Everyone is talking about money and the economy today. I know I cant be the only one who feels unaffected by this stock market crisis. Perhaps I'm not seeing the big picture, or perhaps I dont have any intangible assets (ie. stock or investments), I know where my money is (all $30.00 in my checking account), and my bills are paid.
If I want to go buy a cup of coffee from Sunshine (support your local barista and boycott Starnucks when possible) I'm not going to let the crashign of the Dow interfere with that decision. Am I the only one who feels this way? I sure as heck hope not!
On my way in to the office this morning, I was listening to my morning entertainment. They were asking callers what the last three things they would hang on to would be (aside from essentials like house, food, utilities, family.) Most people answered in the same scope; internet, cable, pizza, beer, cell phone. This got me thinking. What are three expenses that I would continue to pay in the worst economy:
1) My Cell ~ how else would I text my honey while we're both at work?
2) Tanning ~ ok so if necessary I would eventually give this up, but I live in Oregon and I am prone to depression which for some reason lying in a human microwave for 15 minutes twice a week seems to help ward off... not to mention the lovely glow it gives my sometimes pale skin... So I know it's bad (BOOOOO MELANOMA), but so is smoking and I quit that a year ago so c'mon, I need ONE thing :o)
3) My Truck ~ It's not a gas hog, we just put a new engine in it last year, it's kind of a family trophy and I got it, and I live in the sticks so riding a bike is not really a viable source of transportation. Neither is the bus, because I'm not willing to make a 30 minute commute into a 2 hour ordeal every morning and night just to save a little money. Perhaps, should things get REALLY desperate, like there is no gasoline available anywhere and people are rationing flour and milk and oats, I will ride my horse to work, but not until then.....
All this lead me to thinking about all of the things I didn't have when my daughter was a wee little thing and I didn't have ANY money. Seriously, I had to decide which bill I wasn't going to pay each month.
I didn't go to the bar (her dad did but...), we didn't have cable, we lived on Tuna Helper-esque meals ($1.50 a box, just add water or milk and frozen peas), I didn't buy new clothes every payday (or ever for that matter), and I rode the bus or walked everywhere. I only had a cell phone because my mom paid for it for her own sanity of knowing we were safe, and you know what... aside from living with a bum, my daughter and I were just fine. We were healthy, we weren't hungry, and we had a warm home with Disney and Baby Einstein DVDs, a great verity of Cd's and Books and baby toys. Life was pretty good!
So, essentially, I've already lived in a bad economy (my own) and now I have a job that, thankfully, supports my bills and groceries and daycare, with a little extra left for a hazelnut latte if I want one and the occasional new pair of jeans or cute top if I'm having one of those days when nothing feels right and darn-it I just want to. I still don't pay for cable, because I would rather spend that $65+ a month on jeans or drinks or save it (gasp!), we'll see about that.
Some people may not understand, and might say that it's socially irresponsible to not let this economic crisis phase me, and perhaps come spring when I am stuck at the Swamp because my love and I cant buy a house, I'll let it irk me a little. I just don't see how there is anything the average working American can do. We just have to ride it out, maybe start putting away the credit cards and living within our means. Eventually the crisis will be over and life will move forward, it may not look exactly like it did last year, but it will go on. So I'm not going to let it keep me up at night. I will own a home, sooner than later, even if that means investing in a larger piggy bank!
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