Christmas savings is still the same at $705. We are having a lean couple of weeks as we owe on taxes this year. I will continue to save as I am able. I am on track at this point.
Cruise savings update. I have $550 saved for our future cruise. We had a savings account that had $150 in it that we didn’t contribute to regularly. My husband said I could start the cruise account with that $150 and we updated it so that we could transfer online (We have had it for years. Maybe before we were married? I don’t remember.) I have been trying to trim down my grocery budget and put any leftover grocery money in there. Having this cruise as a goal has really helped me to want to save money. It has made me really think about what I am spending my money on. I have been a much wiser shopper and I have been able to keep more of my money in my pocket that may have gone out to various stores. Also, if we were good with our money I do try to slide a little extra into that account. It will take a while to save for a cruise for 9 people.
Cash money in the safe. We have $320. I am trying to put aside some money in our safe. I read a book about the depression recently and it had lots of different people’s stories in the book. One common theme was that a lot, not all, but a lot of people had some money in the bank during the depression. When the banks closed, they were unable to get to their money. This concerns me. The banks were closed for a few months where people couldn’t access their very own money. I want to be prepared in case something like that happens.
This book taught me a lot of things. Nowadays, our country and our people have too much. We have too much stuff and too much debt. I want to be a good example to my children to have a budget and stick to it.
I want them to realize all of the “stuff” that we have, and how that “stuff” can be taken away very quickly with no income or savings. During the depression people were willing to work, but there were no jobs. People were hungry and cold. The adults were eating only one meal a day so that their kids could have more food. They were desperate. But they worked anywhere doing any job. They weren’t too good to do a hard days work. I want my children to be willing to do whatever is necessary to provide for their family.
Also, I came to understand a little about how the communities worked together as best as they could to meet each others needs. The bartering system was a big help to get goods and services from one family to another. I want them to think about what skills might be valuable in desperate times. Skills that aren’t common right now may make life easier in hard times. For example, a butcher to prepare wild game that is killed. I want them to consider what items would be good for trading. For example firewood for people in subdivisions with little access to trees. I want them to imagine what someone would be willing to trade for that is readily available now, but may not be available in hard times. For example sweets. Having bees and honey may be valuable. When times are tough, it’s the basics that count. All of the things that we think are luxuries, like big houses, may be a detriment in harder times.
I want them to work towards spending and savings goals. I want them to have to wait to get some of the things that they want to purchase. I want them to do the hard things that are required to be debt free.
I understand that there are times when debt must be incurred, especially when they are young and starting out in the world, but I don’t want them to take debt lightly. It is a big deal to have to pay back money that you don’t have. It is a headache that stays with you until it is gone.
I had student loans and credit card debt when I got out of graduate school. I couldn’t wait for it to be gone. I scrimped and saved and paid every penny I had to get those paid off as quickly as possible. It was a long (3-and-a half-years) and painful process for me. I don’t ever want to forget those lessons. As Dave Ramsey says, “the borrower is the slave to the lender”. I learned that I don’t ever want to face those lessons again. I will wait and save. It is harder, but more rewarding that way.
How about you, do you live by a budget? How much is too much debt?