advice · financial peace · my outlook · random writings · soap box

Hey you, fix YOUR economy

So, did that stimulus check fix all of your financial problems? Really, it didn’t?

How about Cash for Clunkers? That was a good one, right? Your whole world was changed because of that amazing, freeing financial idea wasn’t it? No???

Yeah, I didn’t really think so.

See, the truth is, Uncle Sam is not wearing bright shining armor, and he’s not riding in on a white horse to save you from your financial dilemma. If you can’t already tell that our government is not particularly adept at managing its own finances, let alone sitting down at our kitchen table with us to help out when it’s pay-the-bills night, you haven’t paid much attention to things.

But anyone can change. You can start paying attention. Not so much to CNN and the doom-and- gloom that it broadcasts about how awful things are getting and how the whole government is going to collapse if so-and-so doesn’t get off his pompous [fill-in-name-of-hated-political-party-here] butt and sign the newest quick-fix piece of paper that will allow the truly patriotic [fill-in-name-of-beloved-political-party-here]s to fix all the financial problems of the universe. That’s not what I think you should be paying more attention to.

Instead, I think all of us should turn that pointed finger around and look at ourselves. Look at your own financial sitation. Have you, like the government, overextended yourself? Have you, like the government, given into pressures of every voice under the sun spewing in your ears about what it wants, so you’ve said yes to spending on everything? What are those voices telling you to spend all you make and buy all you want,anyway? Is it your spouse? Your kids? Your workplace party-planning-committee? Is it that little brat who lives inside you and shares your name who is always hollering “but I want it!!!”

But, you say, I’m not really an overspender…I’m just the victim of bad circumstances. I got laid off and I can’t find work. I got hurt and I’m waiting for my disability check. I got tricked into a bad mortgage and I lost my house. I hate my job so I quit because I wanted to be true to myself but now I can’t find another one.

I get it. There are some crappy situations out there. Some really, really crappy ones. I am not saying that everything will be perfect tomorrow. All I’m saying is: stop expecting someone else to fix things, stop wallowing in self-pity and hopelessness, and start doing something. DO SOMETHING.

Start with these two things: Do what you can. Do better with what you have.

Do what you can. If you got hurt on the job and can’t chuck boxes anymore, I understand. Do what you can. Maybe you can sit and take orders over the phone. Got laid off and have kids to feed? I understand. You might be depressed and have lost all hope because you can’t find a great job as a computer guru right now like the one you had. That is depressing, I understand. But you have kids to feed, so you can chuck boxes in a warehouse instead. Oh, that’s not enough money? Well then maybe you chuck boxes and deliver pizzas too, until things get better. Like to stay home with your kids, but your husband’s business isn’t doing well and things are getting tight? I get it. Do what you can. Get creative…trade childcare with someone a few days a week while you launch an at-home business or you wrangle up carts or stock shelves or whatever for a while. Do what you can to make things better.

Do better with what you have. Maybe you have a good job already and you’re fine and able to pay your bills right now and spend whatever you want. Good for you. I bet that’s what a lot of people thought a few years ago who are now out of a job. Do better with what you have so that if things change in the future (and what’s the likelihood that will happen, right!?) you’ll be better prepared. Make a budget so you have a clue. (Oh, stop whining…it’s a freakin’ budget, not a straight-jacket) Don’t spend every dime you make. Plan for emergencies by putting back money for them because they will happen. If you’re a stay-at-home mom and your husband does all the financial stuff, help ease the stress by becoming a home economist. Figure out ways to make things go further by clipping coupons, bulk shopping with a friend, sharing meal prep with another family, freezing leftovers…whatever. Just do better with what you have.

All of us have to deal with the lovely mess the government is getting us into, and if not, our grandchildren sure will. But we don’t have to add to it. We don’t have to throw up our hands and just say “oh well, the government’s out of control so why bother…I’ll  just do whatever I want too.” 

Do what you can, and do better with what you have right now.

One thing I can do is to help other people get started in doing better with what they have. Years ago I learned the revolutionary ways to get financially fit… wanna hear the secrets?

Well too bad, there aren’t any dang secrets. It’s just common sense stuff. Spend less than you make. Quit borrowing money. Pay back the money you already borrowed. Save some money. Get it? Common sense stuff. And I can teach you the steps to take to put that common sense into action with your finances. No scam, no get rich quick junk, and no I’m not making money at it. Just learning the same way I did, and applying what you learned with diligence will do the job. It works. So if any of you reading this need help getting started, let me know. Really. I will help you. I coach people all the time who need help making a budget or paying off debt or whatever. I can help you too, even if you live somewhere far away. You can read, can’t you? Well then I can recommend what to read to get started and I can coach you from anywhere. Seriously.

That is how this economy will get fixed…that is how we will fight off all the doom and gloom. We’ll do what we can and do better with what we have. We’ll help each other one person at a time. Then that person can help another person. Then they can help one more…are you getting the picture here?

The government isn’t going to save you from your crappy financial situation. YOU are the only one who can change YOUR situation. So…get started already. One little step leads to another…do something today to fix your own economy.  

 

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