Monday, March 30, 2009

I hate it when this happens...

I went to the grocery store to get a couple things for the chicken pot pie I am making for dinner. (I have never made one before, so I am really hoping it turns out!). I needed 2 things. Almost an hour and $40 later, I put my bags of groceries in the car! How does "get onion and green pepper" turn into $40 worth of groceries? The clincher came when I unpacked the groceries and realized I had forgot to get the green pepper! I think I better send Husband to get it. It's apparent I can't be trusted!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How long could you live on half a million dollars?

Husband and I sat down last night to watch 20/20 on ABC. I was intrigued by the topic: Life on the Edge. The show was going to highlight real people who had been greatly impacted by the recent economic downturn. The show started out with the story of a man who went from making $750,000 a year to being a pizza delivery man, making $7.25 an hour, plus tips. Talk about a pay cut! As they interviewed the man and his wife, we learned that they hadn't made a mortgage payment in 2 years, because they cannot afford it. They are so poor that they qualify for $500 a month in food stamps. The man left his job a couple of years to open his own hedge fund management business. It wasn't as successful as he had hoped. Just when we were starting to really feel for this man and his family, it is revealed that they have used up all of their savings...all $500,000 of it. Yes, that is correct. They had half a million dollars in savings, and it is completely gone. That's when Husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. Half a million dollars?? How long could a person live on that much money. Say you live on $125,000 a year, half a million dollars would last 4 years. If you live on half of that, $62,000 a year, you could live for 8 years on your savings. How many people live on less than $62,000 a year? I could go on, but I think you see my point. Instead of moving to a more affordable house, this family choose to stay in the house that they could not afford. There was no indication that the wife had tried to find employment. Both children are enrolled in a private school. (The $30,000 tuition is being paid by an anonymous person.) They stated that they have tried to keep up appearances, despite having no money. What is more important: pretending that you can afford things, or actually having things you can afford? Now, before you think I am heartless, let me say that I completely acknowledge that things are rough for thousands of people right now. The unemployment rate is high; foreclosures are happening at alarming rates; jobs are hard to find. People struggle everyday to put food on the table. But don't expect me to cry for a family that has taken no steps to adjust to the realities of their financial situation. Give me $500,000 and I'll show them how to live for 10 years on $50,000 a year. Millions of Americans live on $50,000 a year. They are not classified as "broke" or "poor". They are middle-class.

*To see the interview, go to the 20/20 website.*

Monday, March 16, 2009

I won! I won! I W-O-N!!

I have played countless games of Monopoly in my life, and as far as I can recall, I have won exactly one time. It was about 12 years ago, and I was playing with my dear friends, the Gatz family from Winnipeg, MB. I remember being in utter shock when I won. Since that day, I have continued to play, but winning was always eluded me. I have even lost to children as young as 8! Yesterday everything changed! Husband and I settled in for a nice quiet Sunday afternoon of playing Canada-opoly (which was Christmas present a couple of years ago from my sister and brother-in-law. I have no idea where they got it, but we love it). Just as a side-note, playing monopoly with two people is not nearly as fun. (note to self: find some friends already!). As the game progressed, Husband's money pile got smaller and smaller. I built log cabins and ski chalets. Husband mortgaged properties to pay rent. I kept building and raking in the dough. And, finally, after exhausting all options to try to pay an insane amount of rent, Husband conceded defeat! I had won at Monopoly! Of course, I couldn't let a moment like that pass me by and I became the gloating winner. But hey! I think I have a right to gloat! It's not every day I win at Monopoly!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The world according to my husband

Driving today in typical city traffic, Husband was getting annoyed with all the stupid drivers on the road. After awhile, he turned to me and said "I think there is something to that new NBC show, The Kings. The United States would be much better as a monarchy, especially if I was king." Let's hope that never happens!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Texas Sky

One of the things I love about living in Texas is the sky. After living in New England for 5 years, I forgot what the sky looked like. Here I am reminded every day of the beauty of the sky. Some evenings, I sit on our balcony and watch the sun make it's way across the Texas sky on it's way to setting for the night. The sunsets here are beautiful. I am pretty sure the sunrises are just as beautiful, but I doubt I'll ever be up early enough to see one!