What ‘s a financial dispute between friends?

A buddy of mine and I have had a long-standing dispute when it comes to how people should handle their money.

I’m of the belief that the money you earn is your own and you should be able to use it as you see fit.

His argument is that people have some kind of moral responsibility to give back to the community or invest and that their money doesn’t belong to them. They only have the right use the money, not keep it.

I’ll give you my take.

Let’s say a person, in order to earn a living, leaves his or her family everyday to go to work. I believe that same person has the right to pack that salary away in a mayonnaise jar, sail to a tropical island and bury their cash.

That person has earned that money and it belongs to them. Sure, they will get a big pat on the back if they opt to donate some of their cash, but it’s not their responsibility to do so.

What do you think?

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2 Responses to What ‘s a financial dispute between friends?

  1. Jo says:

    Here’s how I handle donations: I probably have enough unsolicited return address labels to last the rest of my life received in junk mail requesting donations, membership, etc. that all end in the shredder or the trash. On fixed income there’s only so much to go around and I’m a firm believer, like your friend, that in some manner we have to give so I started the following method about three years ago. In late September about every third or so trip to Giant (New Cumberland) I buy specials like 10/$10.00 or BOGO and use coupons for them when I can. I get the use of the gas points and the Dover food bank gets a slew of good grocery products about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Once again this year Wegmans was running a .99 sale on 5# sacks of flour and I managed to get four sacks to donate. If their sugar sale comes soon that too will be added to the stash. Last year I handed over a trunk load of groceries to some extremely thankful ladies at the Dover food bank and I drive home feeling the better for what I’ve just done. It’s nice to be able to stash the cash and we must always remember there are many ways to contribute to others. I chose my way! What’s important is to give what and how you can.

  2. Susan Phillips says:

    My take isn’t related to donations, but to spending habits. Rather than burying your cash in a jar on some tropical island, why not spend some of it LOCALLY and support your neighbors’ businesses? Back in New Jersey (just moved from there) a number of towns started a “Spend Locally” initiative. I sported a “Spend Locally” sticker on my car and many businesses had the reminders posted in their window. Since my husband owned an independent office supply store, I thought it was important to remind people that “voting with their dollars” really matters. When you choose to spend all your money at big box/ chain stores, then a larger chunk of your money leaves the community and heads into the accounts of Big Business. If you are somebody who loves Main Street and wants to support the local stores against the massive, then it’s crucial to “Spend Locally” whenever possible. One study shows that for every dollar Spent Locally, nearly $.70 stays in the local economy and recirculates.

    I’d also encourage everyone to rethink their assumption that big stores will necessarily offer better prices. Many aren’t aware that Massive Retailers often advertise “loss leaders” to give the impression that their prices beat the ma-and-pa stores. In reality, stores like my husband’s office supply nowadays participate in distributor networks that let them buy at the same cost as bigboy retailers. My husband’s store usually beat big office supply stores on price, in every category except paper (a commodity the big stores sell at a loss to attract customers). But in service, knowledge, free delivery etc. our Main Street store beat them all, hands down.

    Offering lower prices and better service didn’t help keep us in the office supply business, unfortunately. I’m here now because the struggling store couldn’t support two families: My husband sold his share to his partner, in hopes that the remaining partner can keep the long-standing Main Street office supply from going the way of the dodo (and of so many other Main Street retailers). Have to wonder if that Roosevelt Tavern, in your other article, wasn’t a victim of similar forces.

    So there’s my two cents. Even if you don’t feel compelled to donate your hard-earned money to local charities, please think about your neighbors and consider buying from local stores, hiring local contractors and using local businesses. That tropical island will still be there, when you decide you really are wealthy enough to hide some of your money in a mayo jar!

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