathaway

Again and again I wish that I had bought a mini van instead of the Cavalier last year. We are renting one for this weekend – since we will probably be sleeping in the car and there are going to be 3 of us. I have even toyed with the idea of trading the Cavalier in and getting a minivan, but I still owe over $7000 and would probably only get two or three. Then the minivan would cost another $10,000 plus. Not sure that makes much financial sense! Oh, well.

Cavalier vs minivan - I don't know if I figured this right.

My Cavalier gets about 20 miles to the gallon. I think most minivans do at least 16. So the Cavalier gets 4 mpg more. I have driven the Cavalier about 14000 miles since getting it the beginning of last year. So I think I have used about 700 gallons as opposed to a minivan using 875. At $4 / gallon, which we have not quite hit yet (buying gas at Costco), the Cavalier would save me $700 on gas. The minivan is going to cost just under $100/ day. So two three day road trips would pretty much cancel out the savings on gas. Not to mention the greater comfort and ability to carry more things. (I had to borrow Ruth's car to get our shed package and there have been many times I have wanted to transport more than I had room for – 3 boys plus a Black Lab comfortably, for instance.) If I figured right, I made a bad deal. . (Even more stupid, the Cavalier actually cost me $3000 more than the minivan I looked at, which, admittedly was older, but also had some lovely extras the Cavalier definitely lacks.)

The question still remains whether it would be worth replacing the Cavalier now – and if I can afford to. That's another set of numbers, I haven't yet tried to wrap my mind around Oh, alas. If I could afford to borrow $10,000 or more, I could/should/would borrow money to fix my kitchen, not indulge my transportation preferences. Oh, to win Publisher Clearinghouse Sweepstakes!

Oh to learn to regret and repent of moral errors as much as simple, eternally unimportant mistakes such as this!

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.
Rainer Maria Rilke
German lyric poet (1875 - 1926)

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)

Who is wise? He that learns from every One.
Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions.
Who is rich? He that is content.
Who is that? Nobody.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.
Democritus (460 BC - 370 BC)

Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)

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