Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 29, 2010 / 18 Menachem-Av, 5770

Don't stop thinking about today

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The attitude of my father, who also grew up fairly poor, was different: Decide what you want today -- a sailboat, for instance -- and use that as the incentive to go out and earn the money for it tomorrow.

I have a feeling there were more than a few financial quarrels there. But somehow the family and the finances seem to have held together.

That was a different era. Now, too many of us are living beyond our means with no means to pay it back. Just this week there were news reports about Americans' increasingly low credit scores. On the other hand, recent headlines also tell us that individuals who do have savings are taking them out of the stock market in droves out of fear.

In light of these crazy economic times, I've been thinking more than ever about this question: Without going the "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die" route, how do I responsibly use the means I have? That is, without holding on so tightly I can't enjoy living, and being generous, right now?

The answer I seem to have grown into over recent years is that I just don't care so much for "stuff" anymore. And, anyway, one can -- technically speaking -- always get that later. Increasingly, what I do care about is relationships and time. That's where, I find, I'll spend my money -- even going into savings to do so.

For instance, my younger girls are playing "ponytail softball" this summer. I said no to buying them cleats, which all the other girls have, when my girls' sneakers would do. That's just stuff.

Yet earlier this summer, I didn't blink at renting a lake house for my children and me instead of saving that money, say, for their college expenses or my retirement. Who knows if my kids and I will be together tomorrow, much less next summer?

And two years ago, I took money out of long-term savings for a really great trip to Disney World for my kids and me. I expected to just gut through the whole Disney experience. I ended up loving every minute. So did they. Our memories of the trip are some of the best of our family life. What an experience together.

Little things -- as long as they build relationships or memories with people I love, like concert tickets or a meal out -- can count as an experience, too. But I can't remember the last time I bought clothes for myself. It was probably at Target. My kids? Most of them, and I, love resale shops. Whew!

I increasingly see giving as an experience, too, one with potentially wonderful and eternal significance. Though I know that's one area where I want -- and need -- to really stretch my character.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting I always get it right when it comes to money. (I've been known to splurge on stuff!) Yes, I do have some college and retirement savings. And I fully appreciate that it's a luxury to even be able to think in these terms at all, as opposed to "How am I going to put food on the table?"

I'm just considering my own situation right now, and living in the most uncertain economic times I can remember. When it comes to money, increasingly asking the big question -- "Is this stuff, or is this a worthwhile experience that will build relationships or help others?" -- helps me navigate in a way that's comfortable.

Bottom line: While being (I hope) financially responsible about tomorrow, I refuse to fear it so much that I don't live fully with those I love in the only time we know we have -- today.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

BUY BETSY'S BOOK
"It Takes a Parent : How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting Our Kids — and What to Do About It"  

"Hart urges parents to focus...on instilling industry, frugality, sincerity and humility. She encourages parents to reclaim the word "no." Contrary to advice you may have received, you needn't give your child choices, or offer alternatives, or explain to little Suzie why she can't eat eight cookies right before bed-you're the parent, and sometimes you can just say no."

  —   Kirkus Reports

Sales help fund JWR.

Betsy Hart Archives

© 2007, Scripps Howard News Servic

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles