"Idiots on Wall Street Kicking Sand in the Face of the American Taxpayer"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Spend Less, Save More? Right.

The date of my final paycheck is fast approaching, and we continue to examine ways to cut back on spending. Always one to consult the experts for needed advice, here's what I've found. Most financial experts advise to spend less, save more. But as I scour the grocery ads while dutifully clipping coupons, I have to ask - just how realistic is this advice?

How can you spend less when there is less to spend? With more and more of our income going toward food and fuel, how do we spend less? On what? Our thermostat is set at 68 degrees, we keep the fireplace burning as needed. We don't eat out; we use coupons and shop wisely for food, and the food continues to run out before the paycheck comes in.

We don't spend money on outside entertainment. We don't buy anything that is unnecessary. We don't crank the car unnecessarily. We don't go to the doctor unless an emergency or life-threatening illness. We shop yard sales and thrift stores for clothing and other needs.

So where should we cut back? Stop buying milk? Bread? Or maybe completely turn off the utilities? Sell our home and look for more affordable housing? Sell? Are you kidding, to who? Affordable housing? It doesn't exist around here. A month's rent is the same as a month's house payment.

Yup, this little piece of advice can be filed under "Nonsense." And the next piece? The one about save more? It clearly belongs in the file marked "Outrageously Ridiculous."

How can you save money when you don't have money to save? I don't know about you, but given a ten dollar bill and the choice between spending today to fill my rumbling, empty stomach or saving for the future - I am going to eat every time!