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What I Learned This Week – 5/4/14

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I am not a positive person by nature.  But I am trying.

Hard.  It is sooo very hard.  But this week I learned that I am improving.

My husband had been working overtime for months, which recently ended.  I reduced my days per week at work due to the fact that I thought all the babysitting was killing my elderly mother.  Plus, my husband bought a new (used) car last month.

The sudden reduction in income and increase in expenses has led us to what I used to refer to as “living poor” (i.e. lots of spaghetti and boxes of macaroni and cheese for dinner).  We can pay all our bills, but that leaves very little money left for groceries for a family of three, plus dog food for two large dogs.

But, instead, I found myself referring to it as “living within our means”.  Instead of using our credit card to buy extra food and gasoline, we will just have to live on the cash we have.  That isn’t necessarily super positive, but it definitely doesn’t have as negative a connotation as “living poor”.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The book “The Secret” talks about telling the universe what you want and not to tell it what you want to avoid.  For instance, I would thank the universe for my red Jeep Wrangler.  I do not actually have a Jeep Wrangler.  Yet.  But the universe does not know that.  And by putting my energy into being thankful for it, I may just manifest one.*

This week I also realized I need to eat less food.  Which works out well with being able to buy less food, I guess.  But that still doesn’t stop me from being hungry and wanting to eat.  My asbestos friend used a phrase that I thought was very apt.  She said she needed to “reign in” her eating.  She didn’t call it a diet or trying to lose weight.  It wasn’t implied that she would suffer or lack anything.  She was just going to have less.  Plus, it has a royal ring to it.  “Reign it in”.

So, my two new mottos to live by this week are “live within my means” and “reign it in”.

Hmmm.  While they do not seem negative, why am I still left with the nagging feeling of being hungry and poor?

Hershey's chocolate syrup

Hershey’s chocolate syrup

I miss my daily chocolate already.  Time to lick some Hershey’s syrup off a spoon.

*  At work yesterday I was thinking a lot about how I am more productive when I work by myself, and also how an extra $25 would come in handy.  One of my co-workers pulled a no-show, and I had to stay later to cover her. :-/  Be careful what you wish for.

An Epiphany

I had an epiphany the other day. Unemployment is the new retirement.* Think about it. Ponder the deepness of my thought.

Now, past generations had pensions from their companies to provide them income in their retirement years. Gone. Social Security was always standby monetary security (it is in the name, afterall). Social Security will be gone sooner, rather than later. 401ks are a good idea, if your employer puts in contributions (mine stopped several years ago) and the stock market doesn’t take any giant nosedives. Oh, right.

So, from the unscientific examples above, you will see that people will have to continue working longer. This will cause them to miss out on those “Golden Years”, of providing free daycare to their grandkids, going on casino trips, and spending winters in warmer climates.

But, think about it. Retirement was at the end of your life! You had to WORK for 65 years (or 66, or 67,…) to get there. I don’t know about you, but 8 hours a day seems like a long time to me, let alone 8 x 5 x 52 x 65! And you could be in bad shape physically or mentally by then, and not be able to enjoy retirement. Or, the worse, YOU COULD BE DEAD BY THEN!

Now, think about this. In this economy, it seems as though everyone gets a year (or more!) to be unemployed. Hopefully congress keeps passing bills to keep the unemployment beneftis coming as well (fingers-crossed). This has become my current state of affairs. And I swear I am truthfully doing a dilligent job hunt. But I am also going to enjoy my time off. While I am young. While I am healthy. While I can watch my son master the art of crawling and buy him cute things at garage sales. I want to reconnect with my husband again. I want to shop at Ikea with my asbestos friend. I want to take a breath. I was at my last job for 12 years. In another 12 years I will be 47. Whoa. See, I need to take a breath.

I realize I should be worried. But I just am not. I had little control over my company liquidating and laying me off. While I look for my dream job or my next job to pay the bills, I am going to enjoy a little of my retirement now.

*NOTE: funnygurl2 is not a moneyologist and you should always make all money and life decisions for yourself.

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