Before President Obama, my family had its own economic meltdown. No dip in the family budget, no recession...it was a complete and total Depression that was the result of an accident while Bill was on duty. When I watched both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, I heard a lot of speeches about helping Americans, but can honestly say that help from the government is ALWAYS too late when an individual has a financial crisis.
I know many want to place their faith in the political party of their voter registration card, but it will be misplaced faith. Our politicians are not able to see the small picture. They cannot process the hardships like my family felt both emotionally, financially, and for Bill physically, as they are thinking in grand scales. Times were hard for us and now 7 years after Bill had his accident I can look back with peace, knowing where we are today. Times were hard. We did not place blame on the past president, nor Bill's workplace. What we did was roll up our sleeves and I confess I shed a good many tears. Our livelihood had been rocked and we did not have a clue what was next. We had 4 children ages, 9-15 and I had been a stay home wife for 17 years. We led a life as many Americans do now, we had some savings, a home we had bought and fixed up, and spent pretty much every penny we made. We ate out a good deal, had the Schwann's man deliver directly to my freezer every two weeks so I could bake bread that they had froze! Our kids had top medical care, plenty of the game systems, toys, bikes, and oh books, I bought so many books for them. Life was ideal with the walks at night, the family barbecues, the movie nights, the dinners with friends, and many work related functions that I assisted in as the wife of a law enforcement officer.
Then Bill had his accident and reality set in. You know, the kind that Americans are feeling as the debt continues to climb and now is over 16 trillion dollars. Our lives had been turned upside down and we felt as many do today~hopelessly confused as to how life will upright itself, how our children will be able to withstand the crisis, and how our marriage could sustain such a heavy burden. We had to take drastic measures and without a net. We had to move to a place that was far less expensive of an area than the area we had been living in. We had to move to a home that was more of a shoddy, run down, hole in the wall type of place, and not a cute home in a small suburban area where the neighbors all knew each other and American flags lined the streets. We felt shell-shocked as I am sure many feel today with the burden of having less today than they did four years ago. I had no idea what to do to help make ends meet and spent a good deal of time in prayer.
What I do know is this...whether the crises is small and only impacted a small group, like the one for my family, or large like what is happening to our nation as a whole, it can be overcome with drastic but sound measures.
My advice to our elected officials is the same as to my readers~ act now. Stop planning in a crisis, and act. First and foremost in my situation as with the economic crisis our nation is in the midst of, everyone must stop spending money. We did. We started by cutting everything and opening books as to learn how and what to do. We eliminated paper products first. Now it may make you shake your head and say-"big deal!" But this saved us six to ten dollars a month in paper napkins, and twelve dollars in paper towels. I also bought wipes such as bleach wipes for cleaning bathrooms, so I stopped buying them saving another 6 dollars a month. Through this I immediately added $24 to $28 to the budget and if I pro-rated this out for the year we saved from $288 to $336! I made cloth napkins with old flannel shirts and fabric pieces I had about the house and began to use my kitchen towels in earnest.
As we continued to cease spending money, we did sell our home in Nevada and buy our corner of the desert and decided to call it a farm...as we knew to survive on the salary Bill was making in New Mexico it was going to take more than small steps of cutting paper products. We knew we would have to provide for ourselves a good deal more than we did by making cloth products for the home, so we asked ourselves how could we have more, with less? And the journey through our economic crisis seemed to have become less fearful and more of a possibility...
Be sure to read the conclusion of this series Before President Obama Part 2
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."