Some traditions that we keep are time honored and have meaning. Others are culture driven stress builders. They serve little purpose and in the end consume many resources that could be used in a better way.
The diamond ring as an engagement ring is not only a recent development in history, it also has become quite an expensive tradition. The normal cost of a ring is said to be two months salary. Imagine what a broke young couple starting out could do with two months worth of money. Then there are the added costs from sizing, cleaning, and insurance. I have found as a young mom half the time I can’t even wear my ring because it doesn’t fit while I’m pregnant or I’m afraid I will scratch my young children while playing with them.
I’m not saying don’t get a ring, but get one that is less expensive or from a different stone. If you must have a fancy diamond ring, make it a goal for your 25th anniversary.
That Amusement Park Trip
You know which park I’m talking about. Most likely your children have hundreds of DVDs, toys, and even bedding with their name scrawled across it. They begin with a D (as in dollars) and ends in a Y (as in why would we spend $100 per person to get into a theme park?). They have cruises and resorts and hotels. People will stress over when to take their children and how to get there before the magic has died.
I promise you, it’s okay to let the magic die. I never visited that particular theme park until I was 24 years old on work related trip. From my adult eyes I could see that I hadn’t missed out on something essential to my childhood.
With the amount that you spend one of these trips there are thousands of other family memories that could be built with that money. Even better you could have numerous more affordable trips and a lot more fun for the price of that one.
It has become a tradition to buy a car for your child as a high school graduation, Christmas, or birthday gift. While I agree that a car should be safe and it may not be when paid with a part time high school job, the car doesn’t need to be new. Teenagers, even when doing their best will get into fender benders, misjudge the space between cars while parking, or drive fast when they are emotional. Let them break in a used car. If you still want to get them a new car do it for a college graduation. They will have gotten the hang of driving and will most likely need a new car by then.
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