The more I live with myself, the more I realize I'm a totaly cynic. While I don't have a hard time thinking well of those who I know, I find it nearly impossible to think well of the people in general.
Here's an example. Yesterday I had the noon news on keeping me company while Allison napped. They were reporting on President Obama's agenda for the week, including that he signed the (joke of a) stimulus bill in Denver and then was headed to Arizona, partly becuase of how hard it had been hit by foreclosures. Apparently 4500 last month. Who knew? Anyway, the go on talking about Arizona and talking to some lady (I wasn't really paying much attention), but the story ended on a talking head of this lady saying "The President needs to stop the forclosures here."
WHAT? Okay, I get that times are tough. I get that some people are losing their jobs. I get that some mortgages have adjusted up making payments higher and leading people to get behind on their payments. But while I'm thinking this, I can't help but this "If you weren't so darned concerned with keeping up with the Jones', maybe you'd be far more capable of keeping up with your mortgage."
Like I said, I'm cynical. I just have the hardest time listening to these people whine and even caring. I keep thinking... you did it to yourself. I mean... really, did you need to half or three-quarters of a million dollar home? Probably not. You wanted it. And what else did you not really need, but wanted and bought (often on credit) anyway? And now that you can't afford it, what, someone else is supposed to pay the cost of your self-indulgent want? I listen to "everyone" say that the economy stinks and life is hard. But really... should it be effecting the generally masses this much? I'm mean, the unemployment rate might be getting high, but last I check an 8% unemployment rate meant that 92% of Americans still have a job. Think about it for a second...
I know that some people really are hurting... some people really have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet. But doesn't anyone plan for the rainy day anymore?
What if people set and actually lived on a budget? What if people purchased a house to meet their needs, as opposed to a house that fulfilled their every whim and made them look good the the neighbors? What if people had saved money towards things they wanted instead of putting it on a credit card or financing it? What if people planned to actually save money... planned for emergencies... had money socked away for the what ifs? Would any of this be an issue?
All I know is this: Brian and I don't make a lot of money. We qualify for some state assistance (WIC, and Allison is on CHIP). But what we make is enough. We budget it fairly meticulously, have enough to meet all of our needs and obligations, and even enough to fulfill some of our wants. We have a little money saved for just in case. And this "crisis" hasn't effected us (okay... it might be making getting a job post-graudation a little harder. And now we totally plan to save towards a 20% downpayment on a house, which delays us owning our own home).
Maybe the lesson in all of this is that we all need to follow sound wisdom: Live within your means, save for a rainy day and work (and save) for the things you want. Is it always fun? No. Is it instant gratification? Definantly not! But, it is safe, sound advice.
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