Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

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People who can live within their means

I meet a lot of people who are perpetually
in debt. Not folks who are truly impoverished; more folks whose career choices put them into
Honda Civic lifestyles, but whose consistently
choose to live as if they could afford luxury SUVs instead. I like that bit by Mr. Micawber in
Charles Dickens--20 pounds income, `19 pounds 5 shillings outflow, domestic bliss. 20 pounds income, 20 pounds 5 shillings outflow, domestic
misery. Conclusion: the difference between
misery and bliss is just a few shillings.
I really respect folks like, because they speak of folks living much less materially based lives.
I grew up among a lot of people who didn't have huge incomes, but who managed their lives with
a thrift that allowed them to have homes, live nice lives, and even have a few simple luxuries.
They did not join a "simplicity movement", but the net effect was the same--they lived at or usually below their means. I've known a lot of lawyers over the years that could use the lessons
about living within means. Some young lawyers think a top job out of law school is an admission ticket to lavish lifestyle. Others imagine that their successes are impervious to failure.
I've seen folks go from a home seemingly right out of Great Gatsby to personal insolvency
when a law practice downturned. Living beneath one's means, aware of a rainy day, is a trite expression, but one of those rare times when
the trite thing is the true thing. I think that the trouble with the competitive nature of
education today is that we are so focused on
standardized test achievement that we lose sight on teaching perspective (not that I am against
standardized tests). If we taught folks a bit more about how to learn to run their day to day lives, we might have a few lives lived without the rather vocal desperation which too much debt can cause.

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