Too Much to Do

The day to day ramblings of a scrapbooker…

Tough times…

So, you think it’s rough now? Not really any worse than any other recession we’ve been through. Although the recession about 1973-74 I don’t recall very well (I’ve been told that you had to be in the work force to remember it and most of those just entering it then are now retiring).

I do remember 1981 like it was yesterday. I’d been in the full time work force just a few years and was making over minimum wage with a whopping pre-tax monthly income of $800 a month. We’d made the mistake of believing we should live on our two incomes and started in an apartment costing $350 a month, which quickly went to $425 a month. Well, that was 25% of what our pre-tax was so we thought it was ok. Until one of us was out of work and it wasn’t me.

That was really the beginning of our journey into learning what was a “need” and what was a “want.” We downsized into a smaller apartment, not as nice and in a slightly less desirable neighborhood (which interestingly now is an “up and coming” area). But, our rent went down to a doable $280 a month. Wow.

We sold one of the cars and I took the bus, walking 6 blocks to get to it too. That alone saved gas and an insurance bill. It lasted about a year and then we were given a 10 year old station wagon. We put some money into it, but it was transportation.

So, why now is it so difficult for people to let go of things that they believe that they cannot live without? So many conveniences that aren’t essential to life? Dinner out, pre-prepared foods, cable/satellite, cell phones… etc…

I remember when we had to cut money from the budget and the first thing gone from the grocery bill was potato chips. It took us YEARS to buy them again and I still don’t unless we are entertaining! But, everyone is different. I just don’t want to support the people that are unwilling to try to help themselves first I guess.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Finance | Leave a comment

“it don’t come easy.”

I realized this (and know it is too simplistic) this morning while on the elliptical.  Cardio is really a pain to do.  A necessary evil if you will.  The painful part is pushing to where I get that “second wind” and it transfers to the high from doing whatever it is.  The point where you realize, you really can do this longer…

Either way, it was the realization that anything worth having isn’t cheap nor free.  Everyone wants something for nothing, but everything is really worth what you “pay” for it, be it in time, effort or hard cash.  When we truly EARN something, maybe that is why we treat it with much more respect and care.  We all want the quick fix – the diet pill, the magic 5 minute exercise …

So, following this meandering thought of mine, perhaps this is why we have become such a throw-away society?  We’ve “bought” so much on credit, never actually paying for it in most cases.  But, now a lot of people are paying dearly, by losing their homes, falling into bankruptcy, etc.  And the ultimate cost is perhaps some self-esteem, but certainly their credit worthiness.  Will that matter?  Obama wants us to spend spend spend and continue to be the throw-away society we were to keep the economy “good.”  Is that really what we need and should be doing?

Maybe we really need to think about what we WANT vs. what we NEED and remember “it don’t come easy” and get past the painful part and live on the cash we earn and not the “free” credit.  Because is anything “free” really worth having in the end?

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Finance, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment