Got that off my chest!

The ‘new’ America – post downturn.

Posted in America today,The economy by lhkellett on October 5, 2009
Tags: , , ,

Maybe my perspective is different than most. Maybe I’m the odd duck. I keep hearing about all these amazing ways to save money, get out of debt, stretch the almighty dollar … People are getting onto news shows and writing books on this stuff. Others are sopping it up like the best brown gravy ever made.

HELLO. This is not rocket science. And, to many of us (ok, maybe some of us) it is not new or unique or awe inspiring – it’s just common sense. Don’t live beyond your means. Don’t buy things when they are not on sale. Don’t get caught up in the ‘everybody else has one’ spiral. Don’t buy a house you cannot afford. C’mon, people who make $50,000/year cannot buy (and should never want to buy) a $500,000+ house. I don’t care what everyone else is saying. If you can’t even save enough money for even a minimal down payment, you are not ready to buy a house.

So, here are a few ‘tips’ that will surely save you some money.  Stop. Think. Say no.  Then, when you have reconsidered and still feel the need – shop around. Find the bargains. Place limits on what things are worth. Needing a car does not mean you have to buy a new one – no matter what you think you deserve. Your kids will not die if they don’t have Uggs to wear – really. My kid is still kicking around in her Target (Tuggs, we like to call them) version.  A plain t-shirt should cost less than $20 – not $50.  If you can’t afford to pay for next semester’s tuition bill, don’t eat out this month.  Do you really need new placemats, curtains, bedspreads, … right now? Is it worth charging and paying much more for them in the long run?

Finally, for those who use credit for many purchases – have you ever figured out how much it really costs you for the things that you charge? (assuming you do not pay your balance each month). Think about this – if you charge a $500 purchase and just pay the minimum payment every month, you will pay almost $200 more for that charge (with an interest rate of 18%). Was that item worth $700??  Think about it.

I’m not saying that there are not good tips for saving money out there. We should all be more aware and do things that conserve and try to save. Turn off lights – replace light bulbs with more efficient ones – combine car trips and carpool to save gas – recycle items – buy used – cut coupons – etc. Every little bit helps. And don’t forget to teach our kids the value of a dollar. Maybe the next generation will be on a better financial track, but ‘m not holding my breadth. This is America after all!


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