The Truth Is…
Times are horrible economically all over. People have lost jobs, lost homes and more. And yet, at times people have a hard time admitting that life is different. Son and I saw a few years ago this coming. We were lucky that we did and we started paying off bills we owed and trying to get down to basics. And we managed to get where we are, in a much smaller house that was a repossessed home that needed repairs. But, we had exactly enough from the sale of the other house that we could afford to buy this house.
We have become a country of over extended credit card families. When we look back at our ancestors who, if the money was not there, then they did not buy. Then look at today and we see people with credit card debts and loans of ten, twenty and thirty thousand dollars and more. Few people plan for an emergency such as losing a job. When son was laid off a couple of years ago, had we not already been working on this contingency plan and had already put our house up for sale, we would have lost everything. We were late in planning for something like this but did at least have a head start on it and were able to get where we are now.
The truth is, many people live what I call “entitlement” lives and that has nothing to do with race. They over extend because they believe they are entitled to have this or that or go here or there and get in way over their heads and do not see past today. The most important thing should be keeping family together even if it means giving up things. I am sure by now, I have some people gasping and thinking I can not live without my I-phone, I can not live without two cars, I can not live without being in this big house or the fancy clothes or eating out all the time. And the truth is YES, you can. It is a matter of deciding what is important.
Son and I decided that the most important thing was family and being together no matter what size house, how many cars, what kind of cell phone or how many times we eat out or if we have Niki shoes or any other name brand. We are on a pay as you go cell phone plan and seldom use it. We moved to a smaller, less expensive house. We moved to a small town where there is less driving. We seldom eat out if ever. We are just very conservative and conscious of what we spend because we wanted a less stress filled life and being better financially helped in that department.
The truth is we have to be in charge of our lives and that includes how we spend and the risks we place ourselves in. The economy is not solvent and we can not be assured of tomorrow. No one can. So, we have to prepare for that by cutting back, by not spending unnecessarily, by conserving where we can, and by not over extending. And that includes having an emergency fund that is put away not to be touched.
Many think their children will not be happy without all the fancy things on the market now and the truth is, I was a single parent with limited money and had two sons that I was raising and we had very happy times. We made our fun at home and we did family things together for entertainment. Children can be happy without all the I-phones, designer clothes, fancy electronic equipment, etc. It is all a matter of choice and what you teach your child is is how they will respond to economic crisis that are occurring and keep occurring. Make a choice to look at finances, look to see what you would do if one of you got sick and you had to have a big amount of money to get tested or see the doctor or what you would do if you car broke down. I can assure you that having a plan will lessen your stress in an already stressful world.
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