Monday, January 26, 2009

Living Simply in the Economic Crisis By Paula


The last few months, have been like a big clonk on the head to most Americans. We have been spending money that we never had and it is finally biting us in the butt. I am guilty of it. When my husband and I bought our current house, we took on a mortgage that was out of our comfort zone. However, since the bank was more than happy to give us the money, we thought we could afford it. After all, the bank should know, right? Wrong!

Many are putting the blame on banks, middle class Americans, poor Americans, BIG company executives, etc., but I blame the 1980's TV Show "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous." Every week Robin Leach showed us what it was like to have a load of money. We gazed upon 24k gold chandeliers, staggering fleets of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces, and exotic bathroom fixtures that cost more than most people make in a year. Suddenly our Buick didn't look so great, our fluorescent kitchen light looked cheap and our rusty bathroom faucet was disgusting. We realized what we didn't have, and then had to have it, whatever the cost.

Now we are all learning the lesson that our grandparent knew, but we refused to believe. My grandma saved everything in plastic baggies and secured them with a rubber band. Left over food? Wrap it up! Scraps of paper? Wrap it up? Old plastic baggies? Wrap those up too! I'm beginning to wash out my plastic baggies and stockpile my rubber bands. "Champagne wishes and Caviar Dreams?" I say "Corona whims and popcorn aspirations." In other words, live simply and be happy.

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