Monday, March 09, 2009
Sharing a Bit on Debt
Later last week I was watching a financial show that mentioned 1983, how we survived through that and how we'll survive through this also. I was a young teen then who made a lot of money each week simply by babysitting for others in our small town. That was until my Mom decided to take on a job behind my father's back to "spare his ego" and to help pay the bills.

That cut my hours for with two younger sisters Mom needed me to be there when they came home from school. Mom also needed me to cover for her by cleaning the house, hanging laundry and getting dinner started. This way, when Dad came home shortly after Mom would - he'd wouldn't know that she wasn't home all day. I could only babysit for others after dinner and the money made from this was used for my school lunches, clothes and other things. In fact - Mom even begged to borrow some of my money so my sisters could have lunch or go on a small field trip.

So Friday evening on CNBC they state that we all survived through this era. NOT!!

It's a fact that I never realized or knew until 3-4 years ago when I had to go up to NJ to help out my parents when Mom fell ill with Breast Cancer and Dad had a stroke. Both were under 60 years old and couldn't go to work during this time. It was a long wait for SSDI and there I sat with a load of bills in my lap.

They have a mortgage way over the value of their home. A home they purchased for $12,000 back in 1970. A second mortgage that was used to consolidate credit card debts a few years before. Unfortunately I also had to look into their life insurance policy and found that they had borrowed against this too.

Keep in mind there are no fancy cars, clothes or jewelry. Other than bowling my parents never went on vacation or out much. These debts were made to pay off debts. Money was borrowed to pay electric, food or medical bills. I'm afraid to say that over the past 20 years they had to have paid over a half a million dollars just in interest payments alone on debt.

Did we all survive that era? Not at all.

Here we are in another such era and I am burdened with a responsibility unlike anything I had ever planned for. I'm raising my own daughter, paying my own mortgage and putting food on my table - yet any day now, my parents could be driving up to my front door with a Uhaul truck.

I don't want them here. But who do I blame, them? The government? The banking institutions?

All in all, if a lesson is to be learned from 1983 it would be do not go into debt to pay off your debts. Save, pinch, cut coupons and costs. Take on a side job, cut up the credit cards, eat ramen noodles and shop for clothes at Goodwill. Anything. Look at your documents before you sign a car loan or mortgage. If you're going to be paying $60,000 in the long run for a $14,000 used car - buy a beat box with your down payment instead.

If we're going to survive this era - and not turn out homeless 30 years from now - we need credit and financial counselors outside of the banking institutions. We can be a government "of the people" if we band together and fight through this together.
Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 8:56 AM  
  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Dr.John said…

    That's the advice I give my kids when I bail them out.

  • At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Margie, I agree and disagree all at the same time.

    Now with the invention of Debit Cards, I will never use credit again. I am on my way to killing off my debt. Credit card companies can keep their money. I have no interest. And every dollar I put in savings is matched with a dollar I have in my own personal safe at home.

    I will believe that FDIC will cover me when I see it in action. Until then, I don't believe a word the credit card companies, our banks or our government says to us.

    Just my two cents.....

  • At 9:22 AM, Blogger Orhan Kahn said…

    We're all in this together!

    No truer words have been spoken.

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