Yuck. I hate talking about money. Unfortunately though with today's economy, money is on the forefront of everybody's mind as we are inundated with news about our failing economy.
Wallstreet dropping, banks crashing, unemployment rising...it's pretty doom and gloom.
No matter what, we are in some difficult financial times. Regrettably many people are going to find things much tougher than usual. However, I also think that we needed a wake up call. We need to take a hard look at where we have gotten ourselves and learn from our mistakes. We have to face the fact the people were buying houses, cars, and getting loans that they had no business getting. Who's fault is that? Everybodys.
Today we are so caught up in materialism that we have buried ourselves in debt. If you are completely out of debt I commend you!! I envy you. My parents just got there after many years of being financially responsible. They are my inspiration. I realize that if you have reached this goal it is because you have made wise deicisions. I am sure it was not easy and you have earned it only through hard work. You should be very proud of your accomplishment.
For the rest of us though I think we may have needed this type of crisis to teach us a lesson. I think it is time for my generation to learn the lesson that my great grandparents had to learn when they lived through the Depression. They learned firsthand about the consequences of making poor financial decisions. I cannot even fathom what it was like at that time although I feel that there may have been many similarities to what we are experiencing now. That generation, then after surviving, made lifestyle changes based on what they learned. You often hear about how they would hold onto everything, re-use items, waste very little, etc. These lessons were then handed down to their children, who continued to make pretty sound financial decisions. The lessons were then passed down to my parents generation who since they were further removed from the Depression may or may not have learned from it.
Then enters my generation. We couldn't comprehend what had occurred during the Depression because we were so far removed from it. Instead we were taught that the American dream meant a big house, multiple cars, the family of 2.5 children, who were dressed impeccably, ate out often, and had the latest technology. We never stopped though to consider the cost. Instead we signed on the dotted line, applied for the credit cards when we received them in the mail, and handed them over to pay for anything and everything that we wanted. We became selfish. Materialistic. Financially irresponsible.
Now it's time for us to learn. Like many consequences, it's going to hurt. Perhaps for some, more than others, based upon the severity of their decisions.
We will survive just as our grandparents and/or great grandparents did!
We will watch the economy build back up and flourish again.
We will learn from our mistakes.
We will teach our children to be financially responsible.
We just have to be paitient, doing what we can with what we have for now, and helping those around us who may have been hit even harder!
It's time we start living a more realistic American dream.