Friday, April 13, 2007

Working Together: That's Old Fashioned!

Years ago, a co-worker of mine at General Motors told me about getting a house as a wedding present. I shook my head in disbelief. I asked him what strange world he was from. He said he was from a strong, family based, European culture. Apparently getting houses at weddings was not all that unusual; in fact it was pretty well expected.

This was back in the day when 1/3 of my income was going into paying interest to the bank for the privilege of living in our home. $7,000 every year to our friendly, neighborhood banker. I remember my bank manager smiling profusely when I had thanked her for helping us so much to secure our mortgage.

I asked my friend what the catch was for him getting a nice new home, mortgage free. He said, “Oh, later on, when his nieces and nephews grow up and get married, he will be expected to give wedding gifts in the $5-10,000 range.” Now I got it. There’s always a catch.

Those silly, old fashioned Europeans, forcing people to give big gifts at weddings. I merrily continued on my way, paying my $7,000 annual interest payment to my smiling banker.

3 comments:

Joel Evan said...

Wow. That sounds like a really good idea. I wonder if something like that would be able to be transferred to our North American Western Culture...although as I ask that, I also realize that with the mountains of debt that everyone tends to be crushed by, the chances of this actually happening on a regular basis seem more than slim.

Joel Evan said...

But it sounds like a great idea to me! Amazing what can happen when families work together!

David Grant said...

The problem with handling money well, is that it just too boring. We need to abuse it in order to get a thrill. Patience and money are more like oil and water.