Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Day

It's only been one day, but already I feel like the recession is over and I have more money to spend. NOT. It really drives me crazy to read and hear just how much people are expecting from our new Prez. I hope he has some big powerful shoulders and a giant wallet, cause we have massive problems and big debt. The recession has been on my mind for quite some time. The reason for that is that my husband and I spent quite a few years in our own recession. Allow me to tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a young lady who had finally landed a job that worked around her college schedule and also paid well. She was very happy indeed for she had had many jobs that were not worth the time spent there. Alas, those low-paying jobs plus her spending habits had landed her right back at square one-living at home with Mom again. So now she was enjoying a second chance at financial health. She even set some of her paycheck aside each week to go into savings. She was doing well and slowly getting her credit cards paid down to a "normal" size. Between school and work, she had time for very little so this was a good time to pay down debt and save a little money. In fact, she even work a part-time job on weekends to have a little spending money so not to take away from digging out of her debt.

Meanwhile, in another village, there was a young man who had been through the worst time of his life. His first marriage had ended. It was a terrible time for all involved. All assets were liquidated, debts paid off, lawyer fees charged and he emerged as a Phoenix out of the ashes. He lived in a small apartment. Living was cheap. Job was good. Money was in abundance. Motorcycle was purchased(Nothing says divorced man quite like a Harley). After a time of healing, this man was ready to date again.

Two worlds collided one day. He and she both visited the same friends on the same day. And they were charmed with one another. And YES, it did have a little something to do with the motorcycle which absolutely made her swoon. And yes, she did climb right onto the back in her dress which made him smile. She didn't think about her hair one time as she squashed a helmet on it...and again, he smiled. When he smiled, she saw his dimples and melted into a pool.

Five short months later, they were engaged. Five short months after that, they were married. Both had fully recovered from their debt and bad decisions and so the couple started with a nice clean slate of credit. They enjoyed their credit very much. They bought a new house, new car, project car, got a home equity loan to do some sprucing up, took lavish vacations, and really enjoyed all that the good life had to offer...on credit. They ate, drank, and were very merry.

Then one day, two years into their marriage, the test was positive. Scarcely three months later, it was positive again. They added two little girls to their family right in a row and learned all about the problems with debt.

They spent the next 4 years trying to work through a Dave Ramsey class that they could not exactly do because they did not bring in enough money to pay the bills they had wracked up. Slowly but surely they worked and worked their way out of debt. (Detailing cars for friends, family and co-workers as a side job for grocery money.) Somehow, through grace only God can give, they managed to stay married and even in love through the struggles. The day came when it was determined that they should downsize their home. They placed their home on the market for a ridiculously high price and didn't care if it sold or not. AND. IT. SOLD. At a bit shy of the ridiculous amount, but still a handsome profit was made. Another house was found in a much better neighborhood at a much lower price (OUR miracle). The couple learned a new way of life. One that did not include massive debt. It was hard for them to adjust because the other life had been so much "FUNNER"!! They added another girl child to their home and still continued to make better financial choices. Money was put in its proper place...the great tool chest of life. It is only a tool, not a secret to happiness.

This story is all about Hubby and I. We are finally through our recession-at least on the backside of it. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel enough to know it isn't a train. We are not completely out of debt yet because we have had times of weakness. We have failed some in our mission to eradicate debt. Debt is a sneaky snake that seeks to entice your freedom away. At times, we have been bitten. However, we don't spend like we used to and we won't ever spend like that again. Recessions teach you a lesson.

I hope America bounces back from her recession smarter as well. I don't look for America to ever return to the level of spending she once engaged in. It isn't a wise way to live. It is not possible to sustain that way of life for long. Eventually, she PAYS and pays dearly for overspending. Unfortunately this means America as a whole will change. She won't experience quite the same "BOOM!" she has been having. Now is the time for us to sit back as a nation, lick our wounds, pay down some debts, and make some smarter choices.

I hope we return to American made quality goods instead of foreign made crap. I hope we return to a world of starter homes and saving up for cars. I hope we don't fritter away our weekends "shopping" at malls for nothing and buying everything we come across. I hope we value people over stuff. I hope we learn the art of doing it yourself. I hope we return to "paid for" homes and cars, home cooked food and a SERVICE station or two.

Don't get me wrong, I am not Amish...I love me some gadgets, I just hate how disposable they have become. How disposable everything has become. HOW INCREDIBLY WASTEFUL our country is!! We could take some of our new technology and our old ways and we could be unstoppable!! But we can't do it by buying and borrowing everything we need from other countries. That is NOT the American way...or at least it shouldn't be.

Whew!! That was a long post!!
God bless much so that you discipline us with a heavy hand!

1 comment:

hulagirlatheart said...

Our president is only as good as the people behind him. All the flag waving in the world can't save us from ourselves. We must change. Will we? Hmmmm.