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Does anyone feel poorer lately?


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We are much better off now than we were last year, but that's b/c last year at this time dh was working a min wage job with his Master's Degree just to eek by until he could find a job in his field. It was difficult, to say the least, to just keep hoping and trying.

 

We are doing well now (able to have a comfortable home, feed and clothe ourselves), but we have very old vehicles that were sadly neglected during the years that we were in serious poverty. Our teeth took a hit too (both from lack of dental insurance or money to pay for even cleanings AND from poor diet - I fed the kids well, but I ate pretty much homemade bread for a long long while), and we are paying to fix that now. (I've had 2 root canals, 5 cavities filled, and a broken crown replaced in the last year. I still have more work to do, at least one more root canal probably...two of my teeth completely chipped from normal eating:001_huh: and as a child/teen/20's I always had good strong teeth.)

 

 

I'm just thankful that we have an income with which we can paddle out of the mess. I have noticed that gas and groceries take a huge percentage of that income.

 

 

I, too, have thought of other school options so that I can earn some real income...if I taught in a PS, I could get our family health insurance as well as an income. I just can't justify placing a dyslexic child into that system, not when I'm successfully teaching him. What use is college $, if he can't read or write?

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Good grief! Where does it cost $100 to fill a gas tank?

 

It's cost us $100 to fill our car (50L tank) for at least the past 5 years. With gas heading up near to $2.20/litre again, I fear that it'll be well over $100/fill-up :eek:

 

Food prices are forever going up, as is power, phone, school fees, taxes, etc. Thankfully health-care is covered if you aren't too choosy, but dental is over $200 a visit for annual check-up & clean (add $100 extra for every filling needed to that.)

 

Dh lost his job over 2 years ago. Last year he picked up a bit of work in Christchurch for 6 months, but then that contract ended. Since Christmas he has been doing a few small jobs for friends & I have been picking up a bit of relief teaching (subbing). I'm afraid to look at the bank balance, not good I know, but just what I need to do to cope at the moment. We're not as bad off as many I read about here, but we definately aren't thriving. Thankfully both dd & ds#1 have fallen on their feet as far as work / study opportunities & ds#2 is thriving at PS, leaving me available to teach when needed. We are all fairly healthy & look positively towards the future. We will survive this rough patch & be stronger & better off for the struggle.

 

Blessings,

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Our health insurance is only going up by $40 this year (we have PPO). I am beyond relieved. Every single year since DH has had his job it has gone up by a lot. This is the first year that his pay raise will probably be more than the cost of insurance went up.

We are stressing though, DH works for a big defense contractor and we are worried about what will happen in January. If defense doesn't have money then the contractors are not going to get money.

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I feel poorer. My mortgage is now more than 50% of our income. We struggle every single month to make the payment and for various reasons can't move. I have no health insurance and have had dental work that has had to be done and several health needs that are just getting put off. We are eating a lot of beans. Sometimes that is all there is. We will have no real Christmas gifts this year for my girls - and not really enough money to do any special baking. My girls both have birthdays coming up and there will be no gifts, no special activities. My younger daughter is still suffering with her breathing issues that are just heartbreaking. My house still has no floor - we are living with subflooring throughout the house. The roof leaks.

 

On the other hand, most days I can look around and see that we are still in our house, surrounded by beauty, next door to our dearest friends. We have an amazing church and an unbelievable community of people who somehow love *us*. People who are smart and caring - doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists, firefighters - who teach us all the time what it means to live out our faith. My girls are just incredible - creative, beautiful, smart, funny, unexpectedly insightful. My husband and I are still growing together, not apart, despite rough patches. Wendell Berry lives a stones throw away and we get to hang out sometimes. That always cheers me up. :lol::lol: Even though we get tired of the food we have, our bellies are full. There are women in the world who mix dirt with salt to fill their babes' bellies and my children have food to eat. My daughter has lung issues, but we live in a place where she gets good care. If we lived some other places in the world, she would not be with us right now.

 

I only feel poorer if I compare myself to others. Comparison is the surest way to unhappiness. Counting my blessings makes me feel rich. Most days.

 

There are those days where I just need to put my head under a pillow and cry, but that's okay too. If there are more count-my-blessings days than crying days, then I'm all right.

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Things have been very hard here, too. My husband has not lost his job, but he hasn't gotten a raise lately, either. My mother got diagnosed with cancer last December and came to stay with us for a while after her surgery. Then two of my sons started having health problems. My husband had to have some medical tests done. The price of everything has gone up. I dread telling my landlord that my rent is going to be late (again). We make enough to not qualify for food stamps, but to be honest we have struggled to have enough food. I friend just blessed us with chicken fingers and patties. That is not what I normally like to feed my family, but it was VERY much appreciated. After gas, groceries, and utilities we have nothing left.

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Health insurnace costs are killing us too. And we have a ridiculously high deductible (5000 per person) before they start paying. It's as high as our mortgage. I just don't know if we can keep it anymore. But i went to the doctor for a regular visit last week and had some abnormalities which she wants to monitor, and now I am worried that if we drop insurance, and something bad DOES happen, we wont be able to cover it. We've thought hard about faith-based health sharing for us, and state coverage for the kids. We're going to have to make a decision very soon. Health insurance is the number one thing that is ruining our ability to save at all.

 

We are in no ways as bad off as some of the people posting here, and my heart goes out to you all. But we arent saving, and the idea of retirement is a dream.

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I just have to add this because my church just went through the book Radical-

 

 

From:

http://www.lovinghope.org/article/145/read-this/travis-dean-s-sermons/09-03-11-fame-fortune-eternal-life-mark-10-17-31

 

 

Consider this. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. One fourth of the world lives without electricity. And half of the world lives with water and sanitation problems.

Now let’s think in terms of our income. In 2008 almost half of the world, over three billion people, brought home less than $1,000. At least 80 percent of the people in the world lived on less than $3,500.

 

There’s a website, globalrichlist.com, which calculates how rich you are compared to the rest of the world. Their figures are based on figures from the World Bank Development Research Group in the year 2000. Based on their calculations, if your annual income is $100,000 a year, you are richer than over 99% of the people in the world. If you bring home $40,000 a year, you are wealthier than 97% of the world. If you make $20,000 a year, you are still in the top 11% richest people in the world. In order to be in the world average, you only need to make $850 a year.

 

 

I know we are struggling and things look bad, but it can always be worse. :grouphug:

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I know we are struggling and things look bad, but it can always be worse. :grouphug:

 

While I'm all for being grateful, I really think that when people are mourning and hurting, we should be mourning and hurting for them, not telling them they're really better off than they think.

 

I'm sure you didn't intend for your post to sound that way, but it kinda does.

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While I'm all for being grateful, I really think that when people are mourning and hurting, we should be mourning and hurting for them, not telling them they're really better off than they think.

 

I'm sure you didn't intend for your post to sound that way, but it kinda does.

 

It's a fine line. As I posted upthread, knowing these things helps me put it in perspective. But we who are struggling have the right to hurt as well. Both can be helpful and I am grateful for the reminder. Others might, I suppose, feel invalidated but I hope not. Everyone who is hurting deserves to have their pain heard and cared for.

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While I'm all for being grateful, I really think that when people are mourning and hurting, we should be mourning and hurting for them, not telling them they're really better off than they think.

 

I'm sure you didn't intend for your post to sound that way, but it kinda does.

 

I am one of those mourning and hurting people. I am living it. I am waiting for medical bills to roll in from an Er trip and d&c for a miscarriage that I have no clue how we will pay. My husband hasn't gotten a raise in 4 years and prices just keep going up. We get scared some months about how we are going to pay for things. I have to deny my kids too.

 

I was shocked to read some people are eating only their kids leftovers in this thread. That humbled me because I am not that bad off. My heart breaks for everyone on here. I just want people to have hope and keep their chins up even though it looks bad. Our kids are not starving and dying in front of our faces so I do think that keeping a little perspective on the issue can help.

 

Sorry if I offended, I am in the same boat as most.

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It's a fine line. As I posted upthread, knowing these things helps me put it in perspective. But we who are struggling have the right to hurt as well. Both can be helpful and I am grateful for the reminder. Others might, I suppose, feel invalidated but I hope not. Everyone who is hurting deserves to have their pain heard and cared for.

 

I agree. I am not diminishing anyones pain or story. Everyone has a right to get it out there and be heard. I whine about my situation. I cry about it. Then I hear someone else's and my heart hearts for them too and I realize that I am not as bad off as I think and I can help some of these people. It put a whole new perspective on my situation and had humbled me.

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:grouphug: I hope there is a way for us to dig out of this national economic mess. I guess we (as a family) start cutting further back. Fortunately, I was raised in a very frugal household, and I know how...was just hoping that the economic train would just keep on chugging. I am humbled, because we still have a good income, just shocked at how much less ground it covers. To those who aren't eating, have you visited food pantries and St. Vincent dePaul centers?

I'm sure you have, but just throwing it out there.

 

May God bless us all.

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I keep wondering when it will be over. I remember the last two big (early 70s and late 80s) down turns. They didn't seem to last as long as this one has.

 

One advantage to being in a small town in the middle of nowhere is that housing is fairly cheap. And I am so thankful for the pellet stove. I'll be able to heat the downstairs (we don't heat the bedrooms) for $735 this winter. Granted that is keeping the thermostat set at 62.

 

If I had to buy fuel oil for the furnace that would be the same $735 per tank and a tank last 4.5 weeks. Winter will start in about another week or two and last until 1 May or there about. So you can do the math.

 

If it wasn't for those two factor (cheap housing and the pellet stove) we would be in a world of hurt. I'm scrambling now to get the budget in order to pay for dh's surgery next month.

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We started feeling the pinch a few months ago, and this month was the worst so far. This week was like it was for us just starting out with kids. We worried if we had enough to make it to payday. I never wanted to feel that way again, but here we are.

 

We bought a small home (1000 sq ft) that we could afford, but now the same homes in our area are on the market for $55K less than what we owe, and they're not even selling. Our health insurance is about to skyrocket for the first time in 13 years, and I don't know how we're going to swing it. We had to cancel all of the girls' outside activites, except ps for older, due to finances. We started the year with no debt except one car and the house, but due to medical problems we're now back in. Older dd and I have had the worst year ever health wise, and I'm just done.

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I worry about every penny. Every trip to the grocery store. Every trip to Walmart. I *can't* think about how many times my husband has to fuel up his car to get to work or I'd go insane (and he has a little, manual trans. car with great gas mileage). But, we are better off than some on here, I think. For us though, it is going to get worse through the holidays like it always does, when we get hit with all our big bills and extra taxes, right.before.Christmas.every.last.stinking.year.

 

:grouphug: to everyone. Things are tough all over.

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I keep wondering when it will be over. I remember the last two big (early 70s and late 80s) down turns. They didn't seem to last as long as this one has.

 

One advantage to being in a small town in the middle of nowhere is that housing is fairly cheap. And I am so thankful for the pellet stove. I'll be able to heat the downstairs (we don't heat the bedrooms) for $735 this winter. Granted that is keeping the thermostat set at 62.

 

If I had to buy fuel oil for the furnace that would be the same $735 per tank and a tank last 4.5 weeks. Winter will start in about another week or two and last until 1 May or there about. So you can do the math.

 

If it wasn't for those two factor (cheap housing and the pellet stove) we would be in a world of hurt. I'm scrambling now to get the budget in order to pay for dh's surgery next month.

 

They are saying that the last ones were over much faster. And I remember them, too, and things got bad, but not this bad.

 

I was noticing yesterday that winter is setting in. I get Cold, and it doesn't seem to leave until April, and this is why I'm a knitting fiend right now, because

we Must have sweaters, slippers, warm socks, shawls.

 

I can smell fireplaces burning in the neighborhood, already.

 

My food pantry co-odinator called me yesterday and asked me to help handouts (I help stock) because they now have 400 people coming for food on average and the line goes down the block (we only have 6000 people in our town).

 

I think we are one of 4 local pantries, too.

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I just have to add this because my church just went through the book Radical-

 

 

From:

http://www.lovinghope.org/article/145/read-this/travis-dean-s-sermons/09-03-11-fame-fortune-eternal-life-mark-10-17-31

 

 

Consider this. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. One fourth of the world lives without electricity. And half of the world lives with water and sanitation problems.

Now let’s think in terms of our income. In 2008 almost half of the world, over three billion people, brought home less than $1,000. At least 80 percent of the people in the world lived on less than $3,500.

 

There’s a website, globalrichlist.com, which calculates how rich you are compared to the rest of the world. Their figures are based on figures from the World Bank Development Research Group in the year 2000. Based on their calculations, if your annual income is $100,000 a year, you are richer than over 99% of the people in the world. If you bring home $40,000 a year, you are wealthier than 97% of the world. If you make $20,000 a year, you are still in the top 11% richest people in the world. In order to be in the world average, you only need to make $850 a year.

 

 

I know we are struggling and things look bad, but it can always be worse. :grouphug:

 

Which is entertaining and a little acurate in that we are all very rich in some ways. BUT, it doesn't take into consideration the cost of living.

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Wow, that must be some gas tank! I filled my car (which seats five) last night for $43.

 

Really? That's only about 13 gallons at $3.30/avg per gallon. What kind of car? My van holds 22 or 24 gallons and the Tahoe holds either 22-24 gallons so a fill up in either one can be $65-85 depending on how empty they were and how much gas is.

 

It's all relative though because a car that only holds 13-15 gallons has to go to the pump more often. Also, where you live is a factor because we are rural and it is further to the store.

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It's a 35 (33?) gallon tank. BIG truck.

 

Yes, as I read everyone's comments, I realized that's what was throwing me. I've never driven a vehicle with a gas tank larger than 20 gallons. The one on my husband's car holds about 13, and the one on my current car holds 11. So, the idea of it costing $100 to fill a gas tank is so far beyond my experiences that it took me a while to wrap my brain around it.

 

The funny thing is that I complain about my car being too big to drive comfortably, and I'm not really kidding.

 

Certain other things about this thread interest me, too. For example, the idea that buying clothing from thrift stores is so upsetting is outside of my experience. My kid love Goodwill, because it's funky and fun and always a surprise what you can find. My daughter has lost a fair amount of weight over the last several months and needed clothes for her job/internship. We went to Goodwill with $25 to spend, and she came home with two skirts, four tops and a cute bowl that matches the Christmas decor she's accumulating for her eventual first apartment. She was thrilled.

 

Something I realized as I read is that, for us, frugality has been more the norm than the exception. During my adult life, I've had two pretty good eras, financially, during which I could relax and shop and live like it sounds many others here assume is typical. Before we were married, when we had two full-time wage earners and minimal committments, we could buy more or less what we wanted and not stress about it. And there were a few years in the mid-2000s when we got to almost the same place. Otherwise, I've always, always had to be careful. So, none of this is new to me, and I truly don't walk around all the time feeling resentful or deprived.

 

Do I feel poorer? Than when? In what way? Factually, compared to, say, 2009, we are "poorer," in that my husband brings in less money now than he did then. But we're still signficantly better off than we were in 1990 or 1999 or 2002 that it's hard for me to feel too badly about it all.

 

None of this means I feel anything less than compassion and sympathy for folks who are having a rough time. I guess my own perspective is just different.

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Yep, things are tight right now!

Even though it is hard to admit, we were pretty irresponsible with our spending through 2010.

Now we are living paycheck to paycheck and we have an incredibly large amount of CC debt.

The worst part is that my husband refuses to understand/accept our current financial mess...it's going to be a long hard road ahead.

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Really? That's only about 13 gallons at $3.30/avg per gallon. What kind of car? My van holds 22 or 24 gallons and the Tahoe holds either 22-24 gallons so a fill up in either one can be $65-85 depending on how empty they were and how much gas is.

 

It's all relative though because a car that only holds 13-15 gallons has to go to the pump more often. Also, where you live is a factor because we are rural and it is further to the store.

 

My husband drives a MINI Cooper. I have a Scion xB. I don't know what kind of mileage he gets, but I average about 300 miles on a tank of gas. I looked up the average MPG on the Tahoe, which is listed at about 14. So, you're likely getting a similar number of miles per tank and filling up about as often.

 

We're not rural, but my kids have activities pretty much all over. For example, my daughter is doing an internship this year at a dance school 15 miles from the house, meaning I make that round trip a good seven or eight times per week.

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It's all relative though because a car that only holds 13-15 gallons has to go to the pump more often. Also, where you live is a factor because we are rural and it is further to the store.

 

Not necessarily, depends on how far you are driving and highway or city and the mileage of the vehicle. My husband used to drive a minivan to work (25 miles each way). The gas tank was 20 gallons and he had to fill up a least once a week. Now he has a car with a 13 gallon tank and it can almost 2 weeks between fills. So with the smaller tank he actually fills up less often because he can go so much farther per gallon.

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Which is entertaining and a little acurate in that we are all very rich in some ways. BUT, it doesn't take into consideration the cost of living.

 

I dont think its "entertaining" at all. If you added in cost of living I still believe that you would be a lot richer than the people in Uganda living on less than $2 a day. Lets add in quality of life too.

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I dont think its "entertaining" at all. If you added in cost of living I still believe that you would be a lot richer than the people in Uganda living on less than $2 a day. Lets add in quality of life too.

 

I think the point is (at least it is for me) that if one can't pay the bills or afford the necessities in life, no amount of telling them that 'people in third world countries have it worse' makes a difference. Problems are still problems either way. :)

While these things are things that I care about (the plight of third world countries, that is), I consider it a completely moot point when talking about financial difficulties in America.

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My husband drives a MINI Cooper. I have a Scion xB. I don't know what kind of mileage he gets, but I average about 300 miles on a tank of gas. I looked up the average MPG on the Tahoe, which is listed at about 14. So, you're likely getting a similar number of miles per tank and filling up about as often.

 

We're not rural, but my kids have activities pretty much all over. For example, my daughter is doing an internship this year at a dance school 15 miles from the house, meaning I make that round trip a good seven or eight times per week.

 

See, we bought the Tahoe when gas was about $1.25/gal. It's approaching 10 years old. It's still cheaper to drive it than to buy a newer more efficient vehicle. I don't drive the Tahoe daily. I drive a 2002 ford windstar daily which gets about 18 mpg average. I try to only fill up when I have fuel perks to drive down the price. We are about 6 miles from a grocery store, 20 miles from my work, and 20-35 miles from most activities. I'm thinking of buying a *newer* vehicle in the spring but we still need something like a suburban for the carrying/towing capacity.

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I think the point is (at least it is for me) that if one can't pay the bills or afford the necessities in life, no amount of telling them that 'people in third world countries have it worse' makes a difference. Problems are still problems either way. :)

While these things are things that I care about (the plight of third world countries, that is), I consider it a completely moot point when talking about financial difficulties in America.

:iagree:

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I think the point is (at least it is for me) that if one can't pay the bills or afford the necessities in life, no amount of telling them that 'people in third world countries have it worse' makes a difference. Problems are still problems either way. :)

While these things are things that I care about (the plight of third world countries, that is), I consider it a completely moot point when talking about financial difficulties in America.

 

I keep shaking my head over this apparent dichotomy. This isn't an either-or issue.

 

The fact is that we are lucky in the U.S. and most of Europe. There are many people without electricity. I said in my post there are mothers, and I have friends who have worked with them, who mix salt with dirt to fill their children's bellies. And they don't have food pantries. There are many people without access to clean water. When you spend some time being grateful for those things it does help. It really does. I am saying this as someone who doesn't have money to buy a bra right now (with giant b00ks) so is living without one or shoes for her 8YO with winter coming. But spending some time in the place of gratitude with what we have compared to what so many lack does help.

 

 

And it doesn't mean you don't get sympathy too. It is hard. If one person is down with a nasty case of flu and another has cancer does that mean that one is more deserving of sympathy or help? No. They both have real problems and struggles and deserve support and validation for what is tough in their lives. No one is saying that anyone else's lives aren't tough.

 

This isn't a fight, folks. It's both ways. And, as someone who is hurting a lot right now, both perspectives help.

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It's all relative though because a car that only holds 13-15 gallons has to go to the pump more often. Also, where you live is a factor because we are rural and it is further to the store.

 

Sort of. We have three cars at the moment. I'm not sure about dd's car but the Suburban (2002, over 160,000 miles) takes over $100 to fill and gets about 400 miles to the full 35 gallon tank (between 10 and 15 mpg depending on city/highway).

 

Our Honda Accord (new, leased) has an 18 gallon tank, but can get that same 400 miles on a full tank.

 

We try not to use the Suburban unless we need the capacity.

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I keep shaking my head over this apparent dichotomy. This isn't an either-or issue.

 

The fact is that we are lucky in the U.S. and most of Europe. There are many people without electricity. I said in my post there are mothers, and I have friends who have worked with them, who mix salt with dirt to fill their children's bellies. And they don't have food pantries. There are many people without access to clean water. When you spend some time being grateful for those things it does help. It really does. I am saying this as someone who doesn't have money to buy a bra right now (with giant b00ks) so is living without one or shoes for her 8YO with winter coming. But spending some time in the place of gratitude with what we have compared to what so many lack does help.

 

 

And it doesn't mean you don't get sympathy too. It is hard. If one person is down with a nasty case of flu and another has cancer does that mean that one is more deserving of sympathy or help? No. They both have real problems and struggles and deserve support and validation for what is tough in their lives. No one is saying that anyone else's lives aren't tough.

 

This isn't a fight, folks. It's both ways. And, as someone who is hurting a lot right now, both perspectives help.

 

:iagree:

 

It is tight. But I have never been one who freaks out about money (much). God has always provided and I try to trust that He will without getting myself too upset. We are doing pretty well, but if I lost my job we would barely be able to make it on dh's income, the same income was plenty sufficient a couple of years ago. We do have more children, but they don't cost THAT much, what with being homeschooled, the olders are out of diapers, etc, etc.

 

It does help to hear about the perspective that much of the world is facing, and to be grateful for all we do have (for me).

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TranquilMind. I hear you. But I don't have the courage to go without catastrophic insurance. We did that for several years, and it was scary.

 

Oh, I know. Me either. But it is really abominable that this is all you get for the thousands we spend every year.

 

 

My husband works in a high-risk business (ranching). If he gets hurt, it could be the end for us financially. I find myself making sketchy health-care decisions for myself.... My horse threw me in May. My hip is still swollen and numb. I cannot raise my arm above my head. I went to the Dr. enough to make sure I didn't have any broken bones. Cost: $250.

 

Wow. I sure hope you heal quickly!

 

And supplementing someone else's birth control choices? Please!

 

Yeah, really. That is unbelievable.

 

 

In my previous life, I was a commercial lender, so yes, I could probably make a difference. I could pay some tuition. I might get better health insurance. It would break my heart to send my kids to public school AND not be there when they get home.

 

But again, we are taking the long-term view. Sending my kids to a good college, and paying debt on the ranch so that they will have an inheritance seems like the best I can do for them right now.

 

Yeah. And whatever we do, there will be tradeoffs.

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sunnylady303: We have an amazing church and an unbelievable community of people who somehow love *us*. People who are smart and caring - doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists, firefighters - who teach us all the time what it means to live out our faith.

 

I sure wish we had this. We had it once, 20 years ago.

 

 

My girls are just incredible - creative, beautiful, smart, funny, unexpectedly insightful. My husband and I are still growing together, not apart, despite rough patches.

 

That's a lot, right there.

 

 

I only feel poorer if I compare myself to others. Comparison is the surest way to unhappiness. Counting my blessings makes me feel rich. Most days.

 

Yeah, I try not to do this. And I've never been envious over the stuff (though my needs have always been at least met). I have only wished that people cared.

 

There are those days where I just need to put my head under a pillow and cry, but that's okay too. If there are more count-my-blessings days than crying days, then I'm all right.

 

That's a good attitude. I certainly try to do this.

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Halcyon: Health insurnace costs are killing us too. And we have a ridiculously high deductible (5000 per person) before they start paying.

 

Yes, we just went to this kind of deal too. What kind of "insurance" is that? Few people have $5000 per person to spend, and thankfully few need it. But if you do, you are in trouble. The bills that roll in after you have used the insurance and it starts paying will still be super high.

 

We've thought hard about faith-based health sharing for us, and state coverage for the kids. We're going to have to make a decision very soon.

 

We've thought about this too. And I'm sorry to say that the one reason I hesitate is because of the level of trust required in all the other members. I know I'm trustworthy and will always pay, no matter what. But what if others don't. Of course, I could still wonder what I would do if the insurance won't pay either, so I guess it is a toss up.

 

I do know that the people who have been the least trustworthy have been those who often say things like "God bless!". Unfortunately.

 

 

Health insurance is the number one thing that is ruining our ability to save at all.

 

Yes, so true.

 

We are in no ways as bad off as some of the people posting here, and my heart goes out to you all. But we arent saving, and the idea of retirement is a dream.

 

The only way I see of existing at that time is by moving to another country.

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I am one of those mourning and hurting people. I am living it. I am waiting for medical bills to roll in from an Er trip and d&c for a miscarriage that I have no clue how we will pay. My husband hasn't gotten a raise in 4 years and prices just keep going up. We get scared some months about how we are going to pay for things. I have to deny my kids too.

 

I was shocked to read some people are eating only their kids leftovers in this thread. That humbled me because I am not that bad off. My heart breaks for everyone on here. I just want people to have hope and keep their chins up even though it looks bad. Our kids are not starving and dying in front of our faces so I do think that keeping a little perspective on the issue can help.

 

Sorry if I offended, I am in the same boat as most.

 

I didn't take offense. I know you meant well.

 

Yes, this is really sad that people here are living this way. And, as a whole, this is a highly educated group of people compared to the rest of society. This sort of flouts the idea of "go to college and get a great job," doesn't it? In this economy, the rich keep getting richer and the middle class is disappearing.

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Shelly in IL: Fortunately, I was raised in a very frugal household,

Me too. Depression-era parents. This is why I could not go out and buy a big fancy house to match what our peers in our profession were buying a decade ago. Well, we did, but then we sold it before the crash.

 

Though I miss it sometimes, I am really glad to have the small house and small mortgage right now. And shocked at how people with our income still can't save easily because the cost of everything is so darn high.

 

because we still have a good income, just shocked at how much less ground it covers.

 

Yeah, this.

 

 

To those who aren't eating, have you visited food pantries and St. Vincent dePaul centers?

 

I do try to give a lot more. At least I can do that.

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I keep shaking my head over this apparent dichotomy. This isn't an either-or issue.

 

The fact is that we are lucky in the U.S. and most of Europe. There are many people without electricity. I said in my post there are mothers, and I have friends who have worked with them, who mix salt with dirt to fill their children's bellies. And they don't have food pantries. There are many people without access to clean water. When you spend some time being grateful for those things it does help. It really does. I am saying this as someone who doesn't have money to buy a bra right now (with giant b00ks) so is living without one or shoes for her 8YO with winter coming. But spending some time in the place of gratitude with what we have compared to what so many lack does help.

 

 

And it doesn't mean you don't get sympathy too. It is hard. If one person is down with a nasty case of flu and another has cancer does that mean that one is more deserving of sympathy or help? No. They both have real problems and struggles and deserve support and validation for what is tough in their lives. No one is saying that anyone else's lives aren't tough.

 

This isn't a fight, folks. It's both ways. And, as someone who is hurting a lot right now, both perspectives help.

 

:iagree:

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They are saying that the last ones were over much faster. And I remember them, too, and things got bad, but not this bad.

I can't say anything about "they" without turning it into a political rant. I will say that I'd really like a chance to :smash: :smash: the idiots on both sides.

 

Now I'm :auto:

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I keep shaking my head over this apparent dichotomy. This isn't an either-or issue.

 

The fact is that we are lucky in the U.S. and most of Europe. There are many people without electricity. I said in my post there are mothers, and I have friends who have worked with them, who mix salt with dirt to fill their children's bellies. And they don't have food pantries. There are many people without access to clean water. When you spend some time being grateful for those things it does help. It really does. I am saying this as someone who doesn't have money to buy a bra right now (with giant b00ks) so is living without one or shoes for her 8YO with winter coming. But spending some time in the place of gratitude with what we have compared to what so many lack does help.

 

 

And it doesn't mean you don't get sympathy too. It is hard. If one person is down with a nasty case of flu and another has cancer does that mean that one is more deserving of sympathy or help? No. They both have real problems and struggles and deserve support and validation for what is tough in their lives. No one is saying that anyone else's lives aren't tough.

 

This isn't a fight, folks. It's both ways. And, as someone who is hurting a lot right now, both perspectives help.

 

I do agree with you on part of that. I do agree we should count our blessings. I do understand that we are relatively well off in comparison to other places in the world. And I agree that it is nice to think about when we are feeling low - as well as healthy children, a loving family, etc.

finances don't actually concern me much because they a only a small part of a fleeting life and they don't matter in the long run. I would much rather have what we have than be rich. I don't think it's our right to be rich, honestly. :)

I just have found that many times Irl, when someone is talking about a difficult financial situation, they place more guilt on themselves by saying 'I know, I shouldn't complain....there are people elsewhere who have it so much worse than me.' I think it's all in how you look at it - either as 'they have it much worse, at least we have _____' or 'I shouldn't complain, they have it much worse.' Kwim?

So in general, in practical conversations when someone is saying they can't afford to eat or pay their bills, I usually try to discourage any of the 'third world countries have it worse' talk. Because, while it is ok to have that perspective, it still isn't a practical solution or helpful in any practical way. :) (not trying to bust on anyone AT ALL. Just giving my perspective.). :)

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For example, the idea that buying clothing from thrift stores is so upsetting is outside of my experience. My kid love Goodwill, because it's funky and fun and always a surprise what you can find.

 

There is a psychological difference, however, between choosing to shop at thrift & consignment shops and having to do so. Back before the economy tanked, I generally did for the reasons you mentioned, but if I couldn't find what I was looking for, I had the option of going to the mall and paying regular retail. Also, because fewer people were shopping the thrift/consignment stores the selection tended to be better.

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I only feel poorer if I compare myself to others. Comparison is the surest way to unhappiness. Counting my blessings makes me feel rich. Most days.

 

 

So, so true! I have a friend doing missionary work in Kenya right now and following her on Facebook always makes me take a step back and realize that in spite of the financial struggles we are having right now, we are rich!

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We went through four really tough years, and now things are finally looking better. I'm trying not to fall into old bad habits.

 

A big problem is our debt culture... our pay later culture... and our consumerism. I "deserve" XYZ....even if I can't afford it.

 

I was surprised at girl scouts this week when it came time to take pictures, almost every parent there pulled out a newer model iPhone. This is not a wealthy troop/area either. Figure $300-$500 for a phone, plus at least $100/month in a phone bill. That's over $1000/year.

 

Colleges now offer luxury amenities that are not necessary and just increase the price of going. Kids may think they deserve snazzy new dorms with private bathrooms, floating rivers, and the like (a college near us)--but as a parent who will one day pay for it, I surely don't. When I was in college, we had three to a room with a shared bathroom and that was fine. Guaranteed student loans and all of the new private universities that have popped up have caused fees to go up and up and up.

 

As for health insurance, I can't believe how much we pay for our premiums, and then out of pocket, "just in case." I really believe that universal Medicare is the way to go. Let's all pay for it via a VAT or whatever. It's not going to equal the $1400+ I pay per month. That would also take the burdens off of companies. They could allow private companies to offer supplemental plans like they do with Medicare. Of course, moving to a universal health care model means that we change medical liability and medical school education costs as well.

 

Somebody mentioned Greece. One issue with the Greek economy regarded people not paying taxes, and underreporting incomes. it was endemic. Even professionals had an average income of roughly 30,000 Euros--which is highly unlikely. Yes, we have our own issues here regarding taxation--but we're not to that point yet.

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Wow, that must be some gas tank! I filled my car (which seats five) last night for $43.

 

WoooHoooo! I just checked gas buddy and gas has gone down to $4.39 a gallon! So when I fill my tank today, it should cost me about $79!:glare:

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I was surprised at girl scouts this week when it came time to take pictures, almost every parent there pulled out a newer model iPhone. This is not a wealthy troop/area either. Figure $300-$500 for a phone, plus at least $100/month in a phone bill. That's over $1000/year.

 

You can't necessarily assume this. I could buy an iPhone 4 on Craig's List for ~$150 or an iPhone 3 for ~$100 and piggyback it on my folks' Consumer Cellular family plan. I have an Android phone (gift from my parents) and my share of the CC plan is only $25/mo, which is far less than what we had been paying for me to have a basic Internet phone through Verizon.

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