Personal responsibility saves money

Thank you for publishing Michelle Singletary’s column “Spending should be painful, not painless” in the Nov. 9 Herald.

For those who missed it: “Buying a $60 shirt marked down from $100 isn’t saving $40. It is spending $60. … Discounts are a potion for stupidity. They simply dumb down our decision making process.”

Both quotes are from the book “Dollars and Sense.” As Congress prepares budget debate this book should be on everyone’s Christmas lists. I suggest similar thinking on health care. If all of us selected healthy foods, exercised daily, avoided smoking, got immunizations unless truly allergic, and brushed our teeth we would be healthier and not need a lot of insurance. We would only need catastrophic coverage. Maybe some seek ‘care’ via health. Caring is not the ACA’s job. It’s our communities’, social groups’, families’, churches’, mental health professionals’.

Sadly a lesson of life: Learning to take care of the self and sometimes that means not smoking, saying no to that extra helping on Thanksgiving, or taking a walk despite the rain or calling a friend to share a “bad day” or “just getting it out” privately. I also support the editorial suggesting presenting both political viewpoints. Sound bites and social media seem to dumb down our decision making process. They are meant to separate and divide. It doesn’t mean we will all ever agree; perhaps we can discuss, learn and realize what is right for one may not be for another.

Boundaries are important and some citizens need stricter than others. Thank you for this piece with excellent advice.

Cathy Carter


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