The Financial Responsibility Thing

When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to be grown up. And now that I am supposed to be a grown-up, I realize the good life is gone!

Does anyone else feel that way?

It’s all the responsibility that is such a pain. Much as you try to explain this to a high school student, they don’t get it! I didn’t get it. They think it’s all your own bank account and that you magically have enough money to pay for all of your wants. They tend to forget about the needs or underestimate the needs.

thermostatMy parents used to fuss about the electricity. Why couldn’t I run around in shorts and a tank top in a 75 degree house in the winter? It couldn’t be that expensive. Well, as I just paid a $320 bill, I can tell you that my kids run around in pants, long sleeve shirts, and socks. Coach and I cuddle under blankets to watch TV. There are lots of quilts on the beds. And it’s still cold in our drafty 1930s farm house. So while the thermostat says 69, there’s no way that’s accurate. It’s simply cold, $320 cold!

debtAnd then there’s the debt. Who doesn’t have that? Credit cards? Vehicles? Student loans? They go on forever. By the time you own your car, you need a new one. And don’t think about trading it in before it’s paid off, because chances are you are so upside down in it that you will end up financing your old car debt into your new car, putting you even further behind. And college, what kid imagines carrying college debt with them for 20 years? What kid recognizes how that bill drains the monthly budget? We certainly didn’t, but we’ve got it.

College savingsThen there’s the savings game. In the midst of trying to pay for all the bills that roll in monthly, you have to save for major purchases, put away for retirement, and save for your kid’s college. Sure your kids should go to college, but who pays for that mess? We started saving last year for the monkeys. We were just throwing a little money, and I do mean a little, at it to do something. This fall I asked our Edward Jones lady to run some numbers. To have $40,000 each, a mere 10K a year, which in 13 years will be nothing, we have to put almost $300 away each month. Who has that? We don’t. Retirement, you know, like when I’m 75. $1 million gives you a 50K annual income. Good luck with that! And the wills. Funeral plans. IT…NEVER…ENDS…

Being a grown-up STINKS!

Oh, wait then there’s taxes. Federal Income Tax, State Income Tax, Social Security Tax (thank for the hike there Washington!). You know, I really appreciate that the Feds and States refund money to us, but why do they take so much in the first place?

Here’s where being a grown-up isn’t all bad. There are times when you are able to handle all that responsibility in a way that is very mature and appropriate. And it’s darn gratifying! Case in point-this year’s tax return, we are being responsible. subaru garageBoth of our cars need work. We are taking care of that. Our minivan heads to the shop on Monday. New tires, breaks. The Subaru over our spring break. The fellow needs new head gaskets. $$$ balance paidThen we are beginning our debt repayment plan with a vengeance. After an automatic draft on Monday, one of my Harvard loans will be repaid, leaving Coach and I with one each. Woohoo! Then Dave Ramsey style, we are rolling that monthly payment into the van. So we will own that in less than a year. Ah yeah, baby! And then we will roll that into the other student loans. Debt free in 4 years is the plan!

Chances are being a grown-up will stink again before the 4 years is up and throw our plan off, but we have one. So for the moment, we are beating the responsibility thing.

So take that!

What financial things do you struggle with? Got a plan?

Make one; it feels great!

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One thought on “The Financial Responsibility Thing

  1. Pingback: It’s Engagement, Not An Excuse | Encourage One Another Daily

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