How Much Would You Pay for Peace?

I love the Mastercard “priceless” commercials. The one with the kids dancing happen to be my favorite. Not just because the kids had rhythm, but really, who doesn’t want the funk? I love that Mastercard knows when to put a price on something and when something is just “priceless”. What’s priceless for you?

I’ve always thought that a healthy, and happy family was probably the most priceless of anything that I could want. This weekend, I realized something else is priceless – getting my mother off my list of debtors. Can I put a number to it? I sure as hell can.
mom - How Much Would You Pay for Peace?
Now, I love my family. Don’t ever misconstrue that, but do you have some people in your life that always see the glass as being half empty? In fact, not only is their glass half empty, but there are dirty fingerprints on the outside of the glass and whatever was in the glass wasn’t what they wanted anyway. Know someone like that? Well that person in my life, apart from one particular coworker, would be my mom. Follow me closely on this one.

Recall that I borrowed $3K from my mom to help purchase the investment property. My mother had expressed interest in purchasing some investment property when my brother purchased his about 7 months ago. When this opportunity presented itself through a friend of my brother’s, I offered to go in 50-50 with my mom on the purchase of the property, and she mulled it over for about 2 weeks. Finally, her response was that she didn’t want to tie up too much money into a property because she wants to move to Florida at some point in her life. Not this year, not next year, not a third year from now, but “at some point”. She said that she would, however, lend me half of the money to purchase the property but that I would have to pay her interest. I countered with borrowing only $3K from her and paying her back within 6 months at 10% interest. That way, she has all of her funds back in a short period and she will get almost ten times the interest that ING is currently paying out, and it’ll be tax free. She agreed. We are one month into the agreement and I have already paid her $500.
My brother called me on Friday asking me about my deal with my mom. I asked him why and he stated that she had complained that it was taking too long for her to get her funds back and she wanted to know how much rent I was collecting from the property, etc., etc. I’m a pretty patient person, but when he told me this I think I could have popped a blood vessel. I’m notoriously private (okay, give me this blog as my one exception) and I felt that my mom should have discussed this and any other questions with me before complaining to anyone else. My brother and I are pretty close, so he said that he would lend me the money to pay my mom off early so that she would not complain. I was beyond livid with my mom. By the time I calmed down on Saturday I realized something. My piece of mind was not only priceless, but it was worth $2,500.

On Friday I emptied out my ING account with all of my emergency savings and today I’ll be handing my mom a check for $2,500. It was also a great lesson learned. I’ve haven’t been financially dependent on my mom since I was about 16 and I should not have borrowed the money from her – no matter that it would benefit us both. Sometimes, mixing family and money is the worst thing that you can do. Peace and quiet is priceless to me – nope, it’s worth $3,000. What’s it worth to you?

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