Thursday, February 12, 2009

Money I'm Entitled To Throw Away

I am very grateful to being a US citizen--we are a very blessed country, and I don't want to take it for granted.  I thank God often for my freedom.

Unfortunately, our society seems to have forgotten that we are blessed, and younger generations seem to feel entitled instead.  Most of us really have no idea what it means to be poor.

I remember reading the words of a young person in a magazine a few years back, and he talked about how his country was at war, and for an entire year, all he had to eat was rice.  I never go to my cupboards and say, "There is nothing to eat."  I just wouldn't feel right to say those words.  

With our country now in a recession, people are feeling a financial crunch, and many people are losing their jobs.  We are still so blessed in America, that even in a financial crunch, many opportunities still arise.  Some places go out of business, while innovative minds will open new businesses, and others will become self employed.  America looks for hope in our change of leadership, and President Obama plans to create new jobs.

One thing that has bothered me is the bailout that we had when President Bush was in office.  What a lot of it boiled down to is, a lot of people bought homes they couldn't afford in the first place.  Why?  Because we're entitled?  And then the bailout money was not used for it's intended purpose, and not to mention all of the little extras that were thrown into the deal.  Now we are going more into debt with the stimulus package, and I don't feel that a good example is being set in front of us by borrowing more and more money.  The government borrows, and we borrow too.  Not that I'm giving excuse to our own irresponsbility, but we now think, "It's just the American way.  We'll always have debt."

So!  We think that we're so wealthy, but are we?  How much is our deficit???

When we have $10,000 in credit card debt, is the $2,000 we have in our savings account really ours?

Back to the recession...

Again, I am not making light of families losing their income because of lost jobs.  I do, however, think that many of us can make it thru our country's financial crunch easier than we think.  Much of it has to do with our mindset.

Here is a list of things we can do to make our dollars stretch further:
  • Get over the idea that we are entitled.  Start living within our means.
  • We are not entitled to a new wardrobe every six months-shop at thrift stores if you have to, and buy what you need.  Thrift does not mean junk.
  • We do not have to have a Coke everytime we stop at the gas station.
  • The library can save us a small fortune!
  • We had no choice but to pay the high prices at the gas pump, and we made it.  Think of how you managed to scrape together the extra $100 a month that was going into your gas tank, and now use it for savings or for paying off debt.
  • We are not entitled to have every snack and goody the grocery store has to offer.  Cut out a bunch of pop and junk food from the list, drink more water, buy on sale and use coupons.  Don't be brand picky on everything.  I regularly cut my grocery bill almost in half when I use coupons.
  • Trade in your brand new car for an older model-you'll save on insurance and car payments.  And if you trade in an SUV for a mid-size car, you'll save on gas too.  Don't listen to everyone who says you have to have a new car in order to have a dependable car.  I've had very little problem with my 16 year old car.  And when I do need new tires or the normal yearly inspection with a few worn out parts that need replaced, I can afford it much easier because I'm not paying $400 a month on car payments-I pay less that $120.
  • Stop worrying about what others think.  We're all made the same-money doesn't make you or me a better person.  If our friends are our friends because of the money they think we have, then it's time to find new friends.  And it's also time to find ourselves and enjoy living because we have friends that like US, not our stuff.
  • We are not entitled to vacations, clothes, cars, social clubs, special events, coffee addictions, or restaurant addictions we can't afford.
  • Spend more time with family and friends, and less time going out--there are more benefits than just saving money!
Once again, you have my two cents!  :)  We're so blessed, we've cursed ourselves.  We're more stressed than ever, even tho we are more privilidged than ever.  This should make us stop and think about where real happiness comes from, and that the most important things in life aren't things.