I have been wondering lately about my financial future. Not only mine, but my family’s, my friend’s, and our nation’s financial future. Since the term “fiscal cliff” was coined, all anyone can talk about is how the United States government cannot figure out how to handle it’s finances. Even though we have averted the fiscal cliff due to the proposal that was passed, what will happen 3 months, 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years down the road? I know with the constant bickering and fighting that goes on in our Congress, we can no longer think that the government has our best interest at heart.
I haven’t thought they had our best interest at heart for quite some time, but there are still some believers out there.
I have learned growing up that we all make mistakes. Whether those mistakes be with our careers, our relationships, or with our finances. What makes someone grown is how they learn from their mistakes and grow into a more well-rounded person. Learning from your mistakes is what makes us human and become more responsible. Unfortunately, I don’t think this same idea applies to government. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, most governments are well funded with corruption and that affects their thought processes. Money changes us, no matter if you want to believe it or not. For this reason, I have decided to stop caring what the government does and only focus on what I can do.
Putting Myself in Charge
Many people want to blame the government for their issues. I am not one of those people. I only blame myself for any issues that arise. Yes, there are things that the government can do in order to reduce any discomfort I may feel about how our nation is running, but I don’t count on those anymore. I stopped holding onto hope that our government would work together to better this country and decided to put myself in charge of my financial future.
This was the best decision I have ever made…..
Scared of Heights on the Edge of the Fiscal Cliff
I always thought the fiscal cliff was a horrible name, but it stuck and it put fear into people that both Republican and Democrats wanted. Each use the American public as pawns in their greedy game of chess. I don’t want to be a pawn anymore. I am an educated and informed consumer, voter, and American. I don’t listen to what I hear on Fox news or MSNBC and take it at face value. I take my time to fully research and decide how I feel about issues. I just wish that more people took the time to do the same. The only way you can change something is by actually making a change.
As the 2012 year was coming to an end and the fiscal cliff debate was heating up, I was working feverishly to know where my finances stood and how I was going to make sure that any decrease in my paycheck was going to be offset by a decrease in my spending. I am an average American that will only be affected by payroll tax for social security when it goes back to 6.2%. I have known this was coming for some time as when it was originally taken down to 4.2%, it was indicated as TEMPORARY! That means that is probably wasn’t going to stay that way. Yes, we all got a few years out of it, but it was temporary none the less. I learned how to live on my wage with the original 6.2%, so I just invested or saved the 2% that I was getting back.
Don’t get me wrong, I am going to miss the money out of my paycheck, especially with a new baby. Every little bit helps, but I will make due with the change. I realize that millions of taxpayers are in the same boat as me. The government isn’t just taking this approach with a few selected people, but pretty much the majority. If you feel that it is unjust, then remember that the decrease was TEMPORARY and leave it at that. Though we may hate the government at times, we cannot look to them to always guide us in the right direction. We have to leave that to ourselves.
But It’s My Money!
Most of us work very hard for our paychecks. Some do not, but I don’t want single those people out in this post. We get paid, then we figure out what we want to do with our money. Some people spend it, some save it, and some invest it. No matter how much money you make, if you are in the 99%, then you will have to pay taxes. There are different tax thresholds, but you will have to pay taxes. I know you think that it is your money and you don’t want the government taking any of it, but guess what, WE ALL PAY TAXES (except for the extremely rich!!). We are all in the same boat. Each paycheck comes and the government taxes it’s share and then leaves the rest for you. The only way to succeed is to live on the money that you actually bring home. Just because you have a job that pays you $50,000 doesn’t mean you actually “make” that much.
It’s Time to Take Responsibility
If you are still fuming over the fiscal cliff debate and what happened in the bill, then the only thing I can say to you is GET OVER IT! I know that you are irritated and feel that no matter what you do, the government is always going to try and screw you over. I am not a big fan of big government, but I understand that if I want to enjoy the successes of America, then I need to pay my share. Your parents have done it and so have your grandparents.
Instead of debating how the fiscal cliff has affected you, why don’t you take action. Figure out how your paycheck will be affected and then take action to fix it. There are many ways to cut your costs, but you just have to do it. These decisions are not easy, but in the end, you might just realize what is actually important to you. Here are a few ways that I saved money over the past year.
- Cut my cable and just use an over the air antenna
- Ditched Big Red and went with Straight Talk cell phone service saving me $50 a month!
- Cut automotive maintenance costs
- Changed to a programmable thermostat
- Installed low-flow shower heads
Here are some other ways of reducing your living expenses.
There are many things that can be done to reduce costs around your home and in your life in general. Yes, some of you may feel that you shouldn’t have to reduce your costs just because the government decided to end a temporary tax cut, but it happened. If you don’t change you lifestyle, then you will never be able to get ahead financially. It is time to take responsibility for your financial life and make the changes necessary to reap the benefits.
Not matter what happens with our careers, our homes, our cars, or with our government, we are still responsible for our own financial future. Take a stand and take charge of your finances and start calling the shots. The more you rely on yourself and your decisions, the better control you will have over your future!