40PLUSANDFIT

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Nothing to do with Weight Loss or Fitness (well maybe Mental)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I have a peeve. It may be my own personal issue, but it bothers me. As you may or may not know, my husband and I have gone through some really rough financial times for the past five years. He has been laid off three times, quit one job and I have been laid off once. I am the primary breadwinner (income 2-3X his), but still his hurt our household. This was after him paying off a VERY expensive divorce that netted him nothing but a black hole of debt. and the IRS reamed us for getting married. (Lost my head of household at the end of the year after deducting with that in mind all year, yes bad planning on my part, but never even THOUGHT of it because I mean they keep telling you marriage is a good thing for taxes... NOT). Anyhoo, the past two years have been VERY, very bad. Running negative in the account, getting to the point that the cupboard has peanut butter, some rice and a few noodles... (I would starve as I despise peanut butter). Getting utilities cut off, crying with bill collectors, trying not to lose the two vehicles we have and thinking about selling our house, although we can't afford to fix the damage the dog has caused, which means we would sell it for less and make less (if any) and etc, etc. So that's my past four to five year history.

Anyway, I have friends and I do LOVE them to death, but they can just rub me the wrong way sometimes. You may be this person, you may know this person, but..... the ones that oh, I don't have any money, or I'm so broke, etc. or oh my wife's business hasn't taken off, I can barely cover our bills, but I just told you how I was golfing (not a cheap sport) with my daughter at LEAST once a week and we just came back from a week in Arkansas with golfing every day, and a few months ago Colorado. But yeah, I can't cover my bills. REALLY????? I really don't want to hear that out of your mouth. You can't cover your bills because you don't cut anything out... you still get vacations and you GOLF for Pete's sake. Don't tell me your freaking broke. Bite my big white A&&.... (Sorry.. on a tangent there) and this person has a six figure income, which i know broke is relative to the amount of money you make, but puhleeze/????? and his wife has the same when her business IS going. We don't even break six figures when we have BOTH of us working.

and the other friend, oh, I'm so broke, just can't afford anything. But takes two one week vacations (one with the extended family and one with the new hubby) and always somewhere nice.. oh wait the last one was a full week at Disney World, last year Hawaii. Just bought a brand new $50K SUV. oh and a week after making this statement sends a picture... look at the dining room table I just bought... seats 12 and not bought at the thrift store.

Or, I"m so broke. but I just spent a weekend in NYC and went to a show and blah, blah, blah. Do you get the point?

DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT BEING POOR or BROKE is? It's constant overdrafts or returned checks because you can't pay your mortgage or car payment or your electricity. It's an empty pantry. It's NOT having been on a vacation since you got married five years ago and the only reason you got to do that one was because there was an unexpected windfall. It's never eating out unless you accidentlaly get a two for one coupon or someone gives you something free. It's the electricity getting turned off and they don't turn it back on for 24 hours and you have to spend the night at the neighbors because you can't get ready for work. It's telling your 20 year old daughter that she has to work her A&& off to pay her tuition because you can't afford to help her, but oh yeah you still have to make decent grades because you're trying to get in dental school. Do you have any idea how that hurts a mother to have to see her daughter go through that? Or totally NOT having anything for Christmas under the tree. We've now gone through two years of that. It's painful and it hurts because Christmas used to be my favorite time of year. I love to give. I can't even afford to buy stuff to make stuff that's how bad it was. I sold gold last year to buy my stepdaughter a present and she's the only one who got anything because she was 9. and you really want to tell me how poor you are? Puhleeze.

It's sleepless nights wondering who is calling you on your phone. It's a credit score totally in the toilet because you can't fix it yet because you are barely keeping afloat.

So, unless you're really broke... think before you speak about how broke you are. Think about what you have and what you could give up if something really happened. Especially if you are in the company of people who actually are struggling.

and I know there are people MUCH worse than me. I'm middle class, I know that. But I've been through the struggles of the poverty stricken. I haven't been homeless yet, but we were getting there a couple of years ago.

Anyway, that's my rant of the week. Little tired cranky right now. Adjusting to the hubby's new work schedule and it's a little rough because we have some bad start nights. Anyway, it's Friday. Yay.
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  • KAREN_NY
    I so hear ya! And I'm so sorry that your friends don't really know what they're saying or what it does to you. I'm a bit, um, direct (!) so I'd be telling them straight up that they don't know what financial hardship & insecurity are yet, but that's just me. ;)

    The very very good news is that you ARE a strong woman (look what you're accomplishing!), you ARE aware, and you WILL emerge with good financial management skills, a healthy body, a grateful soul, and an ever-expanding heart for the plight of others.

    So here's to you, friend! ((hugs))
    K:)
    2944 days ago
  • SPARKVAMPY2012
    Well I hope it gets better for you soon. My DH and I live paycheck to paycheck also. And he is on disability so he doesnt bring home anything near what he used to when he was working. Feel your pain though. This economony is rough.
    2944 days ago
  • LHIEBEL
    OMG--I think you are wonderful! I know if you lived close to me we would be great friends! I love everything you said--and you said it well. I am sorry you are going through such a rough time. I have been in rough spots, but can't say I have been where you are. You have made me very aware about talking about tough times (I have had quite a few--all relative to all the circumstances I have encountered in my life), but you have opened my eyes to truly being more sensitive to other's situations and putting those in perspective to mine.

    If you lived close I would take you out to lunch and you could vent as long as you wanted--here's a virtual lunch with a friend--I'm here if you need me....

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    Leanne emoticon
    2944 days ago
  • ARCHIMEDESII
    I hear where you're coming from. I may not be in debt now, but when I was young, my family struggled. So, I know what it's like to go without to make ends meet. Maybe it's because my parents survived the Depression and taught me how to cut corner. Many people in tough situations today and quite frankly some people are handling it better than others.

    I know people exactly like the ones you've ranted about. A co-worker of mine at the gym told me he's going on vacation next week. Mind you, he's been on unemployment for close two years. If you work less than 15 hours a week, you can still get unemployment. Anyway, he's already declared bankruptcy and yet, this is the third time he's going on vacation. He took a cruise earlier in the year !! Hello, you're up to your eyeballs in debt and you're taking a cruise ????

    Another friend of mine told me about relatives of hers who recently lost their house due to foreclosure. They moved in with her grandparents to save for a new home. Well, from what my friend tells me, part of the reason they lost the house was because they were buying all sorts of stuff i.e. designer clothes, large flat screen TVs, new cars, etc... In short, they were spending more money than they had in order to have the so called American Dream.

    A lot of people just don't know how to handle money. many people did live beyond there means and now, they have to pay the piper. The problem is that so many people become so used to the good life, they think it's beneath them to go without.

    The economy is still in really bad shape. So, people are going to have to suck in those belts and maybe skip that vacation or new TV to save money.

    Like I said, my parents made it through the Depression. They taught me to save my money for rainy days. And right now, it's pouring out.







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    2944 days ago
  • AWOLF24
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    2944 days ago
  • 40PLUSANDFIT
    ohhhhhh, all I have going through my mind when they do that is STFU. Hello??? I did come back at the one friend who plays golf. Just gave him a Huge reality check because he said he understood to another one of my friends who's husband has been out of work for awhile and she said she can't cover her bills. She's not at the extreme that we are yet but she still lies awake at night worrying.

    Anyway, my comment to him was do you really understand, you just stated you play golf once a week. I didn't rant on about the other stuff, but, come on...
    2944 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/24/2010 9:40:01 AM
  • PAIGESMAMA
    You are so true about people talking about not having money and doing things.
    We live paycheck to paycheck and money gets tight, but no where near what you have gone through. My boos says things like you have posted and he bought a $2000 bike a couple of months back. Not a motorcycle a bike.
    2944 days ago
  • NOTABOUTHEFACE
    I am so sorry you have to go through that and more sorry that your friends have no couth when it comes to thinking before inserting their feet in their mouthes. There are times we all feel like we wish we had more to spend but it's not until we hear about good people like yourself who truly live paycheck to paycheck that we count our blessings and offer you a shoulder if you need it. I wish there was something more I could offer to help you!
    2944 days ago
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