During the month of February, COMPASS is giving space for thought, questions and conversation related to couples, their money, and their money decisions. As part of this series, we are featuring guest posts from different writers. Today, we welcome Dori Zerbe Cornelsen to the blog to share a story about recent money decisions and a “big purchase.”
My husband and I made a big purchase recently. Well, not huge in the grand scale of things. We’d been thinking for a while that we would like a new bed. Then last year on vacation, we slept on this amazing bed in a hotel in San Francisco. But how do couples negotiate bigger purchases? Here are some things we did.
First, we took our time. Given we sleep about 8 hours each night, that means we spend about one-third of our lives in our bed. That’s a lot! So, we decided we needed to do some research and sleep on our decision.
One thing we did was ask friends whether they loved their bed. Seems an odd question to ask but we found our friends had lots to say about their beds. We figured this was way better research than walking into a showroom of a bed store and lying down on a mattress for a few minutes at a time. It’s after several sleeps that you figure out if the bed works for you or not.
We also did some research online about the content of beds, where and how components are produced. Again, acknowledging that we spend about one-third of our lives in bed, it seemed good to know about things like chemical content, fibre choices, how beds are manufactured, etc. This did affect our decision.
Cost was also definitely a factor but we also considered the potential life-span of a mattress. We found a website not associated with a manufacturer that made cost and other comparisons between mattresses. We also learned that a good company offers a warranty that gives you at least an exchange option of you are not satisfied after a period of time.
It’s not like this research consumed us – we just wanted to be informed. We wanted to take the time to talk through what seemed important to each of us.
On top of that, we kept in mind that while important, a good bed is still a luxury decision. We agreed that we needed to be able to make the purchase and still keep our generosity plan in place. Waiting and saving can keep purchases in perspective. For us, taking time for purchases like this reminds us that money isn’t just about us and how we spend it – it’s about living generously for the good of all.
About the Author: Dori Zerbe Cornelsen works with Mennonite Foundation of Canada encouraging and inviting generous living. She and her husband Rick live in Winnipeg Manitoba where February is cold but offers activities like skating on the 6 km river trail and drinking hot tea in front of a roaring fire.
This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.