The Simple Life
by Sheryl Simons
"'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free" - from the
Shaker song "Simple Gifts"
The family is the corner stone of our society. More than any other
force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the
values of the child. ~~Lyndon Baines Johnson
* * *
Google (Internet term for looking up something or a
search) "recession or depression" on the internet and you will come
up with - A depression is when the economy shrinks by more than 10%.
A recession is when the economy shrinks for two consecutive quarters.
We have not even had one quarter where the economy has shrunk yet!
The last time we had a quarter where the economy did decline was the
third quarter of 2001 (9/11). Actually we should have been expecting
an economic decline long before this.
The worst recession in the last 60 years was from November 1973 to
March 1975, where economic growth fell by 4.9 percent. We have not
even had one quarter where the economy has shrunk, so we're not in
either a recession or a depression. The economy is still growing,
but at a slower rate than past years.
You've probably heard the old saying, "If you lose your job, we are
in a recession, if I lose my job, we are in a depression."
Gary Foreman of "Dollar Stretcher" said, "You'll never see a
big headline saying "Everything Is OK." That doesn't sell newspapers
or keep TV watchers from reaching for the remote. In fact, I get
bugged when they hype a recession that doesn't exist. Frankly,
they've got a lot of people scared who don't need to be."
What if you lose your job and your home? It's definitely not as bad
as it seems. We have more resources available now than at any time in
our history, in fact, in the history of the world. There are
numerous ways to find help. For those that bought over-priced homes
they couldn't afford, this will probably be a good thing, looking
down the road, even though it is hard to go through. They can end up
owning a home they really can afford. There are so many homes now on
the market, they won't be sitting empty for too long. They will
either become rentals, or will be sold at a much lower price. Who
will buy them? Most likely the people who have lost a home! So this
just may be an opportunity in disguise! Don't think that if you have
bad credit you can't buy a home. It's not as hard to get a home as
it used to be. Now you have a chance to learn from your mistakes and
really decide to get ahead. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.
Buy a home you really can afford. If your job may not be stable,
(are they ever 100%?) you need to be careful. If you have two
incomes, buy based on ONE! Don't let this happen to you again. Use
this as an opportunity to downsize. Get rid of all that "stuff" you
really didn't need anyway. Your kids will not know the difference.
And if you do find yourself in hard times, keep looking up. Usually
you will find yourself in a better state. Who wants to go through
life as if they are hanging by their fingertips, anyway? Get back to
an even keel, and stay there. Keeping up with the Joneses will only
be putting yourself in hot water.
Do what you can to live simply and frugally. Save money. You can
have a good time without spending much money. Find inexpensive ways
to travel, go on vacation, and entertain friends, cook, and spend
your leisure time. It's nothing you can't do.
Let's say you want to take the kids to an expensive amusement park.
What if you take some air mattresses and a picnic to the beach?
Entertain friends with a pot-luck. Instead of going to the movies,
exchange a movie with friends, stay home and pop your own popcorn.
Have homemade pizza night. Hang your clothes on the clothesline
instead of using the dryer, and buy good used vehicles you have
checked out on Consumer Reports, or ride your bicycles when
You can think up lots of ways to save money and put some away for
hard times. Have a family meeting and talk about ways you can all
save money. Even the kids can help, and it is good for families to
work together on a project. Once you have a cushion put away, start
working on getting credit cards, and extra bills paid off. When you
really work on it, it won't be too hard. The trick is to have a
cushion BEFORE the hard times get here.
Local churches in our Marion area are sponsoring a Dave
Ramsey "Financial Peace" workshop. Dave Ramsey is funny and too the
point, as well as being practical. Call your local churches in your
area to find out dates and times. If we learn anything in times like
this, now is a chance to really learn what financial peace is all
* * *
Simple Walking Taco
Take a small bag of corn chips, - one per person, or for a group, you
can use a large bowl. Sprinkle in taco seasoned hot ground beef, and
taco toppings of your choice, such as salsa, cheese, lettuce,
tomatoes, onions, olives, and Jalapenos (if you dare). Great for a
lunch, too. If you make your own taco meat, you can know the grease
has been well drained. (less calories is another good reason to cook
Keeping it Simple,
Please contact me with recipes, questions, comments and simple living
ideas that work for you. Email: thesimple_life@...
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