Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Movement and Debt Quote Tuesday

There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I'm almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn. -Paul Clitheroe

I come from an anomalous family. My grandparents (both sets) were very well off. My mother's siblings have done pretty well for themselves. My dad's siblings (and he's Irish Catholic so there's ALOT of them) are all (with the exception of one) VERY wealthy.

My parents spent ALOT of money when we were kids, when they were married. They actually spent ALOT of money that they didn't have. A few mortgages, several credit cards, and a divorce later my family (or I guess I should say my mother) was really quite poor and VERY in debt. Somehow my mom still managed to get new credit cards, additional personal loans, another refinance on the house... you name it she did what it took to have money. But eventually she was just trying to scrape by (the very same position I found myself in a year or so ago).

I knew it was bad. I didn't really understand why but I knew we were broke, poor, struggling... it was bad. When I was a kid and we were in our horrible financial mess I remember getting quite angry with the relatives. Here we were surrounded by millionaires (no joke). They were purchasing crazy elaborate things that no one really needs and we were having a difficult time buying groceries. I couldn't understand why they wouldn't just give us money. I was sure that if my mom asked for money they'd have to "help us out." For years I didn't understand why they were allowed to have so much while we struggled by. It just wasn't fair.

I'm intrigued by the current world economic situation. I feel like ALOT of people are almost exactly in the place we were in as a family when I was a kid. And ALOT of people are looking at the wealthy "relatives" with fury and anger because it's just not fair! I know there's a lot more to it than that but boiled down to the basic bare bones of the matter it's quite similar. What I didn't see when I was a kid was that my relatives had worked very hard for their money. Each of them had spent MANY many years in college. They worked long hours at their office jobs. They handled their money responsibly, not purchasing things with credit, or things they could absolutely not afford. They earned their income and they were taking good care of it. My parents did the exact opposite. They always spent money they didn't have. They had pretty decent jobs but they weren't responsible at all.

If you constantly spend less than you earn, no matter your situation you will get ahead, be ahead, have that financial stability and security that I longed for as a child and am working diligently towards now as an adult. If you are constantly spending above your income level then it won't take too long before it's difficult to see the top of the pit you've dug for yourself. Them's the facts.

Life isn't fair but I can understand now why my relatives weren't entitled to give us poor folks their money. They could have. It would have been a nice thing to do (my parents would have blown it and I think it's safe to say that it wouldn't have done any good in the long run). I'm finally at a place in life where I'm really not looking towards anyone else to help me out of the pit I've dug. I realize that hard work and wise responsible living will go eons farther than a helping hand up. Life is about learning, growing, experiences, trials and victories. I'm all for helping people. But I'm inclined to believe that "it's better to give than to receive" is 100% true. I'm pretty sure that every time, the giver does actually receive more than the getter.

TOTALLY different subject: baby's first photo
It's so fuzzy. But I'm pretty sure he's the most adorable thing I've EVER seen!!!


  1. Too cute! He is a beauty. I too was raised in this similar pattern and carried it into adulthood. My mother later married a very wealthy man and offered to help me (when I really did not need it, I had needed her help for years and she ignored my dilemma, but wen I had finally started to figure it out she offers to help.) But my motto is you can't help a sucking chest wound. That is what triage is for. You try to save the ones who have a chance. You have given yourself a chance and I did also thus the difference. Very, very good post! Very, Very darling tadpole!

  2. I love him already!!!