Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Up In Smoke

Hubby drew long on a rare cigar and nodded in agreement, his silver and black beard concealed in the sweet but pungent smoke.

I had made my point, rather emphatically, that our society is one of being "blank-poor." We're house-poor, technology-poor, hobby-poor.

So many of us are caught up in something that keeps us running in the red. Did we buy a house that pushes us to the ceiling of our incomes? Does the guy at the Apple store know us by name? Did we really need a second golf club membership? What is it that keeps us "blank-poor" and fighting to keep our head above water each month?

On our deck in the warm spring night illuminated by candlelight we extolled the virtues of living well below ones means. As a society, we need to set limits...we need to not have the latest and greatest...we need to be smart to bring peace to our lives. But mostly, we need to live with a large gap between our incomes and what we spend.

Here's a breakdown of good living:

Church tithing: 10%

Giving to charity: 5%

Savings/Investments/Emergency fund: 15%

Housing (mortgage and monthly utilities, etc.) 25%

Food: 10%

Transportation: 10%

Insurance: 10%

Clothing: 5%

Medical/Dental: 5%

Misc: 3 %

Hobbies/Spending money: 2%

Hubby and I working on getting these numbers where they should be. Hubby's a financial guru and yet even WE need to keep vigilant and work on it. It's so easy to let your budget run your life and not vice-versa.

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