Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just a short musing

Been following lots of the economic news going on (I'm definitely no economist, but for the record, I think there's a more than decent chance that a bigger than normal recession that rivals the great depression is headed our way no matter what and I don't see a point in spending $700 billion along the way to bail out banks just for the heck of it. And I'm super skeptical of the "regulation is bad" Republican white house being the main proponent of this massively big government, interventionist, blank check writing plan). It's got me thinking. How many people are really living within their means? I'll admit, we're very low income at the moment (stay at home mom, grad student dad....the cash inflow is severely limited), but we make ends meet without incurring any revolving debt. We do owe on our house, and we hold some student loans (all taken out over 4 years ago), but never made a late payment on those either. So, with that said, there is definitely a possibility that there's just a little bit of jealousy creeping into my thinking. Really though, I see a lot of families on the news, around town and in the stores that seem to have big houses and two new cars and expensive everything (schools, clothes, electronics, decorations, hair styles, food...) and they can still eat out a few times a week and grab lunch on the go every day and get a venti half-caff soy latte every morning. All on one income. I wish I could know how many of those people can really afford that (they carry no credit card debt from month to month, ideally contribute maximums to retirement accounts also) and how many are just running up debt, even temporarily. Like I said, I'm sure this is spurred on by a little jealousy, but if people are just running up debt, it'd make me feel better about my meager lifestyle (at least I'm financially secure), and if they really can afford it, maybe they could teach me to do whatever they do for a living ;-)

While I'm on the frugal living kick: Two friends and I have joined together to make "once a month cooking" even more awesome (if such a thing were possible). We come up with a cooking plan based on what each of us has on hand, split the remaining grocery shopping list so that everyone is contributing an equal value of food and then get together two mornings in a row to do all the cooking. This last time, each person contributed about $45 worth of food and we each ended up with (about, some of us take more of one thing, less of another): 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, a 9x13 pan worth of granola bars, 22 meatballs, 33 dinner rolls, big pan of king ranch chicken (8 adult servings, or so), two lasagna size pans of tuna noodle casserole, big pan of enchilada casserole, small pan green bean casserole, 9 breakfast burritos, 12 chicken burritos, 2 quart jars chicken tortilla soup, and a big pan of tater tot casserole. My freezer and my wallet are very very happy.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I've been wanting to do a freezer meal swap for a long time, I'm jealous that you found people to swap with!

I feel you on the frugal living stuff. I think it comes down to most people really are living beyond their means or just aren't saving. We could definitely do better, but are trying to save more.

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