Thursday, October 9, 2008

Well, Do You Have a Better Idea?

With the Hobby Lobby opening being the most exciting thing to happen in the last 10 years in this town; well, you can see life in a small town moves at a very slow pace.

Also, the fact that I (and the whole town, really) are so excited over some major name stores moving into town makes me concerned over what we value. ("Consumerism--Buy into it!") I've been looking at my own finances recently and am working more intently on paying off debt and not incurring any new debt. I hate the fact that although I make enough money, I never have any because I/we don't manage it as wisely as we could.

Our pastor spoke last week about the economic bailout. Dangerous stuff for the pulpit, some may think, but he hit the nail on the head when he made it personal. The reason we are in the mess we are, is because of Pride and Greed. "I want that and, doggone it, I work hard and I deserve it!"

Have you ever thought about what you really NEED? When it boils down to it, we need food, water and clothing and shelter. And it doesn't have to be food from a restaurant, Evian water, designer duds, or a 3,000 sq. ft. house in the 'burbs. We've skewed our view.

We have lost our common sense.

As of 10-7-2008, the national debt is $10224252192942.42 The US Census Bureau states that there are approximately 305,369,385 Americans which means your share of the national debt is approximately 33,481.54!

How do we get out of this mess?

Well, personally, I'm going to begin paying cash for my purchases. I'm going to pay off my debt starting with credit cards first. I'll start with the one that has the highest interest rate and after it's paid off, I'll snowball my payments to the next one in line. I will not take my loan company's offer of an extra 2,000.00 and lower monthly payments. (That doesn't even make sense.)

I'll give us a spending allowance that is for "whatever" purchases. That way I can go to Hobby Lobby but not go nuts when I'm there.

I'm going to concentrate on making more art and I'll stop waffling when someone asks me if they can buy one of my pieces. (That should be a no-brainer, but sometimes it's hard to let go of something that is a part of you.)

It's a start.


HeyJules said...

I think you're right on target AJ! Our pastor is getting ready to start a three-week series about this and how we can't be a generous entity if we're so far in debt!

Liz said...

We've got little labeled envelopes with cash. It's a good start anyway.

ksw_rootswriter said...

You & your pastor are totally onto something here! I received my wake up call during a women's conference in 2000, led by a woman who had done the exact thing you're doing. It took us a few years to get to the same point she was in, but it's been life-changing. While we have a nice house, it's far more limited than the houses many of my friends have. Regardless, we knew that we'd be settling here for good. We drive our cars into the ground (we're on our 2nd to cross the 150K mile mark), then donate them to get the tax donation credit. Also, moving to a cash basis was a key requirement we had for my husband to stay at home, and later for me to go part-time when he took a position at our church. It was a hard journey, and we had a long laundry list of changes to make, but gradualy we got there (translation: it took years. literally.). It's kind of like that commercial:

- Paying off that CapitalCiti DiscOne card...$7000
- Putting 3 months' salary in the savings account... $XXXXX
- Sleeping at night because you're not worried about the tens of thousands you owe.....PRICELESS

Amy Nieto said...

You go girl.

Whenever I get a job again, I shall begin paying off my ccs. *sigh*