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You Can Have Anything You Want, But Not Everything. Choosing Between Boots or Bruce. Thumbnail

You Can Have Anything You Want, But Not Everything. Choosing Between Boots or Bruce.

"You can have anything you want, but not everything you want." I remember the first time my dad told me this.

I was a high school senior, working as a teller at the Bank of Highwood. My parents covered my essentials but anything extra was my responsibility.

I was a very frugal kid, but I was faced with an agonizing decision. There was an amazing pair of Frye boots I had my eye on. And Bruce Springsteen was coming to town.

Each had a big price tag. Maybe I could afford both, but I would be left with precious little in my savings account.

I talked it over with my dad. Well, maybe I talked while he listened.

"How can I not buy those boots? How can I not see the Boss? But what about college next year? I'll need some money for extras. But those boots! Four of my friends are going to the concert.  I will miss all the fun. What if the boots sell out? What if Bruce doesn't come back to Chicago for years? What should I do?"

When I finally ran out steam, my dad said, "It’s up to you. You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

At that moment I realized: there would always be another pair of boots, but seeing Bruce in concert with my friends would be priceless.

The concert was amazing. The memories have lasted me a lifetime. Did I mention he opened with Born to Run?  My dad’s advice was spot on. I knew I made the right decision.  

This special phrase has impacted me, my children and my clients for many years since the concert.  When deciding how to spend my own money, I think about his words. Looking back at some of my big purchases, I realize that I do spend money on experiences more often than on material items.

When my kids want to purchase a new game or jewelry, I often hear them mumble my dad’s words while making the decision.  

As a financial advisor, I often discuss my dad’s philosophy with clients, especially when preparing financial plans that have difficult spending decisions. Recently a client called to discuss a major purchase and quoted my dad back to me: “I know I can have anything I want, but not everything, and this is what I really want.”

How about you? How do you make decisions like this today? If you need some help, just think of my dad's advice!

Shari Greco Reiches

Shari co-founded Rappaport Reiches Capital Management with one goal - to maximize the return on life for her clients. Please connect with Shari below.  She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Barry Manilow.
The author does not intend to provide investment, legal or tax advice as these materials are for general educational purposes only.  Please consult your legal, tax or investment professional for advice on your particular situation. This material is derived from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed. It is not intended to be a solicitation, offer or recommendation to acquire or dispose of any investment or to engage in any other transaction. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Please refer to RRCM’s Form ADV Part 2 for additional disclosures regarding RRCM and its practices.