Thursday, July 27, 2006

Adjusting to a Land of Excess

Here in America, they make it easy for you to want to buy. There are mark-downs almost every week and how can you not buy something that you don't need when the price is so low? I heard of a mother who bought 13 Easter outfits for her toddler because they were on sale --but never got to use them all next Easter. How many Easter outfits can you actually wear? Did she end up saving money on the mark-downs?

Did you see the Oprah episode on Debt Diet? There was a couple with 2 kids making $102,000/year but had a debt of $170,000, $80,000 on their student college loans. They live in a house they cannot afford, have 2 new flashy cars, their celfone bills are $394/month and they spend $100 a day on take-out food because the wife won't cook, maybe because spends $7000/year on her hair!

The average American also has $8,000 in credit card debt.

It's not that I am judging them. It's just with so much, I am hoping to catch some of the money they throw around.

Well, for a family with 5 kids starting in the States, with an income of about $55,000/year, that's a lot to think about because our standards are way lower as $100 (their daily food take-out budget), is my WEEKLY food grocery and cook-in budget for 8! I remain in a constant struggle to balance our budget by living frugally but comfortably and as debt-free as possible.

There are some standards that I won't concede, though, like a decent house (rental)in a good neighborhood where the school system is safe and competent and cars with good AC and will not conk out on me on the highway. I also will not allow my kids to look kawawa (unkempt) or go hungry. Other than that, I am willing to live beneath our means. So flat-screen TV's are way down that list--if only I can get my husband to agree!

Kaya kaya? Count the ways of frugal living with me and who knows what we will find?

I have started a new blog dedicated to my cheap adventures: Frugal Immigrants. See you there!!

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