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Friday, March 1, 2013

Coping with Sequester


Now that we are going into the unknown period of the Sequester, I am reminded of how easy it was to maneuver through the finances of the early years.  I know that there have always been people that struggle no matter what period in time we are living in.  However, there is always the select few that will make it look easy, no matter how tough times are.  I’ve for one have always had a knack for going around the obstacles, over them or through them.  Now that I am at this point in my life, I feel very comfortable, because I have always admired (and even studied) the men and women that were at or about my present age when I was growing up.

I didn’t only learn what to do when I got here but also what to avoid.  I guess I am a little different than most because I don’t feel that I have to make my own mistakes.  I am perfectly comfortable, learning from (and avoiding) the mistakes of others.  The worst advice I ever received from an elderly gentleman was the one I am about to relate.  It was sound advice, it’s just that the times they were a changing.

I really don’t know why he picked me to share his wisdom with but just the same I felt special.  The person I speak of was the owner/operator of the Western Auto Store in the small town where I grew up.  The whole town population used to shop there (this was our mall before there was even the word “mall” in our vocabulary).  Don’t want you to think that our town was just a speck on the map; we also had a Sears and Montgomery Ward Catalog Store.

I was still a junior in high school, and was in the store every chance I had.  The store was located about 3 blocks from the high school, and a great place to check out all the new merchandise coming in with the change of the seasons.  One day I was in the store and the owner wasn’t terribly busy, so he approached me and shared the following wisdom; He said son, if you want to make a comfortable life for yourself, and the little woman you will marry someday, invest in a small town hardware store like mine, work it until a nice retirement age, and enjoy the golden years after you turn it over to your kids to take their turn.
It was bad advice because like I said the times they were a changing.  He couldn’t possibly foresee Ace Hardware, Ernst Hardware, Pay N Pak, Eagle Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowe’s Hardware, and on and on.  The names I just mentioned are only the list of succession that kept gobbling each other to present time.  There again I’ve always had an interest in what my elders had to say, because I respected their gray hair, figuring they earned it with time and experience.

During my journey to this point in my life, not always but sometimes (more often than not) my most prosperous times have been during bad national economic conditions.  We still don’t fully know how we are going to be affected by Sequester, sooner or later we all will feel the pinch, but don’t panic, instead take evasive maneuvers (compensate).  In other words eat one less meal in town, take in one less movie at the local cinema, plan your trips to run errands (save gasoline), reduce your television cable service (get rid of a premium channel or two, get rid of the DVR).  We all have areas where we can cut back where it doesn’t have to hurt.  I certainly wouldn’t be beyond enjoying a meal or two with hamburger helper (but who can afford the hamburger meat now a days).

We are a very resourceful people and we will climb out of this hole.  As resourceful as we are I for one am beginning to lose my patience with inaction.  Just so you know I am not making reference to only one political party. Once again I feel that we still haven’t seen the best this country (USA) has to offer.  The best is yet to come….

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