September 11, 2008 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #588188
I see plenty of posts about takanos against fancy weddings or not sending girls to seminary for $25,000 and how we as a community should stop this spending when so many people cannot afford it. Why are you spending thousands of dollars on new clothing every year? Or how children nowadays want to spend $25k on seminary, then get married (with a big wedding) and be supported while their husband is in kollel?
Why are fathers who earn nice salaries getting heart attacks because of the stress? If you cannot afford something, why are you buying it? Why spend $20,000+ on a wedding if you cannot afford it? Why are you agreeing to support your children in kollel if you cannot afford it?
I do not begrudge my friends who could afford to spend much more on their weddings or the $25k on seminary or their fancy cars or parents who can support them in kollel 100%. I understand that some people have more money in life, and no not everything is fair.
(I come up as anonymous but I am SJSinNYC and I am 25 years old. I realize I rambled a bit, but I hope my point came across)September 11, 2008 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #621809
SJSinNYC: you did not ramble. A thick book could be written on this subject.September 12, 2008 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #621810
anon for thisParticipant
SJSinNYC, I agree with a lot of what you write. People do have to learn to live within their means. I also grew up having somewhat less than many around me, and I also learned to be careful with money. I don’t feel I need to use my limited financial resources (B”H we have enough, but none of us have unlimited funds) on a shaitel or a new vehicle when a hat or snood & used van (over 15 years old B”H) work just as well for me.
However, I think that a lot of people do find it difficult to have less than those around them. Also, some people in some frum communities are suspicious of those who do things differently than they do, even if it’s for financial reasons. Complicating these issues is the fact that young people incur some of the expenses you mentioned, such as seminary & wedding costs, at a time when their financial outlook may not have fully matured. For these reasons, many people may find takanos helpful, since they help take the pressure off.
I also think that classes in managing household finances should be manadatory in sll frum schools at the high school level.September 12, 2008 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #621811
Anon for this, young people don’t incur expences like sem and weddiings. It’s their parents. It starts when the little ones want every toy in the store, and goes on and on.
Kol Hakovod to SJSinNYC for understanding. Takanos help because if a person is embarassed to say he can’t afford it, he could act like a tzadik and say he WOULD get it, but he’s following the takanos. Heats off of him.September 12, 2008 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm #621812
I think if more people were forthcoming about “not doing something the community does” (albeit one that is not halachically related), the more people would feel comfortable also bucking the trend. I think we would all be surprised how little money other people have (it seems like everyone has so many extra resources except your own pocket book…) – why rely on takanos to stand up for yourself? They take the pressure off of those who cannot afford it and shouldnt be spending it to begin with.
If your kids are not responsible enough to understand basic money principles, how can they get married???? You are sending them into one of the biggest responsibilities in their lives, which will bring many challenges and frustrations, but you dont think they can handle the word NO? Should those kids really be getting married?September 12, 2008 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #621813
you raise some valid points. I agree that when your kid is getting married they should hopefully be able to understand taht you can’t spend more than you can afford just because other ppl do so.
But what about younger kids? Should I get outdated clearance clothing, shoes or glasses for my kids for pennies instead of buying a more up to date style for them? On one hand its good to teach them money management. On the other hand how will their self esteem be affected if they feel like nerds and get ridiculed by the jones’s kids in their class who have more up to date stuff? And what if ALL the kids in their class have the up to date look? Can a young child handle being so different? At what age do you start?September 12, 2008 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #621814
The kids who are called nerds are not called that because of their clothing. Their clothing is just an object that is used against them. Just like kids make fun of people’s name. You can have one kid who has a “funny” name and no one ever makes a joke about it and another with a similarly “funny” name who gets ridiculed all the time. Deal with the issues, not the manifestations.
The OP is 100% right. And if the community “is suspicious” of you, then you should definitely take the high road. Out of there.
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