I have been following the Occupy Wall Street protesters as well as the various other Occupy protests that are taking place not only in The United States but England and Australia as well. I feel for the protesters, they are standing up for all of us. While I do not support any violence on the protesters or law enforcements behalf's, I do think the protesters are on to something. Most of those Americans are really struggling trying to make ends meet, unable to pay for mortgages, credit card interest sky high, medical bills mounting, unable to pay for student loans. Trying to choose between paying the rent or buying groceries. The list just goes on and on and on. Not to mention, the folks who are unemployed and cannot find work, and then there are the ones that are working who can barely keep their heads above water... and those ever disappearing retirement funds, as well as all those tax increases. And... I am sue that I have missed some of the issues, but you get the idea here... Americans are completely fed up with the government and the wealthy that are controlling everything and not being held accountable for anything.
I also feel frustrated at times. It seems like you work your tail off, you pay taxes, and at the end of the year you owe more taxes. You pay off credit card debt, only to have unexpected medical bills and have to use those damn credit cards to get you by till payday. Hey, I have been there.
About a year and 1/2 ago, almost 2 years ago, I decided that I did not want to live this way anymore and really did want to retire at some point... however, my retirement funds are not co-operating at the moment.
I stopped living above my means. I stopped carrying my credit cards. I do not even have them in my purse. I have paid off 2 credit cards, paid off my car, and am still driving the car. I try and put 10% of my paycheck in savings every month...that does not always work out for me, but even 5% is better than nothing. I will not shop for food without coupons. My motto used to be if I don't have a coupon for it I won't buy it... My new motto is... IF I DO NOT HAVE A COUPON AND IT IS NOT ON SALE...IT DOES NOT GO IN THE SHOPPING CART.
I cash in cans and bottles, I have a garden, I home can veggies from my garden. Reading is my favorite past time... I do not hang out at the mall or any other expensive places. I do not buy the latest electronics, or the fashions of the week. I have completely adopted the frugal lifestyle and mostly out of necessity but also because I really do not want to work until I am Seventy.
I stand behind the protesters, but I also believe that you have to help yourself and take accountability for yourself. Learn how to manage your money, how to save your money and how to budget. Trust me your life will get better. It is not easy...but it truly is rewarding.
Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!