Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Political Statement for the Day

We all know what we should do financially, right?  We all know that we shouldn't go into debt--we should buy our cars with cash, our houses with cash.  No credit cards.  Save 6 months worth of expenses, just in case.  We all know this is sound financial advice. YET we have mortgages, car payments, and credit card bills--and precious little savings.  Why?  Because we 'have' to have things.  No, we 'need' them.  Since when are potato chips and cable tv necessities? 

Another thing we all know is that there are consequences to our actions.  When we didn't study for a test in school, we failed.  The teacher didn't just have pity on us because we wanted to spend time with our friends and give us the average score other people got on the test.  When you don't show up for a job interview, you don't get the job.  This is life.

Yet, somehow, when it comes to finances, we feel entitled to be bailed out of our own poor decisions.  Yes, a lot of people are unemployed right now, including my husband.  But, what if we'd had those 6 months of savings?  What if we hadn't bought a house we couldn't afford?  (If you need a mortgage, you can't afford the house!)  What if we didn't have car payments?  What if we didn't have credit card bills?  Our expenses would be minimal.  And, guess what?  We wouldn't be upside down on our mortgages!  And we'd be ok.  We wouldn't need government intervention.  Don't have the extra money to save?  Really...try adding up the car payments and the credit card payments you've paid in your adult life.  If you hadn't bought the first car you couldn't afford or signed the first credit card agreement--all that money would be in the bank right now.  Times like these show that we can't afford NOT to save.

But now we have the government patting us on the head and telling us we 'need' them.  We are just poor little people who didn't have the sense to make smart financial decisions, and now the big strong government (ha!) wants to help us out.  How?  By taking money from all the people who DID make those smart decisions--by all the people who DO have a job right now.  So now the average American only brings home 1/2 of what they'd earned.  The other half goes to those people who made bad decisions! 

I mentioned that my husband is unemployed.  He has been since December of 2008.  Yes--that's over a year!  Guess what?  He's never taken a penny of unemployment, even though he rightfully could have.  Fortunately, we did save a few months of expenses and used our extra money while Ryan was working to build a garden and plant fruit trees and invest in a side of beef-which has helped cut down on grocery bills.  We put in a woodstove and a whole house fan to eliminate heating and cooling costs.  And we stocked up on necessities like toilet paper.  Still, those things only last so long.  But we haven't asked for government assistance.  Instead, I went back to work.  We started a network marketing business.  We traded in those new cars for less expensive ones with 1/2 the payments.  We turned off the cable and cut out other unnecessary expenses.  Has it been rough?  YES!  But we're making it on our own.  We are dealing with the consequences of our own actions WITHOUT help from the government. 

Several of our friends have done the same.  In fact, people all over the country are going back to school, learning new professions, working more than one job.  Because Americans are hard working.  Americans are innovative.  Americans are strong.  

And those of us who are taking responsibility for our actions will come out of this on top.  (One instance where survival of the fittest actually makes sense!)  Not only that, but we will have learned our lessons well. 

As a whole, Americans need to learn to take responsibility for our own actions.  Deal with the consequences.  Instead of expecting a free ride from the government, go out and do something about your situation.  Go back to school.  Get a job at McDonalds.  Quit asking your neighbors to pay for your mistakes.  Those of us who are working (3 jobs for me) would like to keep more than 50% of our paychecks, thank you very much.  
Isaiah 40:31 
“But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”


Kelly said...

Tony and I made the decision when we married not to go into debt. Our income fluctuates greatly, so at times, some purchases have had to be done on credit, but never more than we've been able to pay off in a few months max. I'm thrilled that right now our only payment is for the Toyota, but because of the good decisions we had made prior, we qualified for zero interest on the loan and it's worth more than what we owe (or was before all the recalls)! I'm tired of living in this run down little house, but I'm not willing to take on a mortgage right now. I have heard even from Crown Financial Ministry that generally speaking a mortgage is more like an investment since the house USUALLY goes up in value. I like what you had to say. :-)

worryfreemom said...

I admire your wisdom with your finances! I think we've learned our lessons and will be wiser in the future. Hopefully others will, too!

Kelly said...

I made at least my share of mistakes in the past, and it took me a few times to learn the lesson, but I think I've made progress! If you learn from it, was it really a mistake, or just a valuable learning experience?

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