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Make hay while the sun shines!
Old 03-06-2004, 09:57 AM   #1
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Make hay while the sun shines!

The CEO of the company I worked for used this phrase a few days ago while discussing competitive advantage, but it goes for RE too. Especially those of us still dreaming.


Not too many years ago, we had that dotcom bubble and many people I knew were drawing high salaries - in retrospect perhaps the highest they'll ever get.

Some stored some of that cash away, investing it outside the bubble - and while they may have taken the hit with everyone else, they were also in a financial position to not have to worry too much about where their next meal would come from.

But many didn't. I know one guy who was making more than I was who blew his wad on a Caddy SUV and an apartment in the best part of town. He ended up having to sell the car and move back in with his folks for a bit.

Knew a bunch of other people who did similar things - expensive car, big apartment, nights on the town, trips to some place I can't pronounce. They had a ball while it lasted, but the hangover can be a bitch.

These people didn't make hay. As a result they squandered an incredible opportunity to put extra cash away while they had a surplus AND they were young. The opportunity cost of wasting that money is mind-numbing.

I'm guilty of this too - when I graduated from college, one of the first things I did (after I landed a job) was buy a new car. Terrible financial decision. I still have the car and will until the wheels fall off, but I'd be farther along the path to RE if I had bought a used car at half the price, and invested the rest.


So if the "sun" is shining for you - and even in this economy, it is for many of us - challenge yourself to save a little bit more. There's no guarantee that you will be able to ten years from now - or even tomorrow.
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!
Old 03-06-2004, 10:55 AM   #2
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!

PBS' "Frontier House" special a few years back really brought that expression home to my kid. Every day the "pioneers" were cooking, sewing, cleaning, chopping, hauling, milking, digging, hoeing, and working harder than she's ever seen. But what were they supposed to do with their "spare" time? Make hay.

They were lectured & warned on this every day that they trained for the job. Everyone took it half-heartedly (half-overwhelmed?) until August, but by then the hay didn't have as much nutrition as the June/July stuff. By the time everyone got serious it was too late.

Every one of their animals would have had trouble surviving the Montana winter. Many would have died.

The ER parallels are clear! The only "problem" is that formerly "annual" reminders now don't become clear until it's too late to recover.

But now when she uses that expression I know she's not just mimicking her grandparents.

BTW, I hear that PBS' Colonial House is coming this summer-- Jamestown 1607.
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!
Old 03-06-2004, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!

Quote:
The ER parallels are clear! The only "problem" is that formerly "annual" reminders now don't become clear until it's too late to recover.

But now when she uses that expression I know she's not just mimicking her grandparents.

BTW, I hear that PBS' Colonial House is coming this summer-- Jamestown 1607.
I didn't catch that show, but I did see a Canadian version called Pioneer Quest which was similar. Only in their case, the rains killed that year's hay crop and yeah, the animals would have starved if it wasn't for the neighbors who had surplus hay.

You're right, though, we don't get reminders about saving until it is too late. People think it isn't sunny yet, say they'll save later, but then later comes and only then did they realize they missed it.
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!
Old 03-08-2004, 02:29 PM   #4
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!

I definitely agree with "making hay while the sun shines"... that's what my husband and I are doing now!

Another phrase that captures how I look at things is "Every little bit helps." Even though saving $5 on a purchase is just a drop in the bucket... even though selling an article for $100 is not that much... every little bit helps! And if you take all those "little bits" and add them up, well, it's not so little any more!
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!
Old 03-08-2004, 02:33 PM   #5
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!

Indeed. One of my favorite examples of this was in "the millionaire next door". In his example, a couple who smoked their whole lives and spent abour 33k on cigs could instead have had a portfolio of $2M had they invested the same money in philip morris over the years.
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!
Old 03-16-2004, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Make hay while the sun shines!

Or you could save big bucks by "rolling your own". Yet another use for used dryer sheets!

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