Learning Useful Lessons From the Past

by DavalosMcCormack on October 14, 2008

I don’t know about you, but I think the past few weeks have been a stressful time for all of us!  Just the other day my sister and I were talking about our retirement accounts and just wondering how we lost as much money as we did!  But then it occurred to me, “Gee, how did we have that much money to loose?”

Growing up my Dad never had any money, he always seemed short of cash so maybe that’s why he always seemed so short tempered.  My Mom always had a little stash somewhere.  She didn’t call it that, but if there was a dance coming up and I wanted a new dress to wear, it was my Mom who said…”here…don’t tell your Dad!”

Of course my Dad would take me aside and give me $20 and say, “Here, get something special, but don’t tell your Mom.”  But, where are your Mom and Dad now?

My Mom knew how to save.  Saving was a big deal in our house.  Everything was saved…who knew when you might need that extra material, or the jars for canning jam.  My Mom made dinners that were delicious and really homemade.

We had pinto beans, and enchiladas, and salads…then we would have tortillas and beans and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and then we would have tacos or tostadas for dinner. Boy could that woman stretch a budget.   She made dinner with what ever she had in the house. And it was always good.

However, now we live in a world with drive-thru fast food restaurants where we get heavily processed pre-packaged nutritionally empty calorie-dense foods which we call dinner.

We have credit cards so we can buy whatever we want, whenever we want.  We have gotten used to the idea of ‘buy now pay later’.  But times are changing, and maybe it’s for the better? Maybe it’s time to reassess our way of living.

My daughter has a boyfriend that lives on a cash-only basis.  He has a cell phone that he pays as he goes. He doesn’t have a credit card.  He doesn’t owe any money.  He also doesn’t own a lot of things. Somehow, he gets along. And he seems very happy and comfortable with his way of life.

Now maybe that’s not how everyone would like to live, but there is a good feeling about knowing what you have and it’s not going to be taken away, and knowing what you need.  I like that feeling of freedom.

People are fearful and stressed because they don’t know how they will be affected by the financial turmoil that is taking place.  Times seem tough. But are they truly tough or is that just how we feel after watching too much TV, the feeling that the lifestyle you couldn’t afford anyway is now even further away?

The question you have to ask yourself is are you going to really suffer as a result of  this downturn or can you do something to change your own individual situation?

The answer you provide could determine how happy you are going to be in the weeks and months to come.

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