Monday, November 24, 2008

Get out of debt now, a parent’s rant

Our society is in crisis, our economy is quickly going down the drain, Turn off the darn cell phoneand heads of households are asking for help. How can I get out of debt now; how can I make money now; as an entrepreneur, how can I succeed?

I saw my wife have “a talk” with one of our kids, and made me proud of her. We try to watch our spending, we are not perfect, but we are as responsible as we can. There was $45 extra on the cell phone family plan. Quickly, my wife found out where the glitch was, one of our kids went 17 minutes above what we allocated to him, and the other went over a hundred minutes above. Normally, they are pretty good about staying within their limits, and this is the first time in almost a year that we had that situation. So the conversation went something like this:

Momma: “Jerry (name changed to protect the not so innocent), you went over your minutes this month…”

Jerry: “My bad…”

Momma: “Yes it is. I will collect some money for you to help pay for the bill, and you will stay within the limits.”

spoiled bratJerry: “We need more minutes, 200 minutes is not enough, I call my   girlfriend during my break at work…”

Momma: “Well, it sucks to be you, I cannot afford a bigger plan, we have bills to pay. You will reduce your minutes use spending and you will help pay this bill.”

The extra $45 dollars is not going to kill us, but we do work hard for the money we make. We jumped on our kids when  we overheard them talking about how they threw away nickels and pennies. Our society is so used to abundance, and wasting that they have no concept of the real cost of life.

All of Hollywood’s self and immediate gratification marketed to our youth have made our Nation soft, wimpy, …

“If my parents don’t get me a Jaguar for my sixteenth birthday, I will harm myself…” was the comment of a young bimbo in a reality show. “If my boyfriend wants me to look sexy at the dance, he will have to buy me the gown…” was the conversation I overheard at the mall. This last one was a girl that could not be more than 12 years old. What in the world a 12 year old needs to be sexy for? Check point in Iraq

I spent a year in Iraq, and was fortunate to live in an 8 feet by 20  feet metal container. I had a room mate, and for two months we had three people living there. I say that I was fortunate, because some of my friends used to live in buildings where the windows and part of the walls and the roof had been blown to smithereens by bombs; and you have to see the sandstorms that we get over there.

We worked hard to help the people of Iraq to obtain potable water, to rebuild their schools, to convince them to allow their daughters and wives to attend school. We help provide medicines, and medical care. We provided security so the husbands could open their markets and work. Most of them are happy to be able to work in order to bring food to their table. Life can be rough over there.

In other places in the world, you are lucky if you get one meal per day, and some families go without food for days at a time. I remember help feeding the betrothed right after Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990, in the Middle East.

 workers at rice patty in KoreaI also remember seeing “adashi” (hangul for man) leave the frail shack at about 4:30 a.m. for the rice paddies, and work well into sunset so he could feed his family.

So, when I see our kids wasting money, and behaving like the world owes them a living, or someone wants to take the money away from those who work hard to earn it, I grow increasingly frustrated.

I make a decent leaving, and I am grateful to God for it, I dedicate time to volunteer work, and donate money to charity, because I know that there are others out there that are not as fortunate as I am. My bedroom bathroom is bigger and a lot more comfortable than the place where my buddies and me used to live in Iraq.

These life experiences make me what I consider a better human being, and I try to pass the experience along to my children and to all who would listen. We work hard…

The economy in the world is in shambles. The Russian Government has threatened their media (the press) in such a way that hey will not report their economical crisis, and how their banking industry is no better than ours here in the good old’ U.S.A.

Still, we have a lot to be grateful for. You don’t believe me? Answer this then: do you have a roof over your head? If you have being Sodier helps fix a school in Iraq.foreclosed on, can you rent a place to live? If you go to the emergency room, do you get emergency care? How many television sets are in your house? Do you get cable or satellite TV? Do your kids have cell phones? Do they have a school to go to? Do you get at least one hot meal per day? Do you have easy access to potable water? Do you have easy access to a washing machine (a Laundromat counts for this one)? If you can say yes to most of these questions, you are Blessed.

I know that this article has nothing to do with Social Media Marketing Strategies, nor with expert Search Engine Optimization, or with Social Networking, or getting out of debt now, nor with making money now. My next two articles this week, will deal with the economic crisis. I might make a few of you mad at me. That is fine, as long as I make you think. My next article will deal with family budgeting, getting out of debt, and economic success; while the last of this series, will deal with business economics and the concept of “Failing Forward Fast” and I will show you a “square car tire“.

Talk to me… voice your opinions, and if you find these articles worthy, don’t forget to bookmark them to your favorite social networks.

Add me as a friend at, on FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, StumbleUpon my articles and profile…



Joshua Christensen said...

You say this has nothing to do with social networking and marketing...I beg to differ.

What could be more appropriate than teaching our kids to be grateful for the many blessings we have. Our leaders in Congress certainly aren't doing that. our business leaders aren't doing it.

No, this is the biggest and most important issue we can talk about. If we want our society to continue to thrive, we've got to get over the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" and start living more humble lives.

I've worked in banking and mortgages for 12 years now. I see an increasing need for our kids to work harder. Many of our kids are coming out of high school and college living a lifestyle that is far more lush and lavish than we ever did.

Problem. 85% of our college graduates are in debt. In 2006, 28% of all bankruptcy cases were by college students.

No, this is absolutely necessary! Our kids need to hear this message. Thank you for taking a stand...Someone has got to! i'm with you!

J. A. Colon said...

Thank you.

I do agree that we need to do something right away if we are to safe our Nation's economy (in case our readers haven't realize it, most of the world is in crisis, including but not limited to Russia, Venezuela, Iceland, France, Germany, etc). Everybody has a small part to play.

"The road of a thousand miles start one step at a time".

By waking our individual pride, work ethics, and fixing our individual situations, we affect the collective.

Joshua Christensen said...

Yup! We definitely need to do something now to help with the crisis globally. Being in the financial sector myself, my family and I are feeling the pinch in a big big way. My income is off by about 60% this year! Ouch, talk about a reality check on our spending and lifestyle.

I am truly grateful that we are facing this challenge as I know it will make us a stronger family as well as a stronger nation and global economy. What I'm concerned most about is the continued effort to solve our credit crisis through the use of even more credit.

I've heard that when you're in a hole, in order to get out, you've got to stop digging.

With our children, it is critical that we teach them to take responsibility for their own action and search out solutions. No finger pointing we tell them, yet that is exactly what we are seeing from our country's leaders.

I hope you saw today's breaking news about the Fed buying up all of FNMA, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae's Mortgage Backed Securities. That is a huge step in the right direction to help stimulate the markets and give some breathing room to the lenders to start lending again.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but in the end it produces a harvest for those who have been trained by it." - Hebrews writer

Joshua Christensen, CMPS(C)

Admin said...

What ever it is with the above comment, the post i good with the subject. Examples always good to make the subject clear. Nice style of explaining


J. A. Colon said...

Thank you Sherin.