I was all ready to post about the wonderful weekend I have planned, but watching Suze Orman last night jarred me back into reality. While we have cut a lot of our discretionary spending, we're not truly living below our means. I'm not just talking about my family, but families in general. We're paying for McDonalds, outside activities for our children, day trips, car trips, video games, it all adds up. While I'm not one to say, okay go live bare bones, I'm wondering what will it take for us to really live bare bones? I have two months left of teaching for the school year, and plan on putting everything I earn into our savings account. I'm also going to put everything I earn from my side work into that account. I'm going to have us live on close to half of what we bring home income wise, just so we can put more in savings. Is that possible, I don't know. I do know that there are things we can do without, we can watch what we spend. I already was putting a majority into savings, while paying down our debt with the rest. However, I feel really insecure. I don't think the bottom is done falling out from the economy. Gas is going up, does anyone see that? More layoffs and more closures are happening-I don't think its being covered in the media as much, and I think its to give people a false sense of security-so they'll go out and spend. Spend. Money they wouldn't otherwise spend if they thought their financial well being was at stake. Well, I'm sick of being insecure, and I'm not going to lay down and let more crap happen and we pay the price.
I'm human though. I want my kids to have, for us to go out, we deserve it, we all do. Then again, having a summer of fun at an amusement park won't do us any good if something happens to R's job. I'm leaning hard core about not paying for membership to additional places, and just making do with what we have. Easter baskets I was going to fill with stuff I bought today-yeah, I'm going to make homemade treats and find stuff lying around that we haven't used yet. No need to splurge on extra stuff, my kids really do have enough stuff. The trip I want to take to the coast-we'll go to Santa Cruz instead for the day-and bring food, toys, and not do the amusment park this time. We'll survive-I did all those years I went to the boardwalk and just walked around. When I finally went on those rides, it was a bit anticlimatic-I actually thought, I'm paying how much for this? Anyways, this is my plan. We'll have a fun time, and really, the kids won't know the difference. If they say something, then we won't do it again for awhile. I want our kids to appreciate what we do and what we have; there may always be something that is out of reach, and frankly, I rather them learn this lesson now than years from now.
For now I'm going to utlize everything I possibly can until the nth degree-because I don't want to have a black cloud hovering nearby. I don't want to hear one day that the bottom has fallen beneath us and we're living with material goods we can't use since we don't have the means to use them. My mantra this summer. Free. Scale back. Appreciate what you have. Whew. I feel just the slightest bit better now.