A Money Minefield


Monday November 25th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

If there’s anyone anywhere who is doing well financially, I’d like to meet them and shake their hand. It sure isn’t anyone in my circle of friends and contacts. Times are tight, and getting tighter by the week. Now the holidays are here, and that should launch everyone into tension overload.

I had to deal with car problems today, something I haven’t had in a while but I always know is only a dashboard light away. How many times have I had a car that ‘runs great’, but costs me the moon because something goes wrong that isn’t engine or transmission related? I’ve lost count.

Today it was my rear suspension system. Something snapped when I went over a railroad track a while back, and it got so bad I couldn’t drive the car without getting whiplash every time I hit a pebble. I put it off as long as I could, but I had no choice. Final damage: $450. My wallet hurts.

Every time I think I can at least stick my nose out of the water and breathe a little, some out of the blue crisis comes along and puts my head back under. This wasn’t what I pictured doing with $450 right now, but I’m sure the guy at the car place didn’t mind. He’s probably struggling too.

There’s a quote rolling around in my head, but I have no idea who said it or where I heard it. It goes “Life can be a cruel mother – giving with one hand and taking with the other.” I don’t know who said that, but it should probably be on a t-shirt or bumper sticker. It rings truthful with me.

It’s hard enough to deal with the expected expenses of life, but throw the surprises in there and it’s a money minefield. Nobody can predict where the mines are, and eventually we all get one or more limbs blown off. It could be worse though. At least I’m single. How do parents pull it off?

I couldn’t imagine raising a kid right now. I have all I can do to keep my own bills paid. Where are people getting money to raise children these days – especially if they intend on sending them to college? These are not easy questions, and I have no answers. I barely found $450 for my car.

Actually, I didn’t find it at all. I had that money all ready to go somewhere else, but that didn’t work out. It was to help pay down my credit card, and that’s another issue most people today are battling. I had my balance at zero for years, but again I stepped in the money minefield and blew my leg off. I needed a car badly, so I bought the one that just had the work done on it. It’s a trap.

The interest is already killing me, but what can I do? Had I been able to keep driving it I would have, but it had reached the boiling point. The whole thing makes me sick, but I know I’m by far not the only one going through these situations. Like I said, everyone I know is having problems.

One thing I’d really like to see is some financial training in schools. I for one could have used a crash course, and so could everyone else. Most parents can’t or don’t take time to talk about this with their kids because they’re out feverishly struggling to try and patch their own money holes.

If nothing else, at least I’ll have a nice smooth riding car to sleep in if I need to. Rent is due in a few days, and I had all I could handle to scrape that up…again. One of these days I’m going to figure it out, and hopefully be able to share it with my friends. Life is too short to live like a bug.

Life is a minefield. Problems explode without notice.

Life is a minefield. Problems explode without notice.

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