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Reality Check

January 7th, 2011 at 03:18 am

I just got kicked out the blog I was writing!! At first I was upset because I was into the third paragraph of writing that my husband is concerned there many be layoffs coming at his work. I realized that by so swiftly kicking me out of all my negative layoff ranting, however, maybe God was kicking me in the pants for worrying that piece of news into reality. I truly believe we MUST stay positive or we put forces in place we DON'T want. So...I won't do that. By the same token though, this bit of news is sobering in that it makes me take a real look at how very important it is that I tame the spending beast RIGHT NOW!!

Early in our marriage when we had MUCH less money and I was two weeks from delivering our second child, my husband was laid off. What a "sobering" event that was! Although he was only laid off three months, it was a lesson I thought I would never forget in spending wisely and only buying what is essential. Literally, the experience was so frightening, I vowed to NEVER forget it. But alas, I did...

In all these years we have been so blessed that we could have lived off what I made and totally banked his. Unfortunately, we have only done this for the past few years. In some of these years I was using his salary to pay off our home, though, which was good, but we should have saved MUCH more.

That being said, that was yesterday, and no matter how much I wish I could undo the past, I can't and today is all we have. Today I have these new goals:

1) Get realistic about the dangers of this economy and realize I am subject to the same new realities.
3) Keep writing down every expenditure.
4) Take stock of ALL we have. Write down EXACTLY how much we have in savings, 401K, IRAs, etc.
5) Stop being quite so generous with my adult age kids..just two days ago we gave my 27 year old an interest free loan of $10K for his graduate school...maybe we could have used that 10K!
6) Be grateful that we CAN live on what I make, but try to evaluate how we can leverage our savings to produce income, keeping in mind we do need to keep a cushion.

As to #6, at one time we started a great new phase of buying rentals. I figured that if we had six paid off rentals which brought in $3,600 we would bring in about enough to replace which my husband brings home. Unfortunately, though, I let others around me discourage me in this and we only have the one rental. Of course, my knee jerk reaction last night was to go on a buying frenzy and purchase as many rentals as we could. Instead of yet another knee jerk spending phase, though, I need to slow down and we need to evaluate this situation to determine the best course. Coincidentally, though, I am seeing some houses with our realtor this weekend (I scheduled this showing several days ago so it was before yesterday's "knee Jerk" news).

MOST IMPORTANLY. Remember to have faith in God, pray regularly and place this issue in his hands. Even with all that, I do know that sometimes God has other plans for us. Although ultimately they may work out to be better plans, sometimes they derail us for awhile and cause stress and discomfort. I pray that, if this happens, I will keep my eyes open and put my life in his hands, but be smarter and more frugal. I really pray I don't have to go through this though.

By the way, thanks so much for your kind comments yesterday. I feel like such a loser for my overspending ways. Your support reminded me of the first time I gave my first fairly nervous, fumbling speech at Toastmasters. Even though I spoke that day along side several very senior Toastmasters, they gave me the award for best speech of the day! I now realize they routinely give this award to newbies for encouragement, but at the time it was what I needed to give me some confidence. Your "cheers" yesterday were like that for me. I appreciate it! I am on DAY FOUR of financial reality!!! It feels much better than financial crazed lunatic frenzy!! WHAT WAS I THINKING???!!!?????

I could kick myself for the amount of expensive jewelry I just purchased before Christmas!!!!! I should have kicked myself before I spent the money!!!

4 Responses to “Reality Check”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I had 3 rentals at one time and it was a terrible experience for us. I would up selling them all at a loss. I hope you do much better than I did.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Maybe one way to control your spending is to try to separate your emotional responses from money. Your first impulse is to help your your son with grad school, but if you just allowed more time to pass before coming to any kind of decision as to how to help him, maybe you would be able to find other ways to be of assistance other than $$.

    You described your behavior with the rentals as a "kneejerk reaction." I think that's a clue about what triggers you to spend money. Evaluate every idea; there's usually pros and cons to everything, and if you're only aware of the pros, chances are you haven't really researched it thoroughly enough. Just some thoughts...

  3. -Jerry- Says:

    That is really generous of you to lend that much for grad school, but I wonder if there are other loan programs available that could lead to the same results with less stress on mom and dad?! I hope that everything works out with the work situation, and you are right... there is no need to freak out about something that hasn't happened. Just be prepared the best you can and you will have some insurance of being able to get through whatever comes. Good luck!

  4. SavingsQueen Says:

    Thanks for the input. PatientSaver you are so right about my need to separate emotion from money and to take the time to really analyze each purchase decision. I think that's really the key word there...decision. Also, with regard to my kids, I always have this desire to give them whatever they need. Surprisingly they are both very hard workers and really appreciate our help, but it can be crippling to give them too much financial help...don't want to do that. At least I gave him the $10K as a loan which he will have to pay back.

    ImaSaver, Thanks also for the advice about the rentals. They do sound so good on paper.

    Jerry, Thanks also for your comments. We are in a very good position should the worst happen, but I still need to mend my overspending ways. I think I actually liked it better when we used to have mortgages. It prompted me not to overspend and instead I put huge amounts of extra cash on them each month. It was kind of a forced savings account. We have paid off the last three homes we lived in.

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