Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Talkin' dirty about the economy

Hey, I try not to get all political or philosophical or controversial over here in Dirty Laundrydom, but you know what?

I am just so sick of hearing about moratoriums on foreclosures and making mortgages more affordable and affordable loans for borrowers with less-than-stellar credit, ad nauseum.

Let me tell ya why.

I live in a 1450 square foot house, because it's what I can afford.

Big Daddy is a licensed plumber who has worked in construction for most of our marriage. Sometimes he's made great money, sometimes he's made crappy money, and right now he's blessed to have a job with a great company and great benefits.

I'm a stay-at-home Mom, but in my former life I was an administrative assistant. I was blessed to make a decent wage, but it wasn't excessive.

We do this little thing in our home called budgeting. Now we're not as good as Dave Ramsey would like us to be, assigning every penny a place, but what budgeting means to us is this: We know how much money we make, and we know what our bills are, and those are our boundaries.

When BD and I got ready to buy our first house in 1998, I think we qualified for maybe $100,000. Didn't matter what we qualified for, though, cause we knew WHAT WE COULD AFFORD. We bought the cutest little duplex that cost $51,000, and we loved it.

Next house, we qualified for about $120,000, but we only spent $75,000. Cause that's what we KNEW we could pay for.

Next? We were approved for a whopping $150,000, but we bought this house for $87,000. Eight years ago next month. We have since added 3 darling daughters to our family, and we are here in this sweet house with 1450 square feet, because it is just too scary for us to take the gamble of living beyond our means.

You know what? I bet 3+ years ago, when BD had a rockin' job and I was still working and we were getting paid by the State to provide foster care, we could have qualified for and bought a big honkin' house in my dream neighborhood. But you know what? It was too big a gamble. One that we would have lost, by the way, because the foster stipend ended when we adopted, and Big Daddy lost that rockin' job, and my girls needed me at home with them more than they needed a big house or too many clothes.

Aren't I good at rambling on?

My point is this: Why in the Sam Hill are we rewarding people for making BAD FINANCIAL DECISIONS?

I'm gonna be real blunt here, okay? If I buy more house than I can afford because the realtor or whoever gets me some creative financing, I deserve to get foreclosed on if I don't make my payments.

If I have bad credit, then I need to RENT until I improve my credit. BAD CREDIT means that I don't pay my dadgum bills! Why on earth should anyone give me a loan to buy a house if I haven't paid the bills I already have?

Now I know that there are people out there who are so naive that they get screwed. I had a friend who bought a brand new little house at a reasonable price, but the salesman flat out lied to them about their taxes, and their payment went up about $500 the second year. That was $500 they couldn't afford, so they had to sell their house.

That's right, they sold their house and moved back into an apartment until they could repair their credit and buy another house. It took 2 years of sacrifice, but they did it. They didn't whine and ask for relief and demand that the government help them out. They HANDLED THEIR BUSINESS LIKE GROWN-UPS.

Okay, so can ya tell I'm passionate about this? It just irks me that I've lived within my means even though it's difficult, but people who made poor choices are being rewarded.

Am I missing something here? PLEASE tell me sweetly what you think.


WendyDarling said...

AMEN, Sister!!!

We've lived on a budget ALL OUR LIVES. Seriously, we know what a budget is, and how to use it. And we for sure know what it means to "do without."

Even now we buy off the bargain racks FIRST, make a menu/grocery list, etc.

Does that mean I don't have any debt? No, because I'm human. But, I'm not blaming anyone but ME.

I am seriously trusting God about this "bailout", because I think it is really going to hurt our country. Maybe we should put Dave Ramsey and Jim Bob Duggar in charge of the treasury and housing departments. ;-)

Milehimama said...

Thanks so much for posting!

We do not own a home (married 11 years and no house - what??? Oh right. We had lots of kids instead.)

We had an opportunity to get one of those no $ down/adjustable rate etc.etc. on a house that cost 3x our salary. We decided we couldn't afford it! (Thank goodness, it was in Denver, a housing market that tanked first!)

We still rent - it was actually the responsible decision for us.

And now I'm on the hook for the people that DID get those adjustable rate mansions.

Kristen said...

I think you're totally right. Before D's Great Grandpa died, I remember him telling me that when he and his wife got married, they cashed their checks, put the money in labeled envelopes. i.e. If there was no more money in the envelope, you stopped spending money. Most people don't conduct their finances with cash anymore, but the premise still makes sense. When you are out of money, stop spending!

Teri said...

Amen to everything you said.
I'm afraid that if the democrats get control of congress and the white will only get worse. Get ready to "spread your wealth" around!

Tara said...

Two things. One, the horizontal stripiness of your background makes it harder to read. I hope it's okay that I say that. ;)

Second. A-stinkin-men! I do not understand how if someone makes $5 they think they can spend $7! What the heck??? Grrrr.

Tara said...

Okay, so I like the pink marble-y background. When Iw as on here just two minutes ago it was a rose colored thing with a sort of horizontal stripeness about it. Hummmm. Maybe you're changing it as I'm on??? ;)

binks said...

Wow! That was awesome! Exactly how I feel. When I first bought my townhouse 20 years ago, I had a roommate. When she moved out, I worked 2 jobs to pay the mortgage.
When I struggled for years as a single mom and scrimped and saved and did without, no one was there to bail me out. I am just sick about the whole thing.

Jennifer said...

Oh man - I just typed a loooong comment, and apparently Blogger ate it. Basically...I agree 100% and Dave should be president...or definitely in charge of the country's finances!

J'Ollie Primitives said...

AMEN! I know too many folks with that sense of entitlement, paired with easy credit, that have nosedived into bankruptcy and foreclosure. Our little town is overrun with McMansions with "for sale" signs in the front yard.

I do not care to bail any fools out of their quandary. Grrrrr.