Sometimes when it comes to acting rich or not acting rich you have to take time to understand yourself. I’m not talking about understanding an idealistic version of who you think you are, I’m talking about a true understanding of yourself, faults and all.
The recent unseasonably warm weather was the impetus for me to analyze how fortunate and wasteful we are as a household.
With warm weather comes the need to maintain the lawn. There’s the usual spring cleanup that is followed by the weekly mowing and scheduled fertilizing (and of course weeding). Our lawn requires a reliable lawnmower to handle the job.
Over the years we purchased several mowers only to run them into the ground. In other words, we practiced reactionary maintenance. When something went wrong we fixed it, but we didn’t perform preventative maintenance.
We used one financial excuse after another for why we couldn’t maintain the mower, but we always came up with emergency cash to fix it when it broke down due to lack of maintenance. We continued the cycle until the mowers were no longer fixable (sort of like the way most folks treat their health).
There’s nothing like a few Bible verses to provide the necessary kick in the pants:
In Luke 12:48: “…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required…” and in Matthew 25:29 “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”
If you’re not familiar with the Matthew verse, I recommend you read the entire Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30 ).
With this brutal revelation, and the warm spring weather, we began looking yet again at lawnmowers. Given our history with lawnmowers, and that we have proven over and over again that we should not own one, at least not until we learn how to properly care for one, we opted for finding a reliable lawn service.
You see, we were sort of like the child who constantly damages, loses or destroys her laptop. Until the child proves she is responsible enough to properly maintain her device, she should not be rewarded with another one just because all of her friends have one. If she really needs to use a computer, there’s always the library.
Economics vs. Behavior
In the long run, it’s more economical to purchase and maintain a lawnmower for lawn maintenance. Even with annual tune-ups and the price of gas, it’s more economical to own a lawnmower than to hire a service year after year. It may take a couple of years for the mower to pay for itself, but if it’s properly maintained it’s a good investment.
Unfortunately, until our “lawnmower fund” grows large enough to purchase another lawnmower (we’ve learned not to buy things we can’t afford), we will pay a service to maintain our lawn this year. Maybe by the end of the season and we have learned our lesson on how to properly maintain equipment, we can purchase a quality mower. We will also sign a contract with the manufacturer/retailer to service the machine on an annual basis.
Getting something is a gift; properly maintaining it shows appreciation for the gift. Those who do not appreciate what they get will get no more until they prove worthiness.
That’s my 2 cents and I’m sticking with it!