Beware Of Unwise Spending Habits

Beware Of Unwise Spending Habits

In Genesis 31:14-16, Jacob had been talking with his wives, Rachel and Leah, about his decision to stop working for their father, Laban. Although the working relationship had been strained for years, Jacob did wait until he felt God’s call on him to move on. Rachel and Leah were supportive of their husband’s decision.

The women’s response to Jacob calls to mind two issues that we should all be careful to consider. Both issues are connected because they both pertain to how we handle our finances. One question to reflect on is, "Are we being careful with our own retirement assets?" Another question we should ask ourselves is, "Are we protecting our children’s inheritance?"

Blowing through retirement monies

It seems that Laban had not been doing a good job with handling his money. His daughters were able to see that his wealth had been taken away, and that he had used up their dowries.

Given that his daughters are married and having children of their own, we can expect that Laban was more mature. We can probably assume that he was approaching his retirement years.

Retirement years are not a time to find ourselves short on resources. Laban did not have a Social Security system to fall back on, and we shouldn’t count on ours either. While we are in our working years, we should be creating a plan that enables us to care for ourselves in retirement.

Blowing through our children’s inheritance

Another question that the women raised suggested that Laban’s daughters no longer had a share in their father’s estate. Granted, in Biblical times, daughters were not in line to inherit anything from their father. Upon marriage, the women were to be taken care of by their husbands.

The fact that we are not living in Biblical times should not change our perspective about how we provide for our children. In fact, Paul gave us some guidance in 2 Corinthians 12:14. It reads, "…After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children." (NIV)

If we read Proverbs 13:22, we can see that we should take it a step further. "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children" (NIV)

We were not put here on earth to live in selfish isolation. God designed us to be in families, and to operate like a family. We are all interconnected.

We don’t have to look back too far to see great examples of this concept in action. As Americans, our history, our country’s foundation, was built upon the ability to worship freely. But, if we study further, we can see example upon example of revolutionary men and women who fought hard for change, to improve the lives of their children and future generations.

Do we share that same struggle? Are we still fighting to make things better for those who will come behind us? Or have we been given so much that we have become complacent and take everything for granted?…

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The Tulip Mania and Crash In 1637

What Was Tulip Mania?

Tulip mania began when tulips were developed and sold for profit. They were extremely wanted and sold at extremely high prices. The tulips, which were introduced during the Dutch Gilden Age, were rare and hard to come by. For that reason, sales of a single bulb could reach as high in price as ten times an annual salary of an individual. This may sound extreme, but they were thought to be so rare and so interesting that acquiring them was important to individuals from all walks of life.

Why Tulips?

Why was the tulip so sought after? Aside from its relatively new introduction, the flower itself was wanted for aesthetic appeal. The flower was beautiful in color and had large petals that expressed the hue vividly. It became a status symbol based on its beauty and its use in the national crest of the Netherlands. The Netherlands, who had just received their independence from Spain, saw the tulip as a symbol of national pride and appeal as well as independence. For this reason, it quickly became a luxurious item that was greatly sought after. It, in essence, was more than just a flower but a symbol of so much more.

The Crash

The problem, however, that resulted in the 1637 Tulip Mania Crash was that this pricing could not last forever. Eventually, the market crashed and when it did, it crashed hard. The price of bulbs went from the high levels it was before to a drop in price that was virtually incalculable. It is thought that this crash was the first economic bubble burst accurately and correctly recorded in history. Therefore, the crash provided an example for what countries would experience in a multitude of ways in the future.

Why The Refusal To Buy?

The 1637 Tulip Mania Crash began in Haarlem when at a large bulb auction no buyers showed up to purchase bulbs. The trade that had been so lucrative up until then virtually instantaneously stopped. The reason could have been the outbreak of the Bubonic plague which had people fearing leaving their homes and coming into contact with another person who was infected. For whatever reason though the industry was decimated in a single day. The market crashed and many bulb investors saw their products go down the economic drain instantly.

Impact

The 1637 Tulip Mania Crash is more than about a popular flower. It is a clear illustration and tangible example of what can happen in economics. As soon as a product or item becomes popular it can just as quickly fall from the ranks and lead to devastating economic consequences. Whether tulips or another product, rise in fame in a country, the economy can become so tied to it that the two are virtually inseparable. Then, when that crashes or drops, the economy is decimated. This scenario has occurred multiple times throughout history and the lessons that should be learned are often not. Knowing about the tulip mania crash may …