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Friday, November 21, 2008

We are in a recession.

We are in a recession. Okay, I get that. You don't have to hit me over the head to help me understand that many people are struggling. But would it be too simple to say that the majority of our problems (as families and as a nation) come back to one simple principle--we're greedy.

I read this recently in a book written by a financial planner. In talking with a group of successful businessmen who earned over six figures in income annually, he asked the question, "How many of you earn twice what you did ten years ago?" They all raised their hands.

The next question was, "How many of you, if you had been asked ten years ago, would have been thrilled by this kind of income?" Again, they were all in the affirmative. But, when asked if they were content with where they are today, not one would raise his hand.

You get the picture? Here is the simplest financial bailout plan the world has ever seen. Don't spend what you don't have. I, for one, think it is absolutely crazy for us to be bailing anyone out--banks, insurers, mortgage companies and, least of all, the big (stupid) three auto makers. I mean, let's get real. Thirty million dollar bonus packages and we can't figure out why they can't earn a profit?

But let's get personal. Do we really need the third TV set, the XM on our radio or the latest cell phone with the ability to touch the screen ("OOOOOOHHH")? You know the answer and so do I. Now, I'm not saying you can't have those things. Many of you can afford them without placing additional strain on your family's finances. More power to you. But if you're cutting your tithe to make sure you don't have to cut the cleaning lady, your priorities are as messed up as the federal government. You better do the simple math and learn to live within your means (minus the super mega limit credit card) or you'll have collectors banging on your door. And, for you and I, there won't be a federal government bail out. Simply a rude awakening to the fact that we should have done what we should have done when there was time to do it. A friendly reminder before your holiday buying season begins.

1 comment:

still gardening... said...

I have sooooo realized how little we really do need...in the last 4 weeks we have rented out our house, sold nearly every piece of furniture, and have moved into the upstairs of my mom and dad's house. (3 rooms!) The stuff was just that, stuff...and i don't really miss most of it. Yes, we had an ultimate goal of letting them be able to live out their years in their own home, but the catch is how much stuff i've had to take OUT of their house. Report cards from 1972, fabric enough to upholster Florida, you name we've moved it out. (I've heard it called "hoarder-disorder" What is our need for Stuff??? And we haven't even gotten to the attic...scary thought...I'm soooo over stuff! Give me my mattress and my laptop and I think I can survive just fine knowing mom and dad are content.