Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The purpose of this blog was to live my life. I mean, LIVE my life, not just exist in it going through the motions and end up looking back to the past wondering what I did and why I never achieved my goals or acted upon my aspirations. I haven't been doing too well on that front. I'm frustrated to say the least.

Everything in this life cost some form of money. For example, I want to take up photography. The camera alone is almost a grand. The lenses, add on a couple more thousand. The bag alone? It's over a hundred. Then there's the all the little accessories that go with that will nickle and dime me.
I am sitting here looking at the Christmas lists my three children have concocted from their wildest imaginations. I'd need the income of an actress to accomplish successfully purchasing five things on Aden's list. If I had the salary of said actress, I can guarantee you, I wouldn't be writing this blog nor wondering how to acquire the equipment to achieve my goals without going into a mountain of debt. Then again, even some A listers are going bankrupt. (Check out Nicholas Cage and Whitney.)

My point is, how do I purchase anything without going into debt? I don't think it can be done unless I save for a very long time. Let's face it, my husband is in the military and we aren't silver spooners. So, saving or financing are our only options. I hate to finance anything. We just got out of debt. But I look around my military neighborhood and wonder, HOW do these people live? Obviously their vehicles alone cost more than their measely military paycheck. Many, many of these people have spouses who work for minimum wage or not at all. Yet, most drive spendy brand new vehicles and their kids are sporting the latest in fashion trends on their bodies and riding in the latest motorized vehicle that does not require licensing. One cannot tell me that they've saved for said merchanise for years.

My grandfather was a garbage man way, way before I was born. I think the proper term is trash engineer now?? Anyway, he would collect trash in all kinds of neighborhoods: well-to-do, poor, middle class, etc. He said that the folks in the high class neighborhoods had can foods and hamburger in their trash. The folks in the middle class had T-bones and reminants of fresh veggies. The folks in the poorer neighborhoods had very little, if any, trash at all. I think there's a lesson in that. He said that all too often he'd go to collect the payments for his services and find that most of the upper class homes had little to no furniture in them.

I should be happy I have three happy (for the most part) and healthy children, that I have a roof over my head, and an income in such trying economic times. And I am. Do not read into this. I am just wondering how people live beyond their means and not have a coronary. I've stated a hundred times and I'll say it again right now, I think living beyond a person's means is what caused the downfall of our economy.

People get credit and run with it. They buy and buy and buy until the credit is maxed out. Then what? They consolidate those credit cards and then spend more. Susie needs a new pair of shoes though she has 15 in her closet that are brand new that she never wears because they aren't the style and the kids will make fun of her. Or Joe Schmoe down the street has a brand new Harley so Jake Schmake next door has to buy one too, though he has a perfectly fine mode of transportation sitting inside his garage.

Now, I'm not pointing fingers. I have had my fair share of "military credit." It has provided us with furniture from time to time. It has also robbed my husband's paycheck and made us pay twice as much in interest. I always warn newcomers to the military of this credit. It's easy to get caught up in a "housefull of furniture for $99 per month!" It's also easy to get caught in the web of military lenders. Before one knows it, they owe the equivilant to tuition to a four year university at 40% interest.

I guess what it boils down to is a need versus want. To Jeff and I, needs are what keeps us alive: food, air, water. Wants are everything else. I want a second vehicle because it's a pain to get everyone up at the ass-crack of dawn to take him into work on days that I need the van or he gets underway. I want that beautiful silver, satin lined Coach Bag. I have a pair of tennis shoes, dress shoes, and flip flops. I don't NEED another in a different color. But man, it would be nice to have four or five more pairs just because I love shoes. 

I NEED to live life, not just exist in it. I NEED to fullfill my dreams and aspirations. I NEED to have hobbies as an outlet and something that is just mine. So, do I NEED the camera equipment or is it a want? I don't know.

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