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The Webfooted Astronomer - July 2001


From the President's Pen . . . I Want It Now!!

By Mary Ingersoll

A young boy and his father were walking through the mall one day. The boy stopped outside a toy store, his eyes riveted to his heart's desire. "There it is, Dad!" His father looked at the object and asked, "Do you have enough money?" "Oh yes, Father! I've been working hard and saving my money, just like you told me to do. I've got just enough."
"Just enough, you say? Did you account for sales tax, too?"
"Yes. I checked the tax tables before we left home. Can I buy it now?"
"But," said his father "How much will you have in your pocket if you buy this thing?"
"Not much."
"What if you need money tomorrow to go someplace with your friends, will "not much" be enough to get you there?"
"'Maybe' doesn't sound too good to me, Son."
"But Dad, I want it NOW!"
"Well, Son, where would we all be if everybody just bought whatever they wanted whenever they wanted it? Would you be able to save for college? Buy a house? Retire comfortably?"
"I don't know, Dad, but I don't think I can wait that long."
"Because I don't think I'll be too interested in a skateboard when I'm 84."

It's hard to teach young people the good reasons for saving because they are unable to see much further than a few weeks down the road of life. But it can also be just as difficult to know when to spend the money you've been saving when all you know how to do is save. What's the best way to spend money? What's the best way to spend the club's money?

The board has been very careful over the past six years. Board members were very frugal, saving and getting by on less in order to grow a secure nest egg for the club. Now we believe that it is time to work with the extra money we have for the benefit of the members who invested it. The board wants to put together a budget, a proposal for short term goals and a proposal for long term goals.

On July 18, we will be meeting at our regular time and place to have a discussion about the future. About the future of the club and where we want to invest our money. It is very important that you submit your opinions either by mailing the survey to us, or by bringing it to the July 18 meeting for discussion. This could be the shortest meeting of the year, or it could end up being the longest. It is my hope that this will be a time of open discussion where we can be free to voice our opinions and lay the ground work so that the board can complete a plan of action that will be both beneficial as well as profitable for the club. I believe it is possible to save and spend responsibly. Come and talk.

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