Yesterday, Lee came home in a somewhat ominous mood. I could tell he'd been listening to too much talk radio. He told me we needed to sit down this weekend and go through our budget so we could make the "radical" changes necessary to be prepared for the potential crash of our financial system.
I am in agreement that we need to make some decisions regarding how we spend our money. We've already decided that eating out is going to be drastically reduced in our family. When we went through our bank records for the last three months we were ashamed to see how much we had spent on fast food and other frivolous purchases. I've also been trying hard to watch how I spend our money at the grocery store. I still need to get in the habit of making up a weekly menu, but otherwise, I'm doing alright.
But this was something more for Lee. He was fearful. We talked briefly for a few minutes about what exactly he had in mind. First on his list was to cut out cable. I told him I'm fine with that as long as we get ABC because I need to be able to watch LOST. Everything else can go. But what else? We don't have a lot of needless expenses. Gym memberships are perhaps the next thing to go, but I'm not silling to give up on those just yet, especially because we have as inexpensive of a gym plan as possible.
I had really been holding out for a new, fancy cell phone, but told him I'm willing to give that up so there goes that expense. But what else? After our brief conversation, I could tell that Lee felt a little better. I think just knowing that we're both aware of the danger and willing to do what it takes to prepare helps. But I told him, I will not be operating out of fear. I'm not going to slash out every expense because we're afraid of what might happen. I want to be wise, but not fearful. And listening too much to the news or radio can make a person fearful.
It's frustrating to sit back and feel so powerless as the people who are in charge of our country seem to be making poor decision after poor decision. I believe wholeheartedly that being prepared and in control of as much of our income as possible is the best thing we can do. We have to protect ourselves right now. And we have to be prepared for the worst.
But I will not live fearing or expecting the worst. That's no way to live. I will not be confined to my home because I don't want to use gas. I won't live in worry daily over that which I cannot control. And in the moments when fear starts to creep in, I will remind myself that there is One who is Higher and in perfect control of everything in our lives. In Him I take my rest and I find my hope - not in a government who is making poor decisions.
What about you guys? What are you doing to cut back during these days when the financial market teeters on the verge of breakdown? Are you feeling fearful and how do you combat that feeling?