Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When The Going Is Good...

Tip #260 - When the Going Is Good, Save For When The Going Gets Tough. When times are good and the wine is flowing, make sure you stop and consider that things may not always be this way. There may come a time when someone gets ill and must stop working or a business goes downhill because the market changes, or a job is lost, or or or. It is very easy when things are going well to live it up and think that things will only stay the same or get better. Because, in general, that's how things work. You start a job with a small salary and then as you gain experience, the salary increases. But things don't always work that way. As we know now, the economy has gone downhill, and many jobs were lost or salaries were cut.

Since most of us are aware that things don't always stay the same or improve, what can we do about it? Well, we can live as if things aren't as good as they are. Buy the more affordable home so that if things get rough, you can still afford it. Give up putting in a "top of the line" kitchen because really do you want to pay for a new kitchen for the next 10 years when the old kitchen was perfectly acceptable? Put money away in that proverbial rainy day fund. They really, really do come in handy.

Sure none of us know what tomorrow would bring and we can suddenly drop dead. But as many similar sayings go, "I'd rather have money and not need it than need it and not have it."

Take a look around at your lifestyle and spending habits and think to yourself, "What would I do if the ball dropped tomorrow?" "Coud we still afford the rent payments or mortgage?" "For how long?" "Is there somewhere cheaper we could move if not?"

If you are using up every last dollar to maintain your lifestyle then you are living too high on the hog, even if it doesn't seem like it. Put away at least some of your income for the days when income may not come in. Some people call it an emergency fund. I call it being prepared. Be prepared.

In Real Life (IRL)- Last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I spent in bed either throwing up or sick with fever. By Wednesday afternoon I started to get my energy back and was getting up and moving around a bit. But using the computer was still too much for me. So when my husband called and asked what I thought of the email he sent, I had no idea what he was talking about. I jumped out of bed to see. And what I saw were two words, "Jericho, NY" And I knew what it meant.

My husband's company got bought out a year ago, and we always knew that it would mean some kind of change. We knew his office could close and we could be asked to relocate. So when I saw those words on my computer screen, I knew what it meant. I called my husband immediately, but he couldn't really talk. I found out later that the company wants to close his office in 18 months to 2 years. And they were offering my husband a large promotion in Jericho, NY. For those who don't know, Jericho is on Long Island, outside of NYC.

At first I was excited - the thought of packing up the house and starting over has its appeal. And living near the beach would be a fun adventure. But as I thought about having my children start over in new schools and us having to make new friends, I was less enamored. We like where we live. It's nowhere near perfect. It's expensive. The traffic is the pits, and it's far from the beach. But it is where we have put down roots. My children are growing up with my friends' children. They've known each other since they were babies. We're in a convenient location to travel other places and to see family on both sides. We like our house and our street.

We're seriously considering this job offer on Long Island. After all, it is more money, and a job for the long-term. But if we don't take it, it will be partially because we don't want to uproot our family and leave friends and the only place my kids have ever called home. We know that might mean taking a lesser paying job or possibly being without a job in the short-run.

And guess what? we can only consider the possibility of staying here with low-paying jobs because we have been putting away savings from each paycheck and have been furiously paying down our mortgage. We certainly don't want to be in the position where we have low-paying jobs, but if it means living where we want to live then we will do it. But we can only do it because when things were good, we saved. We have 3 more days to make a decision. I will let you know what we decide.


freedom journey said...

That is a great tip, and one I wish I'd learned 15 years ago when I got my first job. I am in the exact opposite boat- my husband has to stay with the job he doesn't like just to make ends meet. Thank you for posting these tips, I learn something from each of them!

Kacie said...

Tough call, and what a short time to make a decision! Have you visited Jericho? Maybe it's an awesome place.

Picking up and starting over IS rough though. And if you'll be further from family, I think that stinks.

We're hoping to move back to our home state so we'll be closer to family and enjoy a lower cost of living.

It's not easy figuring out the best plan of action!

Looking forward to seeing what you decide.

Family Balance Sheet said...

good luck with your decision. sometimes kids are more resilient than we give them credit for.

ann said...

You are so mature and i have learnt a lot from your blog. Thank you! You write very well and every tip is so practical and wise. I'm glad i found your blog. :)