Monday, January 14, 2008

Better junky than chapter 7

I used to be humiliated by the fact that I am trashy, now I embrace it.
At first it was hard taking everyones "hey we don't need or use this anymore, want it?", or "We got a new better _________ do you want our old one". Dental school gave me the reality that if we didn't get it free, second hand or by way of a Christmas gift . .we just didn't. Looking back I think we are so awesome for not needing cell phones, cable, vacuum (1st year of dental school), crib (Benson got our 1st that was not held together with duct tape]), play station, dinners out, babysitters, gym passes, high speed internet, HD tv, cordless phone, or real furniture. Now that we are out of dental school we can breathe but still live the same lifestyle but with a few upgrades.

When we first moved to Carlsbad we found it amazing that weekend mornings you could drive around and get all sorts of free good stuff. For example our desk, a globe that opened to hold 4 bottles, martinellies- of course, 4 night stands, king size head board, 2 dressers, 2 file cabinets, wingback chair, play station 2, just my size wet suit, complete series of Bourne, Lord of the rings and star wars books, purses for Madisen, and thats just the good stuff. These items of trash to those around us were better replacements or completely new for us. Basically the wedding tradition of something used, barrowed, blue, new and old, is our motto minus something new.

Full tank, great grill $28 you move it yours desk

I was driving (the speed limit) on Saturday listening to financial talk radio. I learned that the average American spends $1.22 for every dollar they earn. In the 80s we saved 12 percent of our income, now we are down to saving -1% of our income. So from my limited math skills I gather we are setting ourselves up for financial prison and doom while making bankers and salesman fat. We give everyone around us our money, plus, keep nothing for ourselves or savings. Humph? Where did the breakdown in rationale and logic come from? I was taught that you do not buy what you cant afford, If you want a big something you SAVE UP, then buy it.

I am convinced the devil concocted the buy now pay later, and 0% down for a year then bam your couch is at 25% interest. My question is why in the sam hill do so many Americans fall for it. Was I in the minority of children taught an understanding that if you spend 22 cents more then you earn, . .your in debt 22 cents?!?

I can not say my knowledge of dollars and cents has really gotten us any where. Thanks to out of state tuition we are pretty much in a gigantic financial prison. Which brings us back to why we are still trashy and fine with that. We absolutely could go to Costco and buy their leather sofa (special introductory offer, blah blah scheme). But we know we would just delay paying off our student loans and their steadily growing interest by that much more. I am sure we could 'qualify' for a luxury car. However not until 4 years of out of state grad school are pad off could we ever realistically 'afford' a new car. And even then, I d have to save up and buy it not rent from a bank or a dealership.
we paid allot of money for this experience

This post is not meant to boast of my wonderful financial superiority, because frankly I am likely the most in debt of any out there. All I really refer to is the basics of living without luxuries, until our homes are really in order. Our society seems wrecklessly irresponsible with their own money, taking themselves farther and farther into debt. For what?, 4 wheelers, luxury cars, time shares, boats, what? Really what is so important to buy on credit, that you would risk your freedom, your financial freedom and stability for?!? I am hoping that the next craze will not be to have 'things', but to seek and obtain fiscal freedom.

Does anyone else wonder why or how American's can hypocritically point fingers at our fiscally irresponsible government. Our government is led by Americans; Americans that spend their own money at an average of 22 cents more per dollar then they earn. Why would they change that at work? How do people rationalize purchases they cant, and will possibly never be able to afford? What happened to saving money? "A penny saved is a penny earned" wasn't that said by an American? The short guy with beady glasses and a kite was on to something . . .and not just light. (my wife was referring to how even though Thomas Edison invented electic light, the short guy with the bifocals( Ben Franklin, of course) and a kite was on to electricity first, this he didnt invent light, but was just "on to "it, meaning making us closer to the invention. I know most of you are educated and understood what she was referring to, I just didnt want there to be any confusion)


Salt H2O said...

I hear you LOUD and clear. Here's something else to tick you off while you're thinking about it- all those people who bought houses they couldn't afford with the smoke and mirriors loans. Hillary Clinton wants to use YOUR tax dollars to give those people who over spent 'relief'.

So I work hard and save, buy a modest home, and then the government is going to take my money and give it to those who bought a house too big for their income.

That my friend, is why I want to move to Singapore!

Kimberly McEvoy said...

yeah that is very frustrating. plus is it a right to own a home or a privilege . .one earned with what you did, hard work and saving.

Luckily (or not) we are not in the housing game here, we have to pay way to much back a month to student loans. that does not leave extra thousands for a mortgage.

Singapore is looking more and more like the future. do they accept us board certifications?

brittdave said...

What is with the tooth picture, is that an example of you being trashy?

I completely agree. We work very hard and live beneath our means and it seems the government likes to punish that. It's easier to get on government programs with huge car payments you can't afford.

Wendy said...

Hi Ben! Just wanted to say hi. Found your blog through Matthews.

I hear ya. With all the student loans we've got I'm all about used or free. We still have a 19" TV that our friends gave us when we were first married and we're also quite proud of our rabbit ears with tin foil on them. The less bills the better.

Arah said...

Thanks for commenting. I am always happy to talk to others who know something about what we are going through. I can understand your parents feeling that way. Matt and i haven't felt that way toward each other, but we knew that Olivia wouldn't have been with us long anyway, before we found out what she had.
How old were you when your younger sister died? I am always curious about Brinley's feelings as she gets older. Is she going to remember this clearly or is she going to slowly forget some things.
Anyway, thank you! I always welcome comments!

Daisy Paige said...

You don't know me, but I happened upon your blog and just want to echo this sentiment,

"I am sure we could 'qualify' for a luxury car. However not until 4 years of out of state grad school are paid off could we ever realistically 'afford' a new car."

There is a huge difference between qualifying for something (like a $400k mortgage) and actually being able to afford it, but it seems most people don't understand that difference. My husband and I caught so much flak from people wanting us to buy a house in Vegas because "Now's the perfect time! Don't throw your money away on rent! We can get you in with zero down!" just because we qualified for a ridiculous loan amount. Not just realtors and lenders, either. It seemed to come from everyone. Thankfully, we did our own thing and didn't lose $75k on our home when we got transferred back to Utah.

Anyway, you are not the only ones that grew up in a home where financial responsibility was taught and expected. Kudos to your parents for teaching you the difference, and kudos to you for teaching it to your children.

~home bodies~ said...

you better come.