Thursday, April 30, 2009

Living the Good Life

I worry too much about money. My husband and I make a reasonable amount, and we do a good job budgeting and saving. We are set to pay the last of his $40,000 in student loan debt within the next 12 months, hopefully. Paying off that amount in about 3 years is an incredible feat when he makes a slightly above average wage, and I make well below average.

But I worry about the future. What if we never make more than we do now? Would I be able to financially stay at home and raise the kids like I want to? Would I have to take a part-time job or go back to work? What if he loses his job?

This culture of the 2-income household has screwed up the way I wanted things to be. Even as little as 30-40 years ago, most men were the primary wage earners. Companies didn't randomly hire and fire people like they do now, because they knew that families were relying on their paychecks.

Now, with 40% of children born to unmarried parents and a 50% divorce rate, pretty much everyone has to work. They have to work because they are paying child support, or raising a kid alone. They have to work even if they do stay married to keep up with the Joneses and save for college, and the all important emergency fund in case of divorce or job loss.

What can this financial crisis teach us? Maybe it can teach us that our country has gotten too distant too fast. We've grown cold with each other and with our culture. Government isn't supposed to tell us how to believe or think, the only thing they are there for is to protect and preserve.

Right now, I'm paying taxes for all those unmarried new parents, and for banks to be bailed out, and for pet projects in California and everywhere else. Who's going to be paying for all of this? Our kids are going to pay, and there is no way they can afford to. Right now, the best result we can hope for is that the entire financial system collapses worldwide and we all get the chance to start fresh. And I don't think anyone sees that as a good option.

Let's hope the government and culture turn around and start thinking ahead, before we're all looking back and wondering what happened.
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