Saturday, May 17, 2008

Amy Dacyzyn sighting plus Torah and giftcards

Another article from on frugality in the MSM, this time from the Boston Globe. Best aspect: an Amy Dacyzyn sighting. I kind of think of her as the JD Salinger of frugality: affected so many people, and then disappeared. DW found another interview with her on Simple Dollar.

I'm pretty jealous of the people who were "hardwired for frugality from childhood." My parents basically never talked about money, and they spent it like they had it - eating out 3 times a week, all that sort of thing. I've never been as consumer-minded as they, but neither did I have any "financial literacy," as the phrase goes. That's a big part of why I'm behind the 8-ball so badly right now. Teaching the kids to be frugal is probably the best gift we can give them.

Speaking of which - I probably should make this a new post, but what the heck - my daughter was in private lessons with a young rabbi here, he gives the kids stickers for attending services, leading prayers, etc. and then when they get to a certain level they can trade in the stickers for a small gift. My daughter was pretty into Webkinz there for a while so every once in a while she would come home with another one. I personally don't think we should reward kids financially for Torah study but it was small so I was willing to let it go.

Then at the end of the year she came home with $70 in giftcards, one from a teacher supply store and one from Hallmark. Now, she doesn't even get $70 for her birthday, at least not from us she doesn't, so this seemed way over the top. And who needs $35 at Hallmark? What useful item, that isn't a useless chotchke, can even be purchased there? If it was to a bookstore, or Amazon, I could almost see it - although it would still be over the top. But this borders on crazy.

Of course, she moaned about our reaction to him and he appealed the decision. It seems needlessly tight to take them away from her, especially since it's not our money, but I can't help but wonder what message this sends, on a lot of levels. Basically we're to the point of demanding she spend 10% of the money on purchases for charitable purchases, but I'm not sure what else is worth doing. Thoughts on the subject will be gratefully accepted.

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