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Tag: Debt Girl

You have probably been hearing a lot about the ‘Fiscal Cliff’, our national deficit, the need to raise taxes and lower spending, the sequestration (whatever that is), and the debt ceiling (again).

Let me try and put this in easy to understand terms for us.

I recently came across an illustration that we can all relate to. Instead of talking in billions, and trillions, this illustration uses the magic of the decimal point and chops off a whole bunch of zeros.

Basically, this is the national budget; zeros removed to make it look like a household budget:

Household Income: $21,700
All Expenses: $38,200
Difference: ($16,500)

Amount to be charged to our credit card: $16,500

Existing credit card balance: $142,710

Amount the family has agreed to reduce their spending next year: $385

When stated like this, it makes much more sense, doesn’t it? Or no sense at all, depending on your stance.

This is what we are dealing with:

• Accumulation of massive debt over many years
• Earning too little to support our lifestyle
• Spending more than we are earning
• No will to change our ways

We need to declare enough! For the love of our country, our friends and family, we cannot continue like this!

We’ve been using the credit card when we should have been using the debit card!

We have been pickpocketed, and our credit card is in the hands of Congress, who, in what can only be described as a drunken binge, have run up a huge balance, Republican, and Democrat alike.

And there is another problem! Just like the borrowing limit on your credit card, we as a nation have a borrowing limit, and we have hit it – many times!

So what would you do? Rational, sane people would say wow; we really got ourselves in a bind didn’t we, we better work at cleaning this up.

Non-rational, not so sane people would instead call up the credit card company and ask for more credit.

In our national case, our credit card company is mostly China and Japan. How many more times will they be willing to take that call?

And Congress is calling on our behalf, asking for an increase to our credit card so they can spend more.

Not sure about you, but no one asked me if this is ok. No one from Congress has checked with me if I am ok with increasing the amount I have to pay for this party, and no one has asked me if I am ok making the payments on our national credit card.

I am not ok with it, and I want my credit card back.

The time has come to take control of our futures, and for us to care more! This is it, people, it’s not too late. But it will be soon.

This course is unsustainable. Never before in modern history has there been such a complex mix of a demographics, an aging population, a shrinking tax base, and such a lack of foresight. History tells us our empire will fail; we are close to crossing the point of no return.

Take action. Take control. Stop outsourcing our futures to 535 people in Washington who crave instant gratification, at all costs. Because, like it or not, we are all in this together, and if we do not take serious measures today, this party will be over – one and done.

What do you think about this? Do you get it? Are you pissed?

I don’t know about you, but the last time I had a savings of any kind was back in 2007—as in, five years ago. It wasn’t much—but it was something–certainly not enough to retire on! My 401(k) back in the day wasn’t too bad either. But when that medical hardship came down like a ton of bricks, that’s what I had to pull from.

When life fell apart in 2008, I could not get my brain wrapped around the idea of saving even two nickels. Obviously, those two nickels, along with every couch-surfing penny I had, were already spoken for.

You may have seen in my previous blog post that I am on a personal mission of EPIC PROPORTIONS. Last week, I paid every single one of my bills. Every one! And I still managed to put 5% of my paycheck into my 401(k)!

Let’s discuss that for a minute.

I started out at 4% because that is what’s recommended, and because my employer has a match up to 4%. That is FREE MONEY! I don’t walk away from free money. EVER.

Even though all the online retirement calculators I have used say something like: “You’re not saving enough!” and there is usually some form of extremely judging frowny-face staring at me indicating with its beady black eyes that I will end up in a box under a bridge. Whatever! You can’t intimidate me! I’m on a mission!

The truth is I don’t know anything about investing. And, as much as I have been doing my homework, I want to make something clear—this stuff makes my brain hurt. You want me to add 1 + 1 without the use of a calculator? Good luck with that (even with a calculator).

Luckily for me, there was a no-brainer investment option, catering specifically to my lack of knowledge: Morningstar. It was a click of a button and BOOM! Money is saving away, it’s not scary, and I feel like I can move on with my life.

The super awesome thing is that I was so excited about saving, that I went and bumped up my contribution to the 5% I was bragging about up there. And you want to know the even MORE awesome part? Because it’s pre-tax dollars going in, it literally put more money in my paycheck. How the heck does that work? I’m saving more and I am bringing in a few more bucks. It’s magic I tell you! It makes me wonder. Can I get to 6%? 7%?

Bring it on!

What are you doing over there? Are you saving? I challenge you to a savings duel! No one likes doing this alone. So why don’t we trudge through it together?

Stay classy, America.

Sylvia, aka Debt Girl

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© 2018 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings / Privacy Policy
1160 Battery Street, Suite 350, San Francisco, CA 94111 / Support: 855.401.4357