Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Money, Money Money...

This is part of a post that I wrote when the recession started getting a lot of attention and when we all realized something major was going on in the economy. Things have continued to decline in the economy and more people/friends than I could have even imagined when I wrote the post are now out of work and things are not looking to improve for the world economy any time soon. Most of us have lost thousands in property value and in the stock market. A depression by any other name is still a depression. What have you learned during this time that has helped you deal with this situation? I thought if we could share some ideas we might be able to help each other more.

One thing Jim and I have done is concentrated a whole lot more on maintenance of the things we do have. By taking better care of things we are saving money. We have read a lot about cutting the small things out of the budget which is important, but it is really in the bigger things that the most money is saved.

Here is one thing we have done.

We took out a construction loan to improve our property when interest rates were very low and tried to do a lot of the work on our own. It wasn't just for fun, it was do it or have our property lose more value and fall down around us. Our house is nearly 100 years old, things had to be done to protect our investment.

We hired someone we knew that was in need of employment to support his young family to do what we did not have time to do ourselves. We viewed this as the best thing to do in our current age range and situation as opposed to selling our property for an even greater loss. So by spending this money we hope we saved money in the long run.

It has also helped us prepare for retirement and hopefully the need to spend more later when our income will be somewhat fixed and bigger expenditures harder to manage. Each person's situation is different, what are you doing to hedge against this economic challenge?

Here is the excerpt from the post at the beginning of the "recession."

I was thinking about Joseph of Egypt and the Seven Fat Years and the Seven Lean Years. Remember that story? Joseph was sold into Egypt as a slave by his older, jealous brothers. While there he was asked to interpret a dream of the Pharaoh's that had been disturbing him. It was about seven skinny cows and seven meager sheaves of wheat. Joseph foretold the ruler of seven fat or plentiful years and seven lean years to follow. He found favor with the Pharaoh and convinced him to act in a preemptive manner and prepare for the years of famine to come. The grain was then gathered annually, until is saved a nation from starvation and taught some very bad boys a really good lesson about loving their long, lost brother.

Well , it came to me just as clearly as anything ever has, that the Fat Years are over. With that thought also came a feeling of peace and almost relief that we can all get off the wild ride of reckless spending on things we really do not need and in some cases don't really even want. The materialism and greed and incredible waste are so bad for us, not only as a nation facing tough times, but also as a people trying to be in touch with our spiritual side. We have been trying to straddle that fence for too long and it has taken a toll.

Today when I was actually looking at prices and not just mindlessly throwing things into the cart, I realized anew that being a homemaker is so very important whether or not you have children at home or not. God has blessed us with an income sufficient for our needs. He has blessed me with a husband that works very hard for our family, and it is my sacred duty to do the best by both of them. I was filled with this amazing feeling of gratitude and love for Jim and I just wanted to run and say thank you and that I will do a lot better then I have been during the Fat Years. My heart just aches for the good, hard-working men and women that are losing their job through no fault of their own. This adds another whole level of stress and emotional turmoil beyond the dollars and cents of it. One of the huge blessings of not running faster than you have the strength is that you actually have time to stop and look and listen and learn from everything around you. If we have blessings we need to reach out even farther to those who are struggling more and suffering. Everyone needs to stretch during this time, working or not. It is a time to pull together. (In red...added today)

For the Fat Years everyone has been so caught up in just making more $ and being so busy with no actual time to think things through and spend the $ wisely. Now the Skinny Cow has arrived and things will have to change for all of us. I for one, think it will be a blessing in disguise. If we are prudent (and pull together and help each other in any way we can) we will gain during this time of apparent trouble. And maybe we can learn real life lessons from those Bible Stories from our childhood that are still swimming around in our heads. I hope so anyway, how about you?

What can you share that might help someone else?


{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Sweet Bon...

I SO agree.... taking care of what you already have is a terrific investment. My family didn't have much when I was growing up so that comes as second nature to me now. I can't bear to waste things. That would be why my garage looks like an episode of The Hoarders.. :-) What if I throw it/give it away and I need it???

Have a wonderful day..


Julie Harward said...

I think it hit all of husband went back to work and things are ok now but it sure can get scary fast!

Marie said...

GReat post Bonnie. A year ago I would never have thought that I would be one of the ones losing job and home. As I was the only one working (at 72 Todd gets a basic state pension, which is very meagre) this really dealt us a big blow. We are so grateful for the teachings of the church and the advice of our leaders which meant that we had a bit of savings and a healthy food store. The biggest lesson of all has been that we must learn to live within our means. I wish our goverments would learn that lesson!

LA Adams said...

This is really nice Thanks.

Sister Susie said...

It really make's God's children realize that He is our supply. His Word tells us to not care for what we shall eat, drink or where we shall lay our head; He will take care of us. I know that doesn't mean that we sit back and do nothing, but our faith is allowing our God to lead us at all times, not just the times that are lean, but also the times of abundance. Thank you, Bonnie for your reminders.
Blessings on you and yours,

Caroline Craven said...

Great post. Besides the timely comments and thoughts, your pictures are just plain fun. I loved them. I have a video from one of my nieces that addresses something akin to this and it is from Elder Holland, and of course, very comforting. Check it out.