Monday, November 29, 2010

Peace in this Life

For the past few days, I had been ignoring on my local news site a story about a tragic car accident occurring on Thanksgiving Day. I have been avoiding reading bad news in general. Imagine my shock to learn the accident involved people I know!

Today, I received an email from one of my personal finance class graduates who was writing from the hospital. The horrible news stories were about her family! Her husband and one of their daughters were killed in this terrible accident. This student was herself seriously injured and two other children were hurt, one critically and still in intensive care clinging to life.

I thought I was misreading the words in her email, but, no, they were clear. Every time I read that one sentence, it meant her husband was not alive. It is so difficult to emotionally comprehend that the student with the bright blue eyes, big smile, and mind whirling in vibrant thought could be gone already. That's how I will always remember Stu. He often looked like his world was being lit up and expanded.

In the first couple classes of the personal finance course, Trudy sat with her head in her hands, obviously wondering if any of this material was going to help considering the hole they found themselves in. Stuart listened quietly, looking like he was just waiting, expecting, hoping that if they hung in there, something was going to click and catapult them.

Trudy and Stu became some of my favorite people. In our three months together, they came a long way in their financial journey, from hopelessness to peace. Their changed countenances were evident to everyone in class. My heart leapt in my chest every time I heard them share victories. Trudy exclaimed in several of our later classes, "We are for the first time in our marriage on the same page! I have peace, financial peace!"

I am tearful thinking of their progress, and I have mixed feelings. Separated just when they have reached a place of increased unity? Or, YES! They got to enjoy another level of unity and awareness before being separated for a time! It is in the perspective, isn't it? (Isn't everything?)

A measure of comfort to me comes in the joy of playing a part in some of their peace, some of their hope, and some of their healing. My heart aches and my eyes weep, but I am also humbled to have witnessed a handful of the wonderful growth moments Stu and Trudy shared together.

The reason I do this work is to bring peace and hope into the lives of families. This is part of my God-given mission. Life is too meaningful to let the distractions of money problems dull family relations and experiences on this earth. While I know there are many types of assaults on the family unit today, I feel a duty in arming families against at least one of the fiery darts of the adversary.

May you and I keep moving forward on our journey of peace in this life.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Frugal Friday: Give You

Right now, most of you are sleeping. The rest of you crazy people are standing in line somewhere in the freezing darkness of way-too-early morning with mental maps of your Black Friday bargain routes. Here is an idea that leaves you feeling warm inside and out.

Giving and receiving things is fun, but sometimes, I find what I really want is more experiences with the people I love. For a frugal and meaningful gift alternative, give you for Christmas. Not only is it light on the wallet and heavy on the sentiment, but it is symbolic of Christ's gift-giving. How is it that the most loved person in the history of the earth gained a following without giving out a single free Wii? He simply gave of himself.

Some of my very most favorite gifts have been acts of service or tokens of love from my husband. On our first Christmas Eve, he forbade me from going into the laundry room of our tiny apartment. He disappeared into the windowless room, and all I heard for nearly an hour was the sound of a drill. The next morning, I unwrapped a little wooden stool he put together from a kit bought at the local thrift store. He explained it was a kissing stool to help make up the difference in our heights. I was so touched by the thought he put into this simple gift (and, of course, by the promise of many sweet kisses)! I was in such a good mood the following day as I painted the words "KISSING STOOL" on that stool.

Another gift my husband gave me that Christmas (and a few times since on different holidays) was a short note expressing his love for me and excitement starting out our journey together. I learned that first Christmas as husband and wife that I really love these types of gifts more than I enjoy stuff.

Below are some ways you can give of yourself.
  1. Photos - group photo, romantic or humorous photo stories printed from your computer, personalized calendar
  2. Journal - compilation of stories or interesting facts about the receiver, or a recap of the giver's year or life
  3. A letter of appreciation or love - include a meaningful memory or a shared hope
  4. Frozen meals - from a working woman to a stay-at-home mom, who doesn't appreciate not having to cook every so often?
  5. Family video - a recap of the year, or a skit, or a collection of talents. This is a great gift for far-away relatives or friends
  6. Cookies accompanied with recipe - YUM! 'Nuff said.
  7. A jogging partner - The frequency is up to you!
  8. Massage - Yes, please!
  9. Facial - My husband actually enjoys when I take care of him and apply treatments to his face.
  10. Music mix - a CD of music that is funny/meaningful/uplifting to the receiver with personalized liner notes
  11. An hour of housekeeping - Isn't it nice to get a helping hand?
  12. Free babysitting - Need I say more?
  13. Schedule of Girls' Nights Out - Sometimes, all you need to get through the month is looking forward to a fun night with friends!
  14. Staycation - there are interesting things to see right where you live; set up a tour to go with your friend or relative
  15. Movie and picnic in the living room - no crowds, no traffic, no over-priced popcorn
  16. Computer tech help - If you're the guy or gal with the skills, there are lots of people who would enthusiastically receive your gifts and talents.
  17. Song or poem - If you can write these, create a short one for someone on your list.
  18. Art - I have on my walls some art created and given to me by people I know (kids and adults)
Stuff is fun, and I really appreciate some of the great stuff I have received over the years, but I find it easier to remember the tokens and service I have received because of the emotions they triggered for me. I feel really special when I know someone has been thinking of me beyond scratching my name off a list.

The Kissing Stool is still being used in our kitchen today, 10 years later.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I love giving gifts! Sometimes, I go overboard with projects and details, but I thoroughly enjoy thinking of and creating or finding gifts for people I love!


Every year, without fail, I have some relatives who take the joy out of giving by expressing various forms of ingratitude at the time of receiving my gifts. Most often, they do it simply by minimizing gift-giving and the holidays in general. They do not know how much thought I put into choosing a gift that fits their lives and our budget. They are likely unaware how happy I am while I wrap their gifts, excited to hand them over to their new owners. Whatever their consciousness, my glee balloon is annually deflated a little when I am with them. They are not gracious receivers, and they take the fun out of celebration.

I've lately been tempted to stop giving them anything. Fortunately, my sweet husband reminds me we should continue being who we are despite how other people react. However, even he no longer puts as much thought into the gifts we give these people.

This holiday season, as I was looking at their names on our Christmas list, the thought came to me that I am ungrateful for some of the gifts Heavenly Father has given me. I give my obligatory "thanks" in prayer and in conversation but then complain about some feature that is not to my liking. Take for example, my husband's job. My husband LOVES his job, which puts him in a great mood. (If you have ever had a husband who greatly dislikes their work environment, you know what a blessing it is to have a husband who comes home happy.) My husband's job pays well, has excellent benefits, has made travel possible for us at the price of "almost free", is extremely flexible in that my husband can come home midday for a few hours if I need him, gives him plenty of sick and vacation days, is located close to home, gives my husband a bonus and a raise every year, and places great value on his contributions. My husband's job is an amazing gift in our lives!

Imagine Heavenly Father picking this gift out for me and weighing all its great features and thinking how much we will love all those bells and whistles of this package. When he gives it to us, I say "thanks, we appreciate a job to help provide for us." But do you know what friends hear most from me about this job? "They send him on too many work trips!" I complain, I tantrum, and I pout. (And I pout some more.) Man, what a spoiled brat!

I wonder... What other things do I minimize? Does Heavenly Father sometimes feel like not giving me another gift because I always complain it's not "just right"? Does He feel like giving up much thought in His next gift until I buck up with some sincere thank-you's? I do not know exactly His thoughts, but I do know from experience that *I* am much more excited and put more energy into gifts for people who receive them with kindness, grace, or enthusiasm.
"Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things. ...

"And in nothing doth man offend God, or against non is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

(Doctrine & Covenants 59:7, 21)

This is one of the things I know for sure: We become immediately richer when we are grateful. Ingratitude is an insatiable creature that is appeased only for a moment before being again convinced it is wanting and incomplete.

When I feel unhappy about some circumstance in my life, there are some basic things I have become accustomed to pulling to the forefront of my mind that immediately change my state to contentment:
  • Indoor plumbing. I can take a shower any day I want. Indoors! With warm water! Also, I can turn a faucet and - SHAZAM! - there is water to brush my teeth and fill a pot for cooking. I have not one, not two, but three toilets I can choose from to have waste instantly whisked far, far away! It is amazing.
  • Temperature-controlled home. There's a working furnace to keep my home warm and windows and walls to keep the snow and wind outside. It is 6°F outside right now and yet, I'm comfortably sitting in my house wearing no socks or shoes on my feet!
  • Washer and dryer. I can set my clothes to wash or to dry while I am occupied in some other task or doing nothing at all. No beating shirts on a rock in an icy river for me!
  • Soap. I am grateful for soap, to wash my body, my dishes, my clothes. I even have a different "soap" for my hair, another for my face, and yet another for my teeth! How many types of soap can a person have? I am thankful I get a choice.
  • Internet. I am grateful for internet that helps me keep in touch with far-away people, have access to resources I would not otherwise even know about, and find desired information in a few clicks and searches. How do you think I know it is 6°F outside?
  • Shoes. I have so many shoes! Shoes for walking, for running, for relaxing, and many more for just looking pretty. They all have intact soles, and they are all in my correct size.
  • Safety. I live in a safe neighborhood with great neighbors and beautiful surroundings. I am blessed to live in a safe country. Hooray for The United States of America!
  • The Priesthood. I tap into this power so often it sometimes drives my husband batty. There is comfort in knowing I can ask for a priesthood blessing whenever I need calming and direction. During a blessing, I always feel like I am a little daughter sitting on Heavenly Father's lap receiving the parenting I need.

Now, that I have made time to reflect on it, I am also grateful for the instances of ingratitude I have encountered because they have helped me pause and recommit to giving thanks daily. I hope, too, your Thanksgiving Day is a renewal in counting your blessings day by day.


"Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed." (Hymns, no. 219, "Because I Have Been Given Much")

Friday, November 19, 2010

Frugal Friday: Squeeze Bottle

Here's another tip I came up with when we were foster parents.

Our new kids had not ever eaten salad. They freaked out when we told them to eat leaves. After a two weeks though, they were begging for seconds on salad. One of the tricks was to let them pour their own salad dressing. Unfortunately, we all know that the holes in store-bought salad dressing bottles are big enough to fit a cucumber; the kids were using up a LOT of dressing per meal. (And heaven help you if you don't notice when that plastic top gets stuck in the screw lid; you'll inadvertently be serving yourself Salad Dressing Soup.)

Enter the condiment squeeze bottle.

I filled one with Ranch dressing and the kids were able to pour their own salad dressing without squeezing cupfuls onto their plates. Even when they squeezed hard, all that came out was a thin pipe of dressing. I found that we didn't run out of dressing nearly as fast as we used to. As an adult, I liked this too because I could evenly spread dressing goodness over my entire salad without using a lot of the fatty stuff.

The kids have long moved on, but I still use this tip and expanded the idea to my other condiments as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"New Found Money" FINAL UPDATE

Tah-Dah! End of the challenge!

The challenge was to see how much money I could bring in with consistent weekly action and without crazed effort.

The rules were:

  • For 10 weeks, from September 13th until November 20th
  • List something for sale or offer a service every week
  • Minimum of two items or services per week
  • Once a week, update results
Technically, the experiment was set to end this Saturday, but mid-challenge, I decided to post updates on Thursdays.

I thought I would run out of things to sell, so I did offer housekeeping services in the last two weeks, though no takers on that.

I also confirmed that when selling things, one needs to predetermine whether they are selling them to bring in as much money as possible or selling them to get clutter out of the house. This will help prevent confusion when entertaining offers from potential buyers. During this challenge, I found myself just wanting to get rid of things I no longer wanted even though I thought I would have wanted to get as much money as possible to end with a big grand total at the end of the challenge. Holding out for larger dollars means being patient, holding on to items longer, and waiting for the right buyer. Putting items on eBay helped me get rid of things within 3-5 days but the fees shrunk profits big time! I go through phases when it comes to how long I am willing to have an item listed, and it is OK if you do, too. The purpose of this experiment was to highlight the results of consistent action.

Guess what? I did not run out of things to sell. As I cleaned different parts of my house or went through different drawers, I randomly found one or two things at a time that I no longer wanted or needed. To me, they had no value, but apparently to someone else, they were worth something, like the broken cell phones listed below. Who knew? Never ever discount your ability to exchange things for money.

Week November 11th - November 18th
  • cheek cell samples for birth defects study $20
  • broken cell phone $8.35
  • another broken cell phone $2.39
  • potty-training pants $5.50

Sub-total this week: $36.24
Grand total: $361.61

That's an extra $36 per week by casually selling things from my house! An extra $144 a month would help a lot of families cover unforeseen events.

Here is a complete list of items sold in the last 10 weeks. Notice that most of the money came from little things. Except for seven line items averaging at $30.65, everything else was sold at an average of $5.88.

cheek cell samples for birth defects study $20
broken cell phone $8.35
another broken cell phone $2.39
potty-training pants $5.50
coupons $26.55
coupon $7.87
baby sling $9.94
coupons $1.87
Christmas ornaments $6
kid's boombox- $25
cloth napkins $1.25
two bowls $1.25
dress $3
two Christmas outdoor lights timers $8
can of oven cleaner $0
baby formula $5
marble cutting board $13.09
baby supplies coupons 1.34
collective figurines $7.79
candle lanterns $10.28
formula coupons $7.03
publications rolling case $10
diaper coupons $1.11
baby bottles $20
picnic basket $5
set of goblets $8
Christmas tree $35
received coupons for free diapers which saved me $48
watch $10
file cabinet $8
quote tile $5
postpartum interview for study about birth defects $40

Something else I noticed during the challenge was that because my mindset was in selling things I already had, I recognized coupons in the mail as a source of money. How many times have you thrown away coupons delivered in your mailbox because they were not for items or services you were interested in?

After tithes, all of this new money goes to my retirement account. Remember when I first mentioned compound interest? If I put my after-tithe "challenge" money into a retirement account and added NOTHING ELSE, compound interest (calculated at 10% interest) would in 30 years make that lump of money into $5,678.91! Let's bypass the wait and go ahead and say that's my total now from the 10-week challenge. (Kidding!) (Sort of.)

What could you do with money you "found" each week? What can you sell now to contribute to your goals?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Repentant Steward


Right now, yes, RIGHT THIS MOMENT, I am going over my checking account and realizing I have gone a little overboard with after-Halloween sales and a local company's "going out of business" sale. Fortunately, we have the money to cover my impulses, but looking now, I would rather the money had gone to something else. I feel like a BLAH steward.

Yes, I make mistakes still. (Gasp!) Am I still learning? Thankfully, yes. Would I rather be perfect? Yes. Will you make mistakes, too? Yep. Knowing this, we are also learning to be nicer to ourselves when we goof.

Every once in a while, someone in the personal finance class I teach gets a little frustrated that their budget still reveals kinks after 3 months. More than once, I've said "this class will not make you perfect." Sure, it's an awesome resource and provides great tools, but it will not overcome all human tendencies in one session. We all want to do better and think that a big enough desire is sufficient to erase all possibilities of future mistakes. The truth is practice-practice-practice is what grows our muscles, spiritual, physical, financial, and all else.

Hmm... I suppose it is times like these that shed light on how far we have come. I am grateful that because we have made such strides in our financial journey, we can afford a larger learning curve. My overspending will not rob us of food or get our lights shut off.

I hope you feel grateful, too:
Gratitude that you are now in a situation with a larger buffer against you and impulsiveness.
Gratitude that you are learning things now to help you create a better financial picture than yesterday's.
Gratitude to start again with the power of experiences.

But when we're in the middle of a blunder, is it OK to get mad at yourself? I say, sure! Right now, I feel kind of sucky.




OK. Time to get back up and move along.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Frugal Friday: Soup and Rice

We're entering hot soup weather!

Easy tip to stretch most soups is to add brown rice. Brown rice also creates a full stomach effect because the fiber expands inside the belly, which means you need less food to feel satisfied. (Be careful if you are a fast eater or you will have a very full effect!)

I even throw brown rice into canned soups. When I have procrastinated on making lunch and the girlie and the husband are hungry NOW, I pull out a can of chunky soup from the pantry and a portion of frozen brown rice from my freezer. (Hm. Did I mention the frozen rice before? It's a great timesaver!)

I thaw the rice for a minute or two in the microwave and then throw it into a saucepan with the soup and warm as usual, stirring occasionally. Throw a nice simple salad on the side (or just some select veggies and a dipping sauce) and it's a tide-over lunch for three!

Now, isn't this kinder on your wallet, your time, and your hiney than picking up something "to go" on the road?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"New Found Money" update #8

Almost at the end of the challenge! Only 11 days left!

The further I get into this experiment, the more challenges enter my family. Is Heavenly Father showing me just how hectic it gets for some of my sisters out there? Me thinks that's not a bad strategy. (insert tired laugh)

Week November 4th - November 10th

coupons $26.55

Sub-total this week: $26.55
Running total: $325.37

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This blog will return to its scheduled programming

... as soon as the kids are over their illnesses.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Frugal Friday: Groceries Auction

I have friends and neighbors who are awesome coupon queens. They can come home with $100 worth of stuff for a whopping 43¢ or some other ridiculously low bottom line. While I use some coupons in my shopping, becoming a coupon queen is a whole other ball game, one that I know is a part-time job on its own.

Some of my friends have suggested I subscribe to the Sunday paper with all of its coupon inserts, but since offers for items I already use or eat come out rarely in that format, I have not done it. But I have found a way I can, at almost anytime of the year, find the coupons for items I already do use. I go to and bid on the coupon-clipping other women do!

Last month, I went onto eBay looking for coupons for my baby's brand of formula and found 16 coupons for FREE baby formula canisters. I messaged the seller and settled on a price of $84 for her services. That came out to $5.25 for each canister (regularly $13).

The eBay auction website is a good place to not only find multiples of specific coupons found in your Sunday paper but high-value coupons you may not have access to at all. (Just to clarify, you are actually purchasing or bidding on the seller's clipping and collecting of these coupons.) Almost at any time, I find coupons for diapers, toiletries, baby formula, groceries, paper goods, hygiene items, cleaners, frozen foods, organics, and produce listed for purchase or up for auction.

Browse through eBay to decide if this is a way you can lower your monthly grocery and non-foods bills. To get an idea of what types of coupons you may find, type "coupons" in the search box. To look for specific coupons, type "coupons" and whatever item or brand you are looking for (i.e. "diaper coupons" or "Gillette coupons"). Play around with the search box. What else do you spend money on to care for yourself and your family?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"New Found Money" update #7

I brought in $7.87 this week. Look at me rake it in!

Do you ever feel like you're not making much progress? Sometimes, we belittle our baby steps. Or we panic when results aren't as great as past victories. There is a time for every thing and every speed. Like the seasons on the earth, everything is cyclical and has a pattern. Even when things are "slow," I rather make a little progress than no progress.

What can we do with $7? Let's explore.

1) $7 can buy a couple loaves of bread, some tuna cans, and a big bunch of bananas to cover a few meals.
2) Or $7 can rent a few DVDs to entertain a family on the cheap for a month.
3) $7 can buy a toddler an outfit from the clearance bin.
4) What about putting $7 into a cookie jar each month for a year? That's $49 bucks to get a 30-minute massage on your birthday.
5) Depositing $7 into the cookie jar every month for 30 years would get us $2520. You could plan a nice anniversary party with your sweetheart!
6) What if instead of a cookie jar, we put that same $7 each month for 30 years into a retirement account? In that same 30 years, we'd have $14,054.79*! That's the power of compound interest, baby!

Whatever your financial goal at this time, whether it is food on the table or a savings account or a nest egg for your golden years, be wise. Be grateful for every grain in your silo. Every dollar counts. Let's go find some more!

(*Calculated at 10% interest for 30 years with interest compounded only once a year)

Week October 28th - November 3rd

coupon $7.87

Sub-total this week: $7.87
Running total: $298.82

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Driving Our Money, 2

I asked for some time to be alone with Tima. (Yes, the car had a name.) (Yes, I know.) I said I needed another month. (Sick, isn't it? It was just a car!) (Right?) During that month, every time I drove Tima, I stroked her steering wheel, looked at her shiny hood, and relaxed in her perfect, contoured seat as I allowed thoughts of her impending departure. Eventually, the voice in my heart took me to the point that I knew we had to sell this car ASAP. Why make payments just to look nice while I drove? Tima and I had enough goodbye time.

"OK," I sighed to my husband, "I'm ready to sell it."

After calling several dealerships in search for a buyer and being told that dealerships were no longer purchasing vehicles from private parties, we found one willing to take our full asking price. The buyer at the dealership happened to be a man who was present when we bought this silver car at a different dealership! He remembered us and said that this was a good car and he trusted his gut in purchasing from us. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidence.

We replaced that car with a 1996 Mitsubishi bought from my mother for $800. Really, it was in good condition and could have sold for 5 times our purchase price back then, but it was still a bit of a culture shock (for me) going back to a very visibly used car. My teenage brothers had driven it and had done who-knows-what to it (the large bumps and dents on the hood alone were evidence of rowdy times hanging out with friends).

I still drive this car today. Between it and the one David drives (the first car I ever bought by myself, a 1997 Nissan bearing scars from multiple rear-endings), we have learned a lot of lessons on withstanding the natural tendency to buy to impress.

We have been teased by friends, and I have seen how strangers and acquaintances look or don't look at our cars. I can sense when someone is using our cars help create their judgment about our money situation. This used to bother me some in the beginning because I felt the need to prove my financial standing and, when I dissected the core of the matter, my earthly worth.

Referencing Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Of the Seventy wrote,
"Each of us has a lifetime—although no one knows the length of that span—to determine where our real treasure is. It may be money, clothes, jewels, recognition, self-gratification, or a multitude of other things we seek throughout our lives. The only treasure worth seeking—the only one we can keep eternally—is righteousness.

"... our pursuit of perfection must be a constant endeavor if we are to overcome the forces seeking to turn our values toward earthly things."
Certainly, it is perfectly fine to have beautiful things (my patriarchal blessing even makes mention of this), but they must not be in exchange of better things. In our case, the commitment to a financed car was robbing us of a healthy emergency fund. Keeping our family uninsured from "rainy days" in order to look good on the road was a selfish desire.

A few months after sending off the shiny car, I began feeling free in my new old car. I don't know exactly when it happened, but I remember finding myself smiling while driving in my $800 car thinking about how wealthy we were becoming. The money that was previously tied up in a depreciating item was going towards things that grow in value. (Before you think me a saintly woman, know that it still took me about a year to become fully confident in my car.)

Today, this baptism by rusty car is where I mark the beginning of my happy, bumpy journey to "weird and at peace." I don't mind looking "broke" to other people because I know that David and I are good stewards of the blessings showered upon us. I am not living to the visual expectations of my peers. I am secure enough to drive a rusty tin can. Though it wasn't easy at first, I now enjoy being weird and free from societal expectations.

You, too, can experience that kind of fresh and rejuvenating freedom.

I won't always drive a 14-year-old car. When we purchase pretty cars in the future, they will be a joy and a blessing because we will have bought them in sound financial order. All good things must be done in order. I trust the order of peace and truth.

"The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all of our money. That worth depends on how we live, not on what we have."

(LeGrand R. Curtis, “Perfection: A Daily Process,” Ensign, Jul 1995, 30)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Driving Our Money, 1

In 2006, we had been living for two years in our newly-built home in a new development. Though we had been certified as foster parents and had been waiting for children to be placed in our home, we were caught off-guard when suddenly, in the course of a few hours, we received a sibling group of three young kids into our home. Immediately, being a one-car family did not work. In a panic, we went out and bought a nearly-new silver car. This particular body design was still new to the market, so a couple of neighbors who saw our car only in passing called to ask if we had just bought a new BMW (though it was not). I found I liked the case of mistaken identity.

I liked driving that car. EVERYTHING. FELT. RIGHT. It was beautiful. It was quiet. The steering wheel's girth was just right. The cabin was spacious and the trunk large. I fell in LOVE with that car!

A year later, when the foster children were moved to a new home, it became apparent we did not need this car and its accompanying car payment. We prayed over our finances and immediately knew the car was not in alignment with God's plan for us. We were just keeping the shiny thing because it was "nice". David and I talked and talked about the prophets' guidance to remain free from debt and discussed what would be a wiser use of our money. But guess who could not let go of that wonderful car?

Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in General Conference of November 2007:
"Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources...

"We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives. "
I felt great in that car. It was roomy enough to fit future children, safe, reliable, and was reputable for holding its value. I could have easily rationalized keeping this car. It was a good car.

Why is it sometimes hard to give up good things for better things?