Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fun Monday


Sayre is our host and here's our challenge:   What are you and your family doing to deal with the current economic situation on a personal level? Obama's got a plan for the nation, but how do you/will you deal with your own economic stress?

Bob and I have been retired for over 10 years.   Our retirement income is pretty set and manageable.   We're not very frugal, but we're not extravagant, either.  We've been thru other recessions; but the biggest challenge we went thru, was when Bob became a policeman.  At the time, I was a SAHM, with one child and one "in the oven".  Bob took a half cut in pay, because he saw working for the LAPD, not only as something he wanted to do; but as the best thing for our family.  He was right, but a half cut in pay is stunning for the budget.  By the time he graduated from the police academy, we were a family of four, with two dogs.  My total budget for the week in 1970, was $25.00.  That was it, for milk, bread, eggs, all the essentials, plus paper products (toilet paper, anyone?)  and dog food.  One of the ways I managed this frugality was to plan my menus, a month at a time, usually with no duplicates, so we didn't get bored.  I would buy what I needed for that weeks' menu, during my once a week trip to the grocery store.

One of the things I still do is buying in bulk, but only if the items are good quality and will be used regularly - no purchases, just to have savings.

This time around, the biggest thing we've done is increase our charitable giving.  We've started sending a check every month to our local animal shelter.  Charitable giving is really down nation-wide, and by saving a little, here and there, (going back to our early LAPD days),  in other areas, we can send them a regular monthly check.  It's like paying a utility bill.

11 comments:

karisma said...

I also remember early married days of not much money and sometimes even no food. Times were tough but we always got by. Amazing how adaptable people really are.

Glad to hear that you are giving to the animals (animals are people too). My mum came home from her seniors meeting last week horrified at the comments of one of the ladies about animals not being important when they were deciding where to donate their funds raised for the bushfires down here. Apparently what ensued was the biggest bitch fest ever, mum says she does not think she is old enough to join in there anymore.

Peter said...

You are right Jan, the charities are feeling a big pinch here too, subsequent to our recent bushfires the work done by each and every charity organization was remarkable.

Mariposa said...

Love that you mention charities. In times like this, it is the first who gets the punch, yet, it is the most in need! I'm trying to do the same...and glad to find someone like you on it as well.

You just inspire me with this post!

Jeanna said...

My dad was a cop for many years and they are getting by okay, but not really rolling in dough in their retirement.
It's amazing what we could get by on back then, isn't it? I think buying in bulk is an art form.

Hootin' Anni said...

We too are retired and living on a fixed income....but, I DO love reading the fact that you donate to an animal shelter. That, that just melts my heart.

Happy fun monday.

Sayre said...

Working for a charitable organization myself, I can vouch for the downturn in donations. I think it's wonderful that you actually budget your donation and "pay the bill" just as you would any other. I might give this one a try!

Lil Mouse said...

that's really nice

Faye said...

Your routine gifts to a charity reminds me of Studs Terkel's observation that the people who weathered the Great Depression best were those that lent a hand to others. Sometimes we get so self-absorbed in our own troubles that just the effort to help someone or something in need is all that's needed to keep us moving forward when we want to lie down in defeat.

Living on a fixed retirement is more a matter of attitude--deciding to reward ourselves with things that bring us pleasure while still being aware of our limits.

ChrisB said...

Like you I have always been used to budgeting carefully, especially when I was training to be a nurse and when my children were growing up. Bulk buying is a very good way to eke things out and I also do that where I can.

hulagirlatheart said...

I think we all have some important memories about early marriage and the "poorness" of it. It makes you stronger as a couple I think.

Kudos for giving to the charities during this time. They're struggling so, and the demand on them is greater than ever.

Jo said...

I too have tried to increase my charitable giving for the same reasons. The Scouts are holding yet another food drive this weekend, the food banks can't keep anything on the shelves any more. I'll make a trip to Sam's Club for tuna and peanut butter.

I remember our more difficult financial times not so long ago and I used to get irritated watching those morning news shows. They'd be full of all these things you could cut back on to save money and I'd think "but I'm already not doing any of that stuff!!"

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