Experience is my son’s new teacher. Amazing how kids will not listen to their own parents, but when one of their friends’ parents offer advice, it is received like an inspired bit of wisdom. In fairness, it may be genuine wisdom and perhaps I am just a little jealous because another parent beat me to sharing it with him. Parental competition aside, there seems to be no equal to experience.
#1 son recently had a car accident. No one hurt. His fault. His car is a total loss. Insurance coverage was minimal and will not be paying out for a replacement.
He had saved for almost one full year to afford that car. He refused to get a loan. He chose to pay for it in full. He reached his goal through hard work and fiscal discipline. We watched the market for months leading up to his actual purchase. He saw cars come and go. Some were enticing, others not worth his time. He continued to drive his 17 year-old car with a bent frame and tires that could not be fully aligned and required more frequent rotation to extend their life while he saved for the next car.
We spotted a good deal and the timing was perfect. It arrived on the local scene just as his bank account reached his target amount. He would be able to buy it, pay the taxes, and go from a beat up junker to a nice car with lots of options. It was almost nicer than my own car. Same make and model year. Only 15,000 miles more on it than mine. He bought it.
He quickly settled in with it and was happy. Until that midday Friday moment where it all ended in metal meeting metal, deploying side air bags, and shattered glass for good measure. The other vehicle? Barely a scratch. His car? Passenger side caved in. He was driving alone and on the side away from the low-speed impact.
Now, he has to restart his savings goal. Once again, set the target. Work hard and remain disciplined to reach it. His friends encourage him to just take out a loan and make payments. He refuses. They want to siphon away small amounts of cash on restaurants and movies. He partially relents and chooses one or the other, not both, saving the difference. The path is a long one for him. His determination will serve him well.
Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase: “_____ is the new _____.”