Enough Money!

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Doing income taxes I have to constantly delve into people's financial lives. We often have discussions about many, many aspects of finances. There are a few things I find in common with almost every person! NO ONE thinks they make "enough" money. Doesn't matter if they made $5000 or $100,000, if they just had a little more it would be enough!!! Most people DO NOT have any savings. They just don't! Most people carry huge amounts of credit card debt, car loans, house mortgages. People do not want to wait for anything! We have talked to so many people about how to build a home cheaply (money wise!) and later find out they borrowed $100,000 to do it, when it can be done much cheaper than that.

Oh well, it is just kind of funny that most people think that if they just made another $1000 a year, that would be ENOUGH!!

What do you think????

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), March 16, 2002


As I am constantly telling my adult children: It's not how much you make but what you do with what you have. My DH makes more than enough money for the two of us to live on because we live very frugally. Our house is made off, we have NO credit card debt or car loans. We also have a significant amount stashed away in savings and for retirement. Of course, we are older than most 30 somethings who do feel like they should have it all NOW but we're not that close to retiring yet. I sometimes really worry about how they will get by. In the case of my children, one is similar to me in that she lives very frugally. The other one: if he had 25 cents in his pocket, he'd spend $1.00 and worry about the rest later.

Wishing you enough.

-- Trevilians (Trevilians@attbi.net), March 16, 2002.

I agree!!!! No one ever seems to make enough money. Personally I make more than enough. I do not have a high paying job! My poor little part time job provides us with more than we actually need. We are very tight. We save whenever possible and have NO DEBT. If we cannot pay for it, we live without it until we can. Our savings accounts always come first.I am constantly amazed by friends raking in $60,000.00 a year complaining because they barely make ends meet. I believe it to largely be a personal choice. You can spend it faster than it comes in and be in debt till the day you die or you can live below your means and not worry about money.

-- DAVID Constantin In Wisconsin (cajundavid@hotmail.com), March 16, 2002.

David is right. It is a persons choice. I recently wrote you all about quitting my job. Well, I did it the other day and what everyone has been saying is,"You are so lucky." "I wish I had that luxury." Well, it's not luck or a luxury. I make the choice to live lean and not go into debt. People just want too much stuff, want it right now, and then don't enjoy the life they have to lead to pay for it all. I wish you all enough

-- Chris in KY (christi@bardstowncable.net), March 16, 2002.

When we married Vicki and I started saving. First it was $5 a week, since I earned next to nothing. But after several years, we had saved $10,000 and put it down on our first house in Brazil. No banks would loan us money, so we did something crazy: I spent $1,000 in international phone calls, with a proposal to friends and family. We would pay 10% interest over five years for any amount people would loan us. There was the risk of our not paying back, but most people had confidence in us. So we put together our own financing, good for us, good for our investors. In five years we paid off a $40,000 house. (Before my parents, who paid twice the price of their house through a 30-year bank loan.)

If we had not had the savings, though, it would never have happened.

Moral of the story: start sticking it back.

-- Randal in Brazil (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), March 16, 2002.

Great question and food for thought. I think it is in our human nature to never be satisfied, whether regarding money, possessions, time, etc. We are constantly searching for that "thing" that will make us happy. Only the wise understand that happiness is not a material thing, but spiritual. Living within our means, and being content, requires great self-discipline; something in short commodity these days. Personally, I am constantly having to rein in my desires for a new....(fill in the blank), and it is a daily struggle. But, as my DH has to constantly remind me, we have the things most people today have. My food is not fancy, but I'm not hungry. My home is small, but paid for and secure. My car is not new, but serves to transport us in safety and comfort. My clothes are mostly second-hand, but are clean and fashionable. In other words, we have "enough" when we are able to meet our basic human needs. It's when we believe we DESERVE more/better that we get ourselves into financial trouble. Best wishes to all, Paula

-- Paula (pcffour@hotmail.com), March 16, 2002.

"If you spend a penny more than you save you will be poor if you save a penny more than you spend you will be rich" or something like that, Ben Franklin I think. I have only taken out loans for a house or land, never cars etc. If you can't afford to pay cash you can't afford it.Credit cards if used at all are paid every month, don't use if you can't pay.I was saving money when I was making $1.80 an hour. I have had friends make twice what I do and never have any money while I always have. I started saving for retirement when I hit 30,many years ago.

-- John in Mn. (nospam@mywork.com), March 16, 2002.

Some very wise words here. My son and his wife just bought their first house - and paid cash for it! I am so proud of them. However, two of my children are so in debt, I don't know how they will ever get out. We have always lived frugally but I think the answer to our being in great financial shape is we have always done most of our own work - fix everything ourselves and have lots of sweat equity in two homes. What we didn't have to spend to have things done, we were able to save. Some people will never have enough. If they make $1000 or more a year than they were making - they will just spend it. So many people today think they are going to get rich playing the lottery or sueing someone. How sad. There is so much debt in this country that I look for it to crash one day. One must pay oneself first, no matter what.

-- Barb in Ky. (bjconthefarm@yahoo.com), March 16, 2002.

Kind of nice to hear ordinary, hard working folks with enough determination to save a few dollars. Was beginning to think I was the only one who didn't drive a Lexus just because they exsist. Once in a while it makes me mad when others tell me how "lucky" I am not to finance cars, etc. No luck there. We worked to save every penny. When everyone else was eating out 5 times a week we were buying flour in 50 bags to make enough biscuits to make sure no one left the table hungry.

-- David Constantin In Wisconsin (cajundavid@hotmail.com), March 16, 2002.

No one, regardless of income, will ever have enough unless they spend less than they earn. For many years I've been bombarded with people telling me that dh and I are so lucky because we're "rich". Yeah, right. ROTFL It used to amuse me, now it almost makes me angry. Yes, we are pretty much clear of debt. Yes, I can "afford" to stay home. Yes, we have a decent home, and can afford to splurge a little on occasion. It's because we live very frugally. These people complain to us about how "lucky" we are, and then drive off in their new vehicles (with the $500 per month payment) on their way out to a fancy restaurant. Then they go to a movie or the mall for entertainment. While we sit here with our '76 pickup parked in the garage and make ourselves a bowl of homemade soup and biscuits while we read a library book or watch tv (no cable). Sorry, folks, but it isn't "luck" that provides enough for us and keeps us out of debt. Many of these couples easily make double or triple what we do, as we actually have a rather small income. We just make it stretch a long way. Having enough is like homesteading, it's mostly an attitude, a state of mind.

-- Lenette in OR (kigervixen@webtv.net), March 17, 2002.

One of Lance's captains just built his own new home, a really nice one. The funny thing was that when he went in for the loan, he told them I want XXX amount of money. They told him, "you can't build that house for $XXX, you have to borrow $YYY or we won't loan it to you, because the house won't be finished out".

He's a carpenter, but didn't argue. He just borrowed their set amount of money, built the house for $XXX, and gave the rest back to them on the first payment! (Don't tell HIM "you can't"!)

-- Christine in OK (cljford@mmcable.com), March 18, 2002.

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