Wednesday, December 23, 2015

$60,000

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I sat with my family in a booth at TGIFriday's for lunch after seeing a movie (it was a winter vacation family mini date) and I overheard a young adult gentleman counseling his young adult female friend (possibly his sister?) about income. He claimed that $60,000 dollars was the annual income you needed to be at to pay all your bills, save up some money, and save for retirement.

Mentally, I considered this counsel and snickered. First, I wagered that I was in the wrong career since he claimed to make just under that already, but after the sad wistful feeling wore off, I realized he was not taking into account supporting others. If you are SINGLE, $60K is definitely enough to feel satisfied. If you have kids, you'll be in so much debt trying to afford a larger house, larger vehicle, and feeding and clothing them, let alone school fees. He also never mentioned paying off his student loans, either. He's only getting half the picture.

I reflected on being a young adult, with half the pieces of the puzzle of life figured out. Once you finally learn all the life skills that high school never taught you about budgeting, laundry, bills, checking, loans, interest, insurance, and credit you think you have a handle on this adult life thing.

But you don't.

Perhaps this young man would have the knowledge to overcome all possible new obstacles smoothly and feel he always had life by the reigns and perhaps he always will as he learns new nuances about life. Maybe he will advance in his career and decide he needs 120K to live well, or perhaps he will be gobsmacked by a lack of 'gap insurance', or swindled by medical fees, or face any number of challenges that life has a way of hiding.

What would $60K do for me, as a one time gift, right now?

Just for kicks, I sat in the booth and mused about a windfall of this amount as I chewed my 1/2 club sandwich. I'd pay off my student loans, some credit cards that are nearly paid off anyway, re-roof the house, and sock some away for a vacation.

But that isn't very generous of me.

I've decided my new focus is to be more generous. This is my new Resolution. I'll write a post on it later.

Back to the money..

The husband and I have finally gotten on our feet for the first time. We have squeaked by this year paying down old debts and not incurring new ones. We discussed, briefly, what the next step is.

See, we both have had some rough dealings with work. I'm hesitant to say that these kinds of issues wouldn't occur in another place at another time, because they are mostly social in nature. People will always be people and people have a way of being selfish, arrogant, backstabbing, emotionally abusive, or exhausting in so many ways.

We all make mistakes, but calling our current positions stepping stones to something greater might not be one. What if this time in our lives is to prepare us for something greater? We've discussed the dreaded word 'moving' if it means that better things are out there. So far, we haven't made any huge decisions, but we've opened ourselves up to possibilities and opportunities. In this time where we desperately seek change to get away from the caustic environments of our jobs, we are still cautious and wary. We know from experience not to jump into things too quickly.

It's also good to remember where we came from and the young adult mistakes we ourselves made.

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