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Financial Abundance

June 12th, 2008 at 02:23 pm

Financial Abundance is very relative.

I don't feel financially abundant because I haven't crossed all my "i"s or dotted all my "t"s. Too many expenses in the near horizon.

Likewise, we've had much more financial abundance, in the past. So I feel broke compared to where we were before kids. VERY broke.

As we approach $20k cash in the bank, 10% to retirement, and $5500 monthly take home, we are getting back to more of the higher level we attained in our early 20s.

It's probably a unique situation at 30 to feel like I am catching up to the abundance I had at 25. & it is certainly not a bad thing to be there again, so young.

Well, close enough I can taste it.

Plus a spouse who is more employable by the day (daycare is going down in price by the minute anyway, and we are no longer the sleepless zombie parents of newborns, so have more to work with). I guess it feel extra abundant to get there on one income. We were there so young because we had 2 incomes.

Anyway, we expect $1800 from the government this month (stimulus).

I expect $2k for the kids on their birthday, probably a bit more.

I know that money is not ours, but it is certainly $2k less *I* have to worry about, as far as their future.

Likewise, I know I will feel $4k richer in just a couple of months, with both of those.

We are also cleaning out the house and back on track with ebay and Craigslist listings.

Money to date: $20.

Slow going, but going. We expect hundreds in the next month or so.

Dh committed to selling his old projector AGAIN. (At this point I am happy with $100. Cash is cash. PArt of the deal when he bought a new one in 2005 was he would sell the old one in the realm of $500. Right now he is asking $300 or something, but he has asked $300 before. I am pushing him to list it at $200 and am peeved. He's listed it a couple of time too high, and at this point I'll take anything).

We'll probably have a TIVO to sell for an easy $100+. We'll see how our new system works first. (New internet and satellite, TODAY).

The expensive part of this completely unforeseen circumstance (mom & pop cable company bought out by Comcast) is that the 2 services will overlap for a time. Need a few days to change over our e-mail and see if we are happy with the system(s). Dh also informed me we need to shell out $50 for a modem. (No doubt financed by sale of TIVO - not compatible with satellite or something - don't ask me). I canceled my June payment to mom&pop/comcast. It was due next week and set up in my online bill pay. Once we are certain (hopefully by Monday) this is the change we want dh will call our old company and ask for a pro-rated June bill. I thought I had paid June, so glad we hadn't, and we have more traction to negotiate. I don't want to pay 2 "cable" companies for June.

Likewise, they already started dropping some of our channels, so we are eager to change, and complain about our bill.

I expect to make $200 with my final MLM sales and an ebay listing to clear out my inventory.

We have 3 strollers to sell (Easy $20 each) and stuff like that.

So it feels like a financially abundant time.

Oh yes, and the fact that my last LARGE payment to preschool was cashed last week. I think that is most of it. What a LOAD off.

I am still stressed about our mid-term savings. Looking at the house, thinking the house needs some paint and the fence needs to be replaced. Dh's car is not getting any younger. But other than a strong need/urge to bulk up that part of our savings, life is good. Better than it has been the year before, or the year before that, etc.

With a child out of preschool I have a good $3k/year to commit to that today, that I didn't yesterday. Makes a big difference.


On the flip side, the doom and gloom in the news is getting to me. I don't know why more today than yesterday, but it really is.

I think I was feeling like things are going pretty good for us.

So I have been feeling rather generous.

In good times, we are quite content to volunteer as hobbies. I like to volunteer at the library and with wildlife rehab. Dh volunteers at the public TV station. We pat ourselves on the back for doing good for others.

I still think it's all good stuff, and they probably hurt more for volunteers in rough times. So I *get* that. IT all helps.

But yet, in times like this it just doesn't seem like enough. The animal shelters are completely over run and the food banks are drowning. So I think we will commit to give a little more to these organizations in the upcoming months. I am eyeing the profits on our Craigslist/ebay sales, and will see what we can do.

IT's very unlike me. We grew up not giving CASH to ORGANIZATIONS. My parents would give you the shirts off their backs, but I don't think they have hardly given to charity. Their frugalness precludes giving away hard-earned cash. They aren't even much for volunteer work either. Which always surprised me most personal finance books recommend giving 10% income away. My parents would flip at that idea. They have generated plenty of good karma without giving away cash. So that is where I come from. I see you don't need to rain cash on other people to do well. (Though my parents would be more likely to give cash to friends or relatives who needed it, then a faceless organization, which is the other part of it).

They are just very giving people, so I have always been able to reconcile this in my head. You don't need to give cash to organizations to be a giving person.

Likewise, it is a bit of a struggle for me to put my financial health behind giving a little more. I feel like I am very close to a goal and I would probably be better off to get there first. That's my parent's voices in my head.

We usually give most of our money at Christmas. What little we do.

But I am feeling strongly like we should really make an effort to give a little more before the giving season.

I may regret it down the road, but for now I feel like I should share some financial abundance.

I admit it is a nice feeling.

& yeah, I think the food banks will top our lists for a while. We usually donate to animal shelters (still top the list in these times - yikes), Red Cross, and a few other things that are near and dear to me, but not so needy as the food and shelter seems to be for animals and humans around here lately... So I think we will shift our giving a bit. We'll still contribute to those near and dear come Christmas. But adding the food banks and extra donations to the animal shelters. Just feels like the right thing to do.

In this economy, I might as well be a millionaire. We feel one in a million talking to a lot of our friends lately.

& I attribute much of it to our anti-debt philosophy. So far we are weathering the storm well enough.

Maybe it is harder to feel generous when everyone has way more bling than you.

I admit it feels very different of late. Our abundance becomes more and more apparent as more and more houses go into foreclosure around us. & more and more people trade in their SUVs for bicycles. So it just feels very different.

We're used to living on a very low income compared to those around us. Also. Which is why it's easy to lose sight of our own abundances. I know a casual peruser of my blog won't realize that we live on an income that qualifies us for aid, locally. It's not a lot for living in California. Though it gets really relative real fast. If you bought a home, paid for, in the 70s, and you have a pension, you can live pretty lean ($
$20k/year?). If you had to buy a house at the peak, well $100k income won't get you very far.

IT gets so relative though, for now I KNOW we have an abundance of food and shelter. That's all that matters. IF I am not worried how to feed my family, I have something to give to a family that is worried. It should really be that simple. I just haven't seen so many hungry people before... I can't say I have seen any in my adult life. Not in my own backyard.

Which I hesitate to say. I live in the city - I have seen PLENTY of hungry people. But I guess seeing so many acquaintances worrying about how to buy their basic bills, is REALLY freaking me out. What I mean when I say I have never seen so many hungry people in my own backyard. Yikes.

2 Responses to “Financial Abundance”

  1. greengirl Says:

    i also don't give much to charities. i have a friend who earns about $200 a week and who recently gave $100 to a guide dog foundation (she is also $35000 in debt). while i like the concept of charities, i also believe strongly that people need to look after themselves first.
    also there are things to consider such as, how much of the donation is 'administration' charges? having worked in a non-profit organisation it has really opened my eyes to the whole business. non-profit means ... no profit. the place that i worked at, and many others i know of, are 'community' projects and pillars etc, however a lot of the money recieved from government and donations go to company cars, morning teas etc.
    therefore if i ever give, it is to the ones that have either helped people in the past, or that i can clearly see is helping people.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    One of my favorite charities only spends about 0.1% on administration. It's a very small charity, but I agree, I always consider that as well.

    My grandparents were pretty impoverished and always gave 10% to the church. My dad clearly feels that is one reason a lot of his family is still impoverished. (Though you can certainly argue where they would be without the help of the church, too).

    So yeah, my parents really rebelled against that. They keep their money and I have to say it works for them. I also prepare a lot of tax returns, so the media and whoever will tell you everyone gives 10%. But truth is few really give more than 1%. Most give $0! Wink Believe me, if they gave a dime, they'd take the deduction. Doesn't make it right or wrong, but I notice a significant "Joneses" effect there. Everyone thinks everyone else is GIVING more and trying to keep up. People like me know better.

    Just other thing I didn't mention.

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