Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spending in Lean, Spending in Plenty

With all the articles in the past couple of years about the economy here in the states, recession, stocks, defaults, mortgage foreclosures, and bankruptcy's I started thinking about several things.  Mainly spending habit's.  This is a touchy subject, the subject of money and finances.  It is deeply personal when you have it, yet can be extremely public when you owe it.  There must be a balance.  When you read about people defaulting on loans, it is completely understandable when they have lost a job or have been effected by any number of tragic and financially devastating situations.  We all feel badly, we lend a hand to our loved ones and neighbors when they are down.  At some point we think to ourselves and should think to ourselves.  If in the case of a devastating situation such as a job loss how would I survive?  In the quest to be more efficient with our time, good Stuarts of the land, and doing the best we can to help our environment that we all share.  What are we doing for our own personal financial protection? Some of us are doing everything we can.  Saving diligently, living below their means, being frugal and putting aside their savings.  Some others are learning to live with less so that they can get away from the demands of a corporate owned lifestyle and have much more time with family.  Each situation is uniquely different for every person.

Think about what your spending looks like in times when you feel you have extra money, and compare it to your habits when you feel "strapped for cash".  Is there a drastic difference?  Could you be saving more for your financial security and a cushion in case of the horrific chance that you no longer have an income coming in to replace your spending?  Do you have debts?  Do you owe for transportation?  If so what would you do if one day your spouse came home from work and there was no more job?  What about yourself if you went to work and circumstances beyond your control forced the office doors to close?  Leaving you with one final check.  Is there enough in savings to pull you or your family through until the next employment opportunity?  How will you pay for food let alone the mortgage, insurance, car loan, credit cards, store cards, etc?  The one check you have coming your way will help but what about after it is gone?  How will you address the late notices from the utility companies and the likes?  Sadly very very sadly this is happening here in the states every day and it is heartbreaking.  Circumstances beyond employees control caused their place of employment to close it's doors and thousands of people are without jobs, homes, cars, and families are trying to just stay together.  If you are someone that is employed and haven't already, I urge you to think about your finances and your financial plan.  I challenge you to think about your spending in a new light.  Look at your last pay stub and really look at that amount.  Now if you are not keeping track of your debts get your bills out and wright them down and really look at your debts.  Seriously think about how far the stub your holding will go if it was to be your last.  A very sobering thought for some.  I realize this can be a very grim topic for many and also know that without a savings plan and a plan in place to pay off your debts that life could quickly go from comfortable to grim as well and I don't want that for anybody!  Take time to set a goal  and stop and smell the roses literally.  Get out of the habit of having to purchase things to make us happy and start looking around at what we have and what we can do with or for others that brings happiness and fulfillment without spending in the times of plenty so you can coast through if you have a time of lean.

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