Thursday, April 22, 2010

Money vs. Wealth

Early in our relationship, Joe and I would discuss money. Just weeks after we had become engaged, he wanted me to meet with his financial advisor (what 27 year old has a financial advisor???). When we were first married we were fortunate enough to be DINKS (double income, no kids), had just bought a house, and were enjoying such fine things as season Illini basketball tickets and trips here and there. We would discuss my great talent of finding ways to spend our money, and Joe's inability to spend ANYTHING. We had differing views on spending vs. saving, and I always will contend had I not married Joe, I would be deeply in debt with an awesome collection of shoes.

Fast forward nearly seven years, and the discussions are still there, just without my job, but three kids and a paycheck that is at the mercy of the weather. Just today, Joe was talking about what it would be like if he were able to get a new (or new-ish) truck, but that we wouldn't be seeing much income until October. uhhhh. . .what did he say??? OCTOBER???



Farmers have a dirty little secret. Well, maybe just a secret from me (or selective hearing), but either way, it is that grain checks come only when the grain goes to the elevator. In the fall. As in a few times a year.

Anyone else sweating?

The first grain check I took to the bank was more than I had EVER made as a teacher, and I asked Joe what the teller would say. His answer, "It's named Farmers State Bank, Emily."


Anyway, what I have noticed in the farm world is that they all talk about prices and markets and costs and loans, but they never really get anywhere with the discussion. What I have come to realize is that farmers (around me), are more concerned with wealth rather than money. Cash is handy, don't get me wrong. It pays the bills, helps with the wife's once in awhile shopping fix, pays for preschool. But wealth is on the forefront of a farmer's mind. Owning land, good equipment, and storage are far more important to a farmer than having money to throw around on frivolities. A friend once sent me a picture of her dad in a Corvette, and my dad laughed at the picture, saying, "Do you know how MANY Corvettes we could have if we were to add up the machine shed's contents?"

Yet we still do not have a Corvette.

Here I sit tonight, with a list to purchase from of "necessities," and I hesitate. I- a self proclaimed SPENDER- am hesitating at the thought of spending 50 bucks on a piece of baby gear that is not necessary, because I know that the buck has stopped here for awhile. Don't worry, Joe's still using his financial advisor, and we have a budget, but this once in a lifetime paycheck idea is still foreign to me. I'm struggling with the money vs. wealth debate. My hope is that some how we can meet in the middle. That, and maybe I can get my "hook on" baby seat without much guilt!

1 comment:

  1. Hear, hear, Emily! We don't farm, but we always tell our kids when they say, "But so-and-so has it!" that "We could have it, too--if we CHOSE to. We choose NOT to." You are not alone!