People who bear most blame for overspending will never feel the pain


I remember picking dandelions with my grandmother when I was very young. My Grandmother made the best dandelions I have ever eaten. We were not poor, but frugal. My Grandparents had lived through the Great Depression. If nothing else, they always advocated “ save for a rainy day”. Those were different times, but saving for a rainy day is not foolish advice.

Spending is good. Saving is also very good. Habits are very important. Developing good habits is a critical aspect of life. As we develop bad habits, they become more difficult to break. We have developed spending habits which are difficult to break.

Wherever you have established a home, you must maintain it. Whatever we build must be maintained or remodeled. Spending to keep your home in repair and up to date has always been advised. If your home falls into disrepair, sooner or later, you will pay the price. Our home is in disrepair, at all levels, including city, state, and nation.

There is no instant gratification in belt tightening. The benefits of saving money may not be visible for years. There is pain in the process, but it must be done.

Some of the people who bear the most blame for this situation will never feel the pain. The pain will be found in what could have been. The pain is in lost dreams and opportunities, often for those who were bystanders.

History is a great teacher. Too often, we forget its valuable lessons. Yes, there have been many significant changes in recent years, but history’s lessons are still relevant and should not be ignored. Certainly there are unforeseen consequences to our actions, but making the same mistake over and over again is unforgiveable.

What applies to the way we run our households also applies to the way our elected officials run our city, state, and nation.

If we do not change our ways, we will be eating dandelions.

— By Charlie Tsonos


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.