Monday, August 07, 2006

Spending Money On The Little Things


People from other countries have the misconception that all of us Americans are very successful and rolling in money. That is so far from the truth. Most of us are surviving paycheck to paycheck, and that is with not paying all your bills due on time. You just can't. Our government may help other countries (but always with a reason to benefit themself) when in need, but not our own people. Actually, I believe it our government workers job to keep us all poor. They make money off the poor, always has and always will.

So if you are living in our country, trying to make it is not easy, unless you have a really good job, such as being a professional person. Believe me, there are alot more people living in poverty in the United States than most people would believe. So how do you manage to get by? By doing what you have to do. And that is that most people cut the grocery budget first. Most of them just can not do without their televisions. Just can't even imagine it! Or their fast foods. So what does that leave them? Not much.

My husband and I have been driving every Sunday to the nursing home to visit his mother, who had recently had her legs amputated. On the way home, as our treat to ourselves, we have been buying 2 large milkshakes at McDonalds. $6.03. Yesterday, he said to me, "for less than that, we could buy a whole half gallon of ice cream. We are paying that much for not much of anything." (Except that we look forward to it, and makes our ride home more enjoyable.) So I though about it even more. And for $24.12 a month, which is what our two milkshakes are costing us, we could go out to a nice restaurant once a month. Or we could buy a couple of steaks to grill at home. But look at it even closer, at the end of the year, it comes to $289.44, a year's worth of McDonald's milkshakes! And this was a luxury for us. We don't usually do things like this. But what about the family who gets take out several times a week? Add it up and see what it comes to.

On a popular forum that I frequent, the members have a challenge going to see if they could stick to not buying anything for a year. Could you? It doesn't include food and necessities. But extras, like clothing that is something you just want, not something you desperately need, books, magazines, housewares that are not something you really need, you know what I mean. Some of the people are doing it to try to save some money for something special. It's a good exercise in self control. People spend way too much money on silly things anyway. I can say that, as I do not spend money on anything except things I need to live. My books come from my paperbackswap club. I am going to do it too, but have decided what I intend to do is to try to add something to my income during this time. That's what I need to work on. If you have any ideas for me, please go to my website and contact me at www.larrylupole.com and you'll see my name right on there.
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