An honest look at family finances
I got kinda overwhelmed the other day with everything in the news. I was feeling sorry that I ever watched the news. I was wishing I had no idea what was going on with economy and the election. I thought for a moment that was going to stop watching the news all together, that I just didn’t want to know any more. But I immediately thought “But then I wouldn’t know how bad things are.”
Think about that. I wouldn’t know things were bad if the news wasn’t telling me so.
Sometimes it hard to keep it all straight between what people are saying is your reality and your actual reality. Every time you turn on the news, they are telling you how bad it is. “It’s bad, it’s bad, it’s bad!” they chant. You start to feel bad, even if your life hasn’t changed a bit.
So clear your mind of everything you’ve heard on the news. Think about your actual life. If you hadn’t been told the economy was in bad shape right now would you even know about it?
For me, the biggest clue that the economy as a whole is struggling would be that my retirement accounts are down so much. But even so, if I saw that I don’t think I would immediately think “financial meltdown!”. It would probably prompt some research. But I don’t check my accounts everyday. I check them every few months when I think of it. So I might not even notice for a while. But I can’t spend that money for another 25 years, so the day to day value is of little consequence to my actual life.
Next would be all the houses that are for sale in my neighborhood. I would say 10 -20% of houses in my subdivision have a for sale sign in the front yard. That’s a lot! It might prompt me to take a look at the value of our house. It might not. But either way, we’re not selling. So the value of my house today really doesn’t matter.
Lastly, my husband’s overtime being cut is definitely something I would notice. Not today, but in a few months we will start to feel the pinch. But it’s not set in stone. It’s possible overtime may still be coming. So who knows, it might not end up affecting us as much as we fear. Our friend may still get laid off though, so that is a big deal, but it hasn’t been decided yet.
So all in all, I probably wouldn’t know that we are experiencing a “financial crisis”. I think those terms “crisis” and “meltdown” are the media’s terms and strictly for effect. Try not to get caught up in them. My retirement accounts are down, there are quite a few houses for sale in my neighborhood, my husband might have several light months at work, and I know someone who may be laid off. It does sound like an economy t87hat isn’t doing so hot. But does it sound like a meltdown?
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t watch the news or know what’s going on. Obviously, you should try to stay informed. But don’t let their idea of your reality replace your actual reality. If things are going well for you then enjoy that. Don’t feel guilty about it and don’t let the media tell you it’s not really happening.
pic by: ed100
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