Saturday, November 15, 2008

Financial Considerations

Last night a few friends and I had a conversation about our country's financial state and the impact it is having on us individually. Many of us already know people affected by downsizing and the home foreclosure crisis and from all the headlines and news programs we are all aware of the domino effect this situation is having around the world.

Throughout the conversation I just kept asking a list of questions I ask myself all the time. These questions are based on me living in New York, but I suspect many of us ask the same things when confronted with our financial environments
1) When did it become OK to pay $2.50 for a cup of coffee?
2) When did it become OK to pay $100 for a pair of jeans?
3) When did it become OK to pay $75.00 every 6 weeks for a hair cut?
4) When did it become OK for monthly daycare to cost a $1000 per child?
5) When did it become OK for shoes to cost as much as a month's rent when most of us collect them like potato chips?
6) When it became OK for a handbag to cost more than a month's salary when most of us collect them like shoes?
7) When did it become OK for an average restaurant meal to cost $100 per person, without wine?
8) When did it become OK for us to take more than one vacation per year and not expect to be in credit card debt?
9) When did it become OK to pay more than half a month's salary on Rent, not including utilities, when budgeting books still tell us that rent should be 1/3 of your monthly salary?
10) When did it become OK for us to drive cars bigger than most of our 1st apartments?
11) When did it become OK for us to accept the minimum wage as is?
12) When did it become OK for us to believe we will all make 6 figure salaries by our mid/late 20's?
13) When did it become ok to live a 6 figure income life style via credit cards and debt regardless of whether or not it is our true income?

The funny thing is I heard no complaints about the above fore mentioned items until the recent shift in pricing for food staples ($4.50 for a gallon of milk, flour over $2.50 for 5lb, $4.50 lb butter) became extremely evident. I suspect the increases shifted our nations, or at least many New Yorker's I know, focus. So again I defer to the list of questions, which is really about taking inventory of our responsibility in the spending chain and the current economic standing of the world. Often we blame those we can not touch and see, mostly corporations and politicians, for the events of the world, because it's easier not to believe that we each have some bit of power and affect. I believe if we each individually take the time to question our motives and our actions when it comes to accepting the media hype about what we should have, own and how we should spend perhaps we can change the world. If we are individually responsible for our financial impressions on this world and understand that most of us don't have incomes to cover the luxury only a small percentile in this world can afford perhaps this will force businesses and government to focus and address our financial and security needs rather than forcing us to focus and address theirs. This doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for bigger incomes or better things, but it does mean that we all need a reality check. Don't think I don't consider these things when I blog about buying what may not be needed but is desired by many of us. I do. I always consider the frivolity of some of the posts but I also know that we will always reach for comfort, even in the harshest of times, and I hope sharing tips about luxuries that vary in price and item will make us each pause and consider what we can pay for now without jeopardizing our financial situations and securities.
(Removes self from soap box)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails