Yesterday President Obama was sworn in for his second term in office and today is the inauguration party; I wonder why these president’s keep forgetting to put me on the invite list. Anyway, as we move into another 4 year term, I realize there are a lot of issues on the table that our government has to solve as it pertains to the financial health of the country. If what’s gone on the last four years continues, we can’t expect much from the government I’m sorry to say.

Riad, Marrakech HDR
Marc via Compfight

You want to know a truth, one that might shock your foundation? It doesn’t matter what the government does when it comes to us. I hear people already countering this statement but let’s be truthful about this. If you don’t have much money right now then none of what’s coming means anything to you. If taxes go up yours won’t; when the health care bill goes through if you don’t have the money to pay for it you won’t get penalized, and will probably benefit from it. If the government defaults on the debt ceiling that doesn’t impact anyone except government workers.

The media does a great job of getting everyone stirred up on these “important issues”, but very few of them affect us as much as they say. If you end up having to pay a penalty for not having health care coverage in 2014 you know how much that impacts you? Probably $90; yup, that’s it. If you have to pay the family rate you’re talking maybe $360, and that’s doubtful. Yup, that’s it; catastrophic, isn’t it?

Here’s the thing. Our financial life is totally up to each and every one of us. I was at the store today with my wife and there was something she thought about buying, almond milk, in a pack of 16 individual sizes, because of its convenience. I had her look at the comparison price to the large size of the same thing. What she discovered is that she could buy 2 of the large size, get more volume, and it still saved 50 cents when compared to the individual sizes. Convenience or savings; she chose savings.

That’s the type of thing our culture has to get used to. Do you pay $3.50 for a coffee at Starbucks or do you buy something at the store and make your own for pennies a cup because it lasts a month? Do you go to a restaurant and pay $7.99 for a 1/2 pound burger with fries when you can buy a pound of 80% hamburger for $3.99, or 95% fat free for $4.99? Even if you bought the fries a pack costs $4.50 and gives you at least 6 servings. It’s important to find more economical ways to feed yourself and your family, ways that still allow you go to out from time to time because you’re spending money on your food budget more wisely.

In other words, we all have financial options we can avail ourselves of that will help our dollars go further if we decide to take that route. We all have ways of bringing more money into the house such as through a part time job, selling things we make or have laying around the house, offering services on things we’re good at, etc.

The government is there to help us help ourselves when we need it. Other than that, we all have the capacity to take care of ourselves. You can enjoy whatever you want to if you want to pay for it. If that’s the case, you have nothing to complain about. For the rest of us, we need to pick and choose what we feel is important to us that leaves no compromise on price, then compromise in other areas.

We can make our money go further, pay our bills, and live a pretty good life. Or we can sit around complaining about what the government is or isn’t doing. Which one are you going to be?

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