Wednesday, September 24, 2008

buckle up & keep your arms & legs in at all times...

last night was a sleepless night for ben & a restless night for me. (especially seeing i am up at 6am blogging, you know something's going on.) anyone else catch oprah yesterday? anyone else turned on the news, msn, dateline, & actually listen to it??

we are in some real trouble here. when i hear suze orman, a financial adviser who's opinion i really respect, say that our economy is in "as much trouble as in the crash of '29," i get a bit scared. to the point that i am dreaming about it, and ben is not-sleeping about it. all last night we watched hours of news talking about the horrible state our country is in. retirement savings are being cut in half, people are losing their 401k's, and the stock markets have crashed. then we stayed up for hours talking about what we are going to do about it. some questions we have been asking ourselves:

  • is now the best time to be going to school & living off of student loans? (aka, money that isn't really ours??)
  • if our country can't figure this out, are we really going to need psychologists in 5 years? or will we truly be a predicted...and be more focused on jobs such as home building, farming, sewing?
  • how do we protect ourselves?
suze orman says:

...So what can you do to protect yourself? "People, stop living the financial lies that you have been living," Suze says. "If you don't have the money to pay for something, can you just not buy it? Can you wait? Can we start looking at keeping our cars for 10 years rather than getting a new one every three?"...

there have been many times that i have looked around at others & have been a bit...let's just say it...jealous. buying huge, beautiful homes, driving nice cars, their houses looking like the inside of a pottery barn catalog. as i am thinking, "how are they doing this?? what do they know that we obviously don't? where is our piece of the pie?"

i've had to check myself before i wrecked myself because i could feel pride getting to me. not the pride like i thought i was so cool, but pride from what i call "the bottom up" which to me, can eat you alive. it's the jealous, coveting, feeling of entitlement that you feel when you look at what others have that you don't. but it can cause feelings of bitterness and resentment, because you feel you deserve a nice living as much as the next guy. but the only person suffering is yourself. i would feel so frustrated because we felt we had done things the "right way," by putting education first & career second, but nothing ever felt to be working out, at least as far as we could see it. still living in apartments, still barely scraping by.

now that i am hearing about the housing market, the economy, the debt our country is in, i can do another reality check. we have done our best to avoid any credit card debt, have one car, have cheap stuff. we have lived as lean as we can...and maybe now that is a good thing. it is a scary feeling to know that the money you live off of is not your own money. it is borrowed money. and if someone decides that today is the day they need to collect on the debt because they are low on funds, that is when things get ugly.

i have never seen my friend suze as fired up as she was last night. there was a couple featured that is in over $90,000 of debt with 29 credit cards. 29. credit cards. little suze took this couple to the cleaners, not showing them any mercy for the poor financial choices that they made.

so, on our to-do list today:
  • sell our car. we are only going to buy one that we do not have to make payments on and that someone else doesn't own while we are driving it around. true, we may be the family with the loud muffler or backfiring engine at every stoplight. true, it will be very difficult to make this change. i have just gotten used to the feeling of security that our car won't be constantly breaking down like our old jalopies. but the reality is, this car is too expensive for our budget right now.
  • double check that the banks we use are all FDIC insured. this was something suze drove home about the economy crash. please make sure your banks are insured too!
  • pray our little guts out as to whether we are making the best decision here, to be going into so much debt at this point in the game. we know that the prophets have counseled that education is a worthy debt. but is it smart right now, with what the future could be holding for the country? should ben just go back to work and we start beefing up our savings again?
okay, now that i have written this all out, maybe my mind can sleep again. if you need anymore help, here is a link to go to for "5 steps to secure your financial future."

be aware of what is going on around us.
and hold onto your hats folks, we may be in for a rough ride.


Mike and Jenny said...

These truly are scary times. I hate having student loans as well and it was a worthy cause to go in debt for. I don't know how those people slept at night with that much debt and credit cards!!! Hopefully by living as the prophets tell us we can save ourselves much heartache. Hope you are feeling well!!!

Rachel H. said...

That's funny you wrote this because I watched it and it's been on my mind too. I actually don't care for Suze Orman...really. But I did appreciate what she had to say yesterday.

I have been thinking of ways to cut back and add some cash to the pot. I think once you put a plan into action, it's important to feel good about it and not live in complete fear.

I hope you guys find some peace with things and that your car sells soon!

MARIE said...

Great post. I LOVE Suze Orman. Interestingly enough I want to spend all my extraneous spending money that I should be putting in savings on all her books and stuff. hehe!

Lauren Horsley said...


Secondly, Love Suz. That gal will kick you right in the proverbial junk if you've got your head messed up about money. Thank heavens because society continues to teach us that 4000 sq. ft. Pottery Barn homes and gas-guzzling SUV's are what matters. We need more people like Ms. Orman. More PARENTS like Ms. Orman, teaching the next generation some freaking financial responsibility and pride.

Thirdly, the prophets have counselled that "reasonable debt" for education or home purchase is acceptable, but any "unnecessary debt" is seriously discouraged. Praying about those specific goals (reasonable debt vs. unnecessary debt)will enable us to do everything possible to make sure we're not burying ourselves, regardless of our good intentions.

Amy said...

Ok, now I am feeling guilty. I went grocery shopping today, and I allowed myself some splurges that I wouldn't normally buy. I think it is because I am feeling sick and want some comfort. Anyway, I know what you mean about being jealous of everyone's nice homes and cars. Although I should let you know, that fixing up jalopy cars every other month is not a good way to save money. You need to find something in between posh and lemon...I'll call it affordable. I am definitely getting nervous. Thankfully we don't have 29 maxed out credit cards, but we have accumulated a small amount of debt that just needs to be taken care of. It stresses me out a lot. Thanks for this post, and good luck to all of us.

The Pyne's said...

ok, so thanks for scaring me senseless!! I mean I know what's gonig on around us but I'm the type that just tries NOT to THINK of it....I know lame, but if I think about it, it just makes me sick. Just like this move we are about to make. I mean I'm starting to even wonder if it's going to happen and um yes our HOUSE is SOLD! so does Heavenly Father really want us to just stay in UT because they are not hiring ANYBODY at lance's work yet to even take his place. So I guess I should just be thankful that lance has a job and we are not in bad debt, especially now that our house is going bye bye and we are going rent free again into the basement!! AHHHHH, scary times!

Doug and Tiff said...

that is an awesome point. i never really thought of it that way. it is really hard to see those around you go into debt for the bigger, better things...

S & RA Beazer said...

I trust you and Ben will make the decisions. Getting a good education is important and something I think you should stick with, but then it's not my decision to make. I am glad we are past that point in our lives. Good Luck in everything.

Amanda said...

You're probably going to think I'm a little bit crazy by saying this, but the best way to protect yourself in this economy is not too feed into the fear and drama of it all. In my world, I barely ever work, the economy has crashed, and I've hardly noticed. I don't allow it to bother me.

Remember what we focus on expands. Just be happy, continue to live frugally (without that scared and desperate feeling) ....and you'll be fine!

Joel and Carrie said...

Very informative. Coming from a family with 98 billion dollars in student loans I've definitely had sleepless nights. Not really 98 billion by the way but it can weigh on my mind like it. Thanks!

Brooke said...

Marc graduates in April with his Masters in Social Work which is basically a counseling degree. We've taken out more than a little in student loans and I hate it. As he gets closer to graduating I worry if he'll be able to get a job (in his field) so we can pay back all those student loans. I don't know what the answers are but I know it's something we need to talk about as a couple. Thanks for the reminder :)

Trixy Lovelace said...

I love how Suze talks strait up to women specifically about making good money choices because women are really the the foundation of our country I think. Anywho, Eric and i stay up late scaring ourselves with talk about the world situation and how terrifying it is that terrorism is so bad and it's scary to even take your kids to Disneyland right now, let alone buy a house like we're doing-EEK! But, it's like the wise George Michael says "I got ta have faith!"

Danny and Brenna said...

Great job on the car decision. Brenna and I have one car, a 1993 Jeep Cherokee with 150,000 miles, that we paid for in cash. She drives it to work everyday and I take UTA to and from Weber State.
Yeah, it is scary, but as you know the Prophets have been harping on the need to stay out of debt, and to have food storage. Warnings have been given.

Anyways, I have not talked to you in FOREVER!! I should of jumped on this blog wagon years ago. You guys look like your doing good.