Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Frugal Tale

Or possibly a broke tale. I've said so many times before that we are frugal maybe even broke but there are times when I'm so grateful for my cheap streak.
Den's uncle has a very large lifestyle, very large. He has two homes and all the toys. And I mean all the toys from bikes to boats. He and his wife have been the topic of quite a few conversations in this house. Now don't get me wrong, they are great and very fun people. I wanted a life style like theirs for a long time. Well until I grew up and found my savior and salvation, Sparse. Oh there is salvation with Him but it is a hard and long journey. But I'm glad that I now walk hand in hand with Sparse.
Anywho, said Uncle is now unemployed and mortgaged to the hilt from my guess. He also falls into one of the scariest age groups out there(in my opinion) the late 40's to early 50's. You aren't close enough to retire. And how many companies want to pay the amount that someone in that group has come accustomed to? Especially when you could find cheaper and younger workers. On a side note, Den and I are trying to plan for that too. We are shooting for having the house paid for by then and maybe enough to retire on. It's just a rough plan but it is in place, it's just a long time off. The house will be paid for by then and with how we are contributing to his retirement it will be close, barring any catastrophe. And that isn't including the money that will be invested when we no longer have a house payment.
My neighbor directly across the street from me has just exhausted her unemployment but has over $10,000 in the bank to live off of. She said that it isn't pretty but she is scraping by. She managed to put that money away by saving her tax returns and being tight, as she put it.
This neighborhood is not on the high end of society by any means, we are the bottom feeders. But the good thing is we know hard times and that they pass.
I wouldn't want to be standing in either of their shoes to be completely honest. But I think that having been schooled in broke can be your saving grace. Sparse may save us all, if you listen.
Thanks for stopping over,


A.Marie said...

I have said the same thing. Learning to live with less and "make do" has been something that I grew up with and watched my Mom do. She had seen her Mom do it who had seen Her Mom do it. I just thank the Good Lord for smart, frugal, SPARSE women in my family gene pool!!! :)

I like that word sparse!

I'm having a fast giveaway over at my blog...stop on by! Hope you're having a good SPARSE week!

told you I like that word! LOL

SonyaAnn said...

A.Marie-Learning to do with less has been more of a learning experience for me. We were poor when I was a child but I wasn't really taught to cut corners so I'm grateful for all the people that write about it.
I'm off to your blog now!

Frances said...

Love the redneck condo pic!

I am so glad you and Den are preparing financially. Hubby and I are, too. Well, I am...he just tags along. LOL!

My parents both grew up not rich. I don't know that they were poor, but they didn't have tons of money. Mom always knew how to stretch a dollar and she taught us well.

I have put money in retirement accounts for years and though they all took hits over the last couple of years, I keep putting in and am confident they will recover.

I just think we need to prepare for our own future, since no one else is going to take care of us then.

slugmama said...

Well call me a hardass but I have no sympathy for people who live beyond their means and then when their world goes bottom-up they expect other people(via the govt.)to bail them out...not saying that your Uncle is one of these ones.

I scrimp and save and then someone else lives the High Life and when they go boo-hooing to their family or the govt. I'm expected to fork everything I've worked for over to them?
Nope....ain't happening if I can help it. Especially if they spent years throwing their toys in my face and never took a word of my most excellent

Of course, I am all for helping out people who deserve a hand up.

And I have been well acquainted with your friend Sparse and his siblings Cheap, Tight, Miser & Frugal for decades. ;-))

And hubs has a big target on his back since he's mid 50's. I realize this is a dangerous age to be in the workplace(being Caucasian and male doesn't help either lately)and if he makes it to the avg. retirement age w/out losing his job in this current economic climate, not only will I be THRILLED but I will be surprised.

I think most Americans(Canadians too)have been living too high on the hog for decades now and most of them would be well served to reacquaint themselves with a simpler more austere lifestyle.

And my opinion and a buck will get you a cup of

slugmama said...

Oh and my parents were climbers.....they started off with nothing(tho mom was a pampered only child who was thrown into poverty when she married). My father worked whatever job he could get to support his family. He started out a decent human being. He went to college at night for over 10 yrs. and got his diploma the yr. before my oldest brother graduated from high school. By the time I came along(the youngest)we were 'middle class' but my father wasn't satisfied with that in life. He aspired to wealth and being high society and spent and spent to prove to the world he had arrived. Of course, it all caught up with him since he spent everything to look the part and impress people. And eventually, his family wasn't good enough either so he left them.
He left a trail of broken people behind him and died a miserable old bastard. Ah, my heartwarming family

And I saw all this growing up and learned....learned how NOT to live my life and now NOT to treat people.
He was a great teacher in spite of himself. ;-)

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-"I just think we need to prepare for our own future, since no one else is going to take care of us then."-You are dead on. The thing I worry about is how are we going to get enough to live on by retirement. It would be nice if social security were still in place but it won't be. The goal is to live on the interest of the money we save but we will see how close we get. Den was supposed to have a pension and they cut that out a few years ago. It sucks but it is even worse for his dad. That is what he worked for and then it was almost completely gone. He saved but not enough(my guess). It really wasn't his fault. Den is third generation and the company took care of Grandpa and that was how it was. Work at the company and then retire well off and then the rules changed at the end of the game for them. It's just a mess!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-One of the ladies that I clean for is just so full of wisdom. She says a lot of what you are saying. About trying to do the best that you can with nothing and stop bitching when life is hard. I love it.
Den's uncle is a high roller but he has been out painting houses just to get a few extra bucks in. I'll give it to him, he didn't even pause and boo hoo. He just started looking for a way to bring in some cash. But I bet that his wishes he didn't spend so much before.
Honestly, it will be a miracle if Mr.slugmama makes it to retirement. He really is at a scary age. Den's other uncle(one of many) was laid off and can't find work. He is helping his wife clean house as a way to bring in income until he gets to retirement age. I think he said he has 2 years. It's a good plan, at least I couldn't think of anything else better!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-Sometimes the best you can do is live a good life to spite the bastards that have done you wrong. Just learning to be a happy, self-sufficient person is a slap in the face to the monsters that have done you wrong. I'm sorry that you have been wronged. I understand.