Sunday, January 13, 2008

A dose of humility on a Sunday morning

I was just lamenting this morning to M about our disposal income--or lack of it. After paying all our fixed bills, accounting for groceries and household expenses, there isn't much breathing room left each month for for additional saving, such as for a down payment on a new house or our kids' college (we're pretty well-covered for retirement, primarily thanks to generous contributions from my employer).

And then I came across this headline in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

Donor built millions on $11 an hour

Paul Navone is a retired mill factory worker from Vineland who made a fraction of what most people make today. Yet he just gave $2 million to a community college and a prep school.

Granted, Navone has never been married, is childless, doesn't own a TV, and shops in thrift stores for his clothes--a lifestyle that isn't exactly appealing and has definitely contributed to his stored-up wealth. It's a tradeoff I'd never want to make.

But it's still humbling to think about. I'm fortunate to have a stable job that produces a good income--well-above $11 an hour. Why the heck am I complaining? And what could I be doing differently to change the situation?


RKM said...

I saw that story too. I think his key to success is right in your post "not married, no kids." I know from experience. LOL

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