Friday, September 25, 2009

If Money is Like Water, What about the Reverse

I'm not pretending we are rich, by any stretch of the imagination. But we do so-so. Usually, we can cover what we need to and have a bit of extra. Inevitably, we make a decision like going on a trip, then suddenly it seems like all the money I thought would be there, isn't. Not really my fault, I make the same paycheck every two weeks no matter what. I get my car allowance, kind of on time. Perhaps I'm slow in filing expense reports, but they are slow in sending the checks, so we're even.

Not my husband's fault, his money comes in more randomly, but abundantly. Are either of us spending like drunken monkeys? Not really. Maybe we eat out too much or I buy groceries we don't use right away. Also, I have no clue what to do with cheap cuts of meat, so I don't buy them. Sure, we go see a movie here and there with our son. And he is more often than not the beneficiary of my husband's need to shop. Or my need to shop.

Still, I'm amazed how fast it all goes. We leave for Disneyland in a week. The flight is paid for, the hotel is pre-paid, the tickets to get us into the park, paid. We will have to cover car rental, a cheap hotel in Tulsa for one night to avoid getting up at 5 a.m. and meals. So, can we do it? I'm sure we'll do our best. Will we ignore the cable bill in lieu of a great vacation? Possibly.

Why am I musing on this to know one's interest? Because I need to. And maybe, because I'm probably a representative of so many Americans who live like we do. Money comes in, money goes out. A few things to show for it. A lot of stress accompanying it. And, for now, my job gives us health insurance. But if it didn't, there would be no trips because we'd be paying for medicine and doctor's visits.

Do we deserve a trip to an amusement park? FDR sort of thought we did. Before he died, he presented the New Bill of Rights that included entertainment (along with healthcare, housing, education, living wage.) He felt that the average person needed fun things to hope for and do. My child certainly deserves it. He has done nothing to accidentally be born into a family that lives hand to mouth. He is a smart, loving child and I want him to have all good things. We get to go along for the trip, so by virtue of relation, we deserve a trip, too.

And, seriously, I'm not giving up my daily $1.29 I spend on McDonald's coffee either.

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