Friday, December 17, 2010

Downsizing (Part II)

I didn't think I had so much input about this subject but I think it's important to know our story, our situation and our reasoning. I may be helping someone gain perspective or simply realize, you are not alone!

Needless to say, Ricardo and I had very different mindsets and were in a "bad" situation.

Well we made it through 2008, again Ricardo is very money savvy. He had savings, 401k, and got unemployment for 8 months. He then landed a job with Baker Hughes. He was unhappy there and after a year and a week before my son was born he found himself hitting that unemployment line one more time. This time, with more insight as to how it would all work out. We now had to factor in our son, the extra person to care for. So, we downsized even more! NO worries here. I was already used to it. What does that mean? We don't just spend. And even though it may seem sad to most; we have not done Birthday, Anniversary or Christmas presents for myself or Ricardo in the last 2 years. You simply, do without. At this point. I don't miss it. We have a Blessed extended family and amazing friends who give us their endless love and support, which is what God wants us to focus on right now.

So, today it's December 2010, we have had a rough and very, very meager last 3 years. Still we manage and even as penny pincher's we managed to afford to do enough and have just enough. I really don't mind that I have been wearing the same pair of shoes for over a year or that I haven't bought a new outfit in over a year, that I clip my own nails and avoid the hair salon... It's NOT that bad...I can do without! Trust me. I know how at this point. We know how and we pull through!

In watching this TV show; Downsized, I made the following observations:

  • That at times the Mom was more spoiled than her children! She was the one unable to control her urge to spend on that super expensive cup of coffee....You know which one... I mean it's great coffee but seriously, some self control is all is takes.  
  • That SERIOUSLY all it takes is a change in attitude! Yours and your spouses; you have to be on the same all times and at all cost.
  • That we have to remember that our children resemble us. They mimic who we are and what we do, all the time. Surprisingly in this family though the Mom was very spoiled and of their 7 children, only 1 had the Mom's attitude; he was expectant; expecting more and more and more. Most the other kids made the needed sacrifices, understood what it meant to make them and dealt with it in a healthy manner. 
  • The part that upset me most was in an instance when the Mom had to tell their 10 year old daughter that she couldn't participate in all of her usual summer activities; such as Cheer leading and Theater Camp; she had so little self control that she cried in front of the child. It kind of gave the idea that it was ok to be overly upset about loosing materialistic things. I didn't agree with that. She should have held her composure and could have cried about it later. The Mom stated that she was sad that her kids didn't have the life that she had grown up with. She had money as a child. Well as an adult we must be the example of sacrifice. I think.
  • The Mom then turns her frown upside down and creates a job for them all to help with; House Cleaning! And, although she states that it was "demeaning"..I would have chosen the word humbling but in the end; she was taught a very valuable lesson and her daughters were there to help her get through it. They all learned the value of earning a good dollar, even the Mom. I loved this part.

In the end the lessons I learned were above all; Communication, Love, Patience, Budgeting and in the end some alone time to relax and knock all the stress out is never a bad idea!

BTW: I like the show but am just taking the good from the bad and applying it to how I am learning things in my own life! If you watch you will learn that the family is a combined family; Mom had 5 children from a previous marriage and Dad had 2. The Mom has MS. The Dad is an unemployed Contract Construction worker. Their story is one to learn from.  


Casey Ayala (DreamTree Photography) said...

Ahh. Funny you post this today, cause Jr and I had a longgg talk yesterday about our finances, and how they've basically been wacked in half. lol WE WILL DEAL. We don't need this and we don't need that.. our main goal is a house... the rest will come in God's timing!

Connie Leon said...

AMEN! Yes yes yes....any advice he needs...he can call Ricardo... he will be modest at first but you know him...once he starts talking..there is no stopping's good to write things down also... we have a budget notebook....where we calculate how much we spend, will spend or need to spend... :D