I’m currently up in the high skies, unfortunately forced to fly United again (no word on whether I’ll be getting charged $75 again for nothing) and for the first time ever I picked up an issue of Time Mag. Granted, it was their special “Money” issue that caught my attention and lured me into picking it up in the first place, but never the less I’d like to think my taste in print are slowly evolving 😉
Check it: Highlights @ 8 y/o (remember those?), then Maxim @ 21 y/o (I read the articles!!), Money Mag @ 28 y/o, Entrepreneur @ 30 y/o (Also, INC – my new favorite) –> and now TIME @ 31 ½ 😉 But that has nothing to do with today’s topic, haha…
What surprised me was how INTERESTING this stuff is now that I’m an official “adult!” You actually learn so much! Haha… things I suppose weren’t that exciting back in the day when all I wanted was pretty pictures and farting jokes. But I digress, again – sorry (First time writing on a plane – it’s kinda weird. I’m trying to type quietly as to not annoy anyone but I can’t get comfortable enough to sit still. Not that that has anything to do w/ my going off topic (again) but it’s the truth. And right now I’m in the mood to blog stream of conscious ;))
All that to really just say, there’s some good MONEY action going on in this issue (Oct 10th) – you should check it out if you can. Especially if you like polls as much as I do so we can kinda compare ourselves to everyone and see where we land (even though you really shouldn’t do that cuz it’s not a good gauge – but we still do it anyways cuz we’re so curious!).
Here are a bunch of tidbits I caught:
- Since the downturn, 70% of people have cut back on vacations or entertainment.
- 40% used college or retirement savings to pay bills.
- 34% have been unemployed, not by personal choice.
- 29% borrowed money from family or friends to pay bills.
- 27% have gone without health insurance.
- 13% have been hungry because they could not afford food 🙁
- 7% have lost their home because they could not afford their rent or mortgage
How scary is that?? Just within the past 2-3 years too – it’s kinda hard to believe. Though I’m sure if you polled people before the crash they’d have some pretty sad situations then too. It’s not like it’s ever *perfect* right? Anyways though, here were my thoughts on it. Or rather – me comparing myself to it cuz I think it’s interesting. Feel free to to do the same afterward!
VACATIONS: I don’t really fall into this category lately, as my traveling is starting to get a bit ridiculous, haha… though it is, actually, “work.” I just happen to think that’s the same thing as vacation sometimes 😉 I do think if I ran the numers though, that I HAVE cut down a lot on my outside vacations and/or entertainment over the years. Not really an effect from the economy, but rather cuz I got addicted to this so called personal finance bizness. And once you go finance, you never go back! (Bah dum-ching. Would have been better if it rhymed, huh?)
COLLEGE $$: This one REALLY shocks me. That’s almost HALF the people surveyed! Digging into their retirement to pay bills!! Wow… it’s crazy cuz I can’t even imagine that anymore. Back in the day I prob. would have done that cuz I wasn’t too good on holding on to my money much outside of a $500 or so in my savings account, but jeez. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, eh? If only we had these epiphanies much earlier on in our lives before the madness hits 🙁
UNEMPLOYED: Another scary tidbit! Even I was scared when I got laid off, and I WANTED to be out of that place when it was happening! Haha… it def. does a number on your mind, alright. I feel bad for those who can’t pick up work as fast as they used to. If any of you are out there reading this right now, check out our Side Hustle Series! Maybe you’ll find some good ideas?
BORROWING MONEY: Yep! I’ve been on both sides of that over the past couple of years too – helping others out, and also being helped out myself (though that was more for investment reasons than paying off my utilities).
NO HEALTH INSURANCE: I think we all know the answer to that 😉 I was without it only about 25-30 days, but I def. fell for that one… had to make my *first* $300 payment the other day and I’m not gonna lie – it sucked! And made me wish I was sick just so I would feel good about using the dang thing, haha… that’s a horrible way to think about it, huh? Gotta keep remembering why it’s important to have, cuz ya just really never know out there!
HUNGER: This is the worst. I’m not even gonna try to pretend I could understand this one cuz I’ve never been anywhere near that scenario… so sad to think most of us live our days pretty safe and sound, and others – even right next door – could be starving 🙁 And that’s just in OUR country. All those poor kids overseas??? It’s horrible. Remember to count your blessings every now and then!
LOST HOME: That 7% looks low, but man – that’s like one out of every 13 people out there! Think about how many friends and family you have, and what those odds really mean… I met over 200 bloggers this weekend at FINCON, which means that roughly 14 of them have lost their roof at some point over the past few years! Though the odds of them specifically doing that are low, considering they were all PF bloggers 😉 But you get the point. It’s def. not good.
It also went on to say that 2/3rds of us would take a pay cut to keep our jobs too. And that I def. have first hand experience with. Not only did I joke around earlier blog about taking a 10% cut if it meant saving one of my colleagues (I decided back then that I *would*), but a mere 12 or 15 months later I actually DID get forced to drop 10% of my pay! And it def. wasn’t to save anyone! 6 months later most of us were all axed anyways… But it’s funny how you still figure out a way to survive and pay the bills once you’re forced to have to do it 😉 If only we’d pay attention EARLIER ON, and get that game plan in motion much much faster so we wouldn’t have to scramble all the time! That would be the life… now if only everyone would listen to us 😉
Speaking of listening, the ol’ capitan just announced something about landing and portable electronics (which always reminds me of “potent potables” from Jeopardy, hah!) so I better go. I hope you all had a great last week, and I’m excited to be back to our regularly scheduled programming again! We’ll catch ya on the ground, my friends.