So this little article was featured on Yahoo's news feed this morning. It's about how people making $250,000 (which is in that lovely little "wealthy" tax bracket Mr. Obama mentioned) don't feel wealthy. To quote Joey, from "Blossom," WHOA. Dudes, we (The Dude and I) make less than a quarter of that and we're far from struggling. We have very little credit card debt the little we have is ONLY because I had zero percent interest through November, so why not use other people's money for a while, a very reasonable car note (2005 Tahoe), big house with a yard with a mortgage under $1,000.00, we pay into a retirement, and that 6 month cushion financial experts have been harping on, saved up. We have nice things, but we don't try to "keep up with the Jonses."
Things didn't get this way by accident. I worked hard to get The Dude's credit rating sky high, so we could secure an awesome fixed rate mortgage (mine was already high from money discipline instilled early on thanks Mom!! ). I saved every penny The Dude made overseas so we could pay off the credit card debt he had wracked up when he was younger and when we were just starting out.
We bought a big house, but it was older (built in the 1940s) and needed some work. We bought that house in 2006, and is just about to where we want it!
We've had our fair share of setbacks. We were transitioning out of the military when I found out we were expecting twins! Twins!!! No insurance, living in an 850 sq. ft house. We survived though. We struggled, but made it. Then, a surprise pregnancy after the twins had just turned one. I distinctly remember saying "how will we afford this??" as The Dude handed me the positive pregnancy test. We made it. We survived. Late 2007, we discover our floors on the bottom level had rotted. I cried a lot about that one. I didn't know how we'd swing that payment. We made some cuts, here and there and did it. September 2008, hurricane Gustav causes more than $40,000.00 worth of damage to our home. More than 6 months later and we've got ONE MORE room (my master bath) to re-do. We're still alright.
I just don't get how people making SO MUCH money yes, it is a lot of money can't make it, or struggle. I know that people have lost jobs. I'm not talking about those people. I'm talking about people that simply over-extended themselves. People that bought houses that they knew they could not afford. People that bought stupid crap that they did not need just because it was there.
My kids don't go without. We don't wear tattered clothes. We don't overindulge. We take advantage of the free or cheap activities. Farmer's markets, parks, stuff like that. THAT is what we do for fun. My favorite thing to do is to head up to New Orleans for some begniets and cafe au laits and a stroll on the river front. Very inexpensive, but tons of fun. I meal plan and shop at Wal-Mart. We don't eat out a whole lot. We enjoy the little things in life.
I need to get off my lil soapbox don't I? I don't know, I just get worked up when I hear people complaining about situations they've gotten themselves into.
**disclaimer** This is generally speaking. There are lots of special circumstances, so please don't take offense...unless of course you're the type of people I'm talking about. In which case, take offense cuz you annoy me.