Monday, October 20, 2008

Economy...your thoughts please...

So I've been pondering this in my head since last night. Jamie & I went grocery shopping yesterday while the boys were out doing man things (Trenton hunting, Josiah volleyball). I only needed a few things, but was cooking a turkey yesterday and wanted noodles to go with and was too lazy to make homemade ones, so I said I'd ride along. She was doing her "big" shopping. We went to Aldi's & Wal-Mart. I told her how impressed I was that she was so good as sticking to things on the list and her budget. She said she's really trying hard b/c her & Josiah are really worried about "depression" like times & the economy. As two 20 year olds, they don't have alot of savings or things like a deep freezer full of meat. It really got me thinking, how prepared are Trenton & I for hard times and will it come to that? I know or at least hope we will never face a depression like what are grandparents/great grandparents went through. But what about our own depression/hard times? I know subconsciously once I started thinking about it, there are things Trenton & I've already been doing just b/c our budget is tighter. We've started eating out less, I pack my lunch more with leftovers instead of eating/paying for school lunch. We make less trips places and try to carpool more. Jamie's comment though was "at least you guys would be ok food wise b/c you have a pantry & deep freeze full". Which I agree there, but what about simple things like paying for gas/heat? I know prices have went down, but we're still paying for the toll of the increased bill the last 6 months has had on our budget. What if it spikes again mid-winter? I know the best answer to all these fears and doubts is to turn it over to God and trust that he will provide what is needed (not what we want) as long as we have faith and believe. But I still think you have to do some things to help yourself out. Trenton & I are at a time in our lives where obviously we want to start a family, which means we need to be saving and reorganizing our spending habits, but do you save now or try to pay off as many bills as you can? I know some of you probably don't think as much about things like this as I do. I've always been a worry wart about money. Mostly b/c I'm the one who pays all our bills and does all our shopping. It just really made me think when I hear people like Jamie seriously concerned about money, economy, and saying words like depression. Have I had my head in the sand? Should I have been a little more proactive instead of re-active? Anyway...point of this post? Are you worried about the economy and hard times? What are you doing about it in your own lives? Cutting coupons? Turning down the heat when you're gone? Let's hear it....

5 comments:

Miss Jenn said...

This is the first time in Mike & I's marriage that we've ever not lived paycheck to paycheck & worried about late fees, this bill and that bill. Our proactive stance is to never forget what that was like. 10% of our income is automatically deposited into savings, 10% goes to tithe and we live on 80%. We still watch our eating out, turn the heat down while we are gone, plastic the windows even though we'd *probably* be able to afford the heat bill without doing so, etc. We live like we've been living the last 3 years so that we don't get into the habit of spending all that we have & get back in the rut we were in. Its hard to know that you have a little extra and not spend it, but we try & put it towards some bill or some goal we're trying to reach. When we want something new, we save first & then buy it instead of putting it on a credit card or taking out a loan. I grocery shop like my mom taught me to & always keep the pantry full b/c some month may not be so fortunate & then I'm always prepared. I didn't grow up with a lot of money & don't want my kids to always get everything they want just b/c we can afford it. I didn't & it made me a way better person. Don't get me wrong, we splurge (& make mistakes) but we try really hard to watch what we do so we don't get stuck if something should ever happen. We've been pretty rigid (& blessed) to always have our savings account to back us up when the washer blows (& then the dryer & the stove...w/in months of each other!). I guess my point is, just be conscious, be careful...you already are I'm sure. Travis Harris is a good resource through the church if you are ever really looking for financial counseling. Mike & I have a liveable savings that we dip into sometimes & a nontouchable savings that we never get into that Travis helped us set up. Its a higher interest ING account...might want to look into it.

Miss Jenn said...

whew, just realized what an extraordinarily long comment that was...sorry.

Bree Shaw said...

jared and i started 2 years ago doing a budget. shonya and alan klein introduced us to the dave ramsey deal. it is awesome! i am so grateful to them for introducing us to it. it helped us a lot. i am worried about the economy and what is to come, but i agree with jenn if we do what we have been doing then maybe that will help us. there are always ways to "cut back". we may not like to cut back on eating out, not getting our hair done, going to the movies or whatever it may be, but it may be neccessary if it comes right down too it.

Andrea Frederick said...

i don't feel like i have any room for opinions, b/c here i am building a house. however, vance and i are fully aware of what might have to be cut when that house payment roles around. i have already cut out hair coloring, running to kv, and eating out a bunch. we do run to buddy's when we've worked all night and splurge b/c we feel like this might be the last time for awhile. good thoughts!

Amee Jones said...

It is so hard not to "spend what you make". James and I both have things that we do for ourselves. I love to get my hair done and he has many hobbies, but we have cut back lately. We have quit eating out as much, buying the cheaper version of things that we used to think we needed name brand, and not just going out "riding around." We are also trying to get rid of or lower monthly payments. Slowly but surely. We have to or we would not be comfortable. It makes me very sad to think that it cost almost as much for me to buy food to fix for supper as it does to go out. I guess staying home you at least get to save on gas.