Posts Tagged ‘budget’
One of the significant differences between the sexes, is the tendency of women to focus on smaller things men don’t see. While men are making sense of the big picture, women are taking in the details.
For this reason, women often understand economics, better than men think we do. In fact, women are especially savvy in the realm of microeconomics. If you have any knowledge of economics, you probably know the difference between micro- and macroeconomics. Macro includes big things like the GNP, unemployment, and trade, while microeconomics deals with the factors which affect the individual consumer.
Even if we don’t know what to call it, our highly developed shopping prowess, allows us to sense economic trends. Men may need to read the financial section of the daily news to learn how The Dow is trending, but women need only go to the stores to get a read on the economy.
Because women are often in charge of provisioning a household with things like Oreos and stylish clothing, we are quick to detect economic trends. The first indicators are usually commodities–things like coffee, sugar, breakfast cereal [aka grain], and gasoline. When the paycheck isn’t going as far, women don’t need the Wall Street Journal to tell them the economy is hinky.
It is easy to tell at the beginning of a retail season, what retailers are feeling. When the economy is humming, retailers stock their shelves with eye-dazzling excess. During downtrends, seasonal goods have largely run out, or are greatly marked down before the end of the season, resulting in spectacular mid-season bargains.
As inflation deflates our buying-power, it is clear our economy isn’t at it’s best. Which means that once again the women’s magazines will be telling us how to stretch our grocery dollars, but there’s more to life than just food, and Nordstrom’s doesn’t have a double-coupon day. So, as we tighten our very fashionable belts and cross manicured fingers waiting for an upturn, I’ve come up with new ways to save.
We could all save more if we’d just stop spending on unnecessary things–like those which are wasted on men. For instance, think of what you could save on haircare costs, like color, cuts or styles. Whether you get your hair cut for $120. at a posh salon, or for $12. at Supercuts, it is probable the man in your life won’t notice it’s different.
Think of how much money we’d have, if we stopped buying expensive, but-oh-so-worth-it shoes, in favor of lesser-priced shoes from PayLess or WalMart. After all, when was the last time a heterosexual male, who didn’t have a foot-fetish, went ga-ga or even noticed the pair that cost you a significant pay-chunk?
Cosmetics and perfumes cost a fortune. Women would do well by foregoing the price of designer fragrances. You will never miss them, once you realize the smells of pizza and beer are just effective, for attracting men.
There is also the matter of underwear & lingerie. I’m not advocating for going without feel good/look good bras or panties, but the rest of the money spent on skimpy things is largely wasted. When it comes to lingerie, men are like dogs–mostly colorblind. They primarily see only red and black, though some may also respond to white. Any color they can’t readily name, is apt to confuse them. Details like real silk or French lace are also superfluous, as the only detail men appreciate in lingerie, is skin. Everything else is superfluous. The primary purpose of lingerie is to let him know we aren’t going to make him beg–unless, of course, he’s into that kind of thing.
Clearly we’d have more money in our designer handbags, if we’d stop spending money to make ourselves, yet more irresistible, but there’s a hitch. While we may groom & dress with our man in mind, the truth is we dress for ourselves. We spend money on all kinds of beautiful & spendy things, because they make us feel more desirable. It isn’t money wasted. When are more attractive, when we feel beautiful.
Alas, in April, we are reminded, we don’t keep all that we earn. Though many women would prefer to let their men worry about taxes, if you aren’t yet thinking about them you should be, because as I write this, your government is debating what it will do with the federal budget. (Federal Budget–that’s government code for OUR money–yours & mine.)
Whether you file single, jointly, have dependents or write-offs, the decisions being made concern your money–or put another way, your future. It isn’t exactly riveting television, but we should probably all be glued to our TV sets, waiting to see what kind of budget buffoonery we’ll be expected to pay for.
I don’t have a “real” job, so I haven’t made any “real” money this year, that’s my choice. You on the other hand, may have a real job. If so, I have some very bad news for you . . you haven’t made any money this year either. Except you didn’t have any choice in the matter.
Sure you got a paycheck, but that money has already been taken & spent. Government excess has made it necessary for every wage earner to work the entire first quarter of the calendar year, before they can claim a single cent for working. You are not actually earning your own income until after Tax Liberation Day, when you have satisfied your obligation to the federal government. This year that day falls just before you are required to file your tax return.
Sure, you cashed those checks & spent the money, but you were only allowed access to the part the Feds hadn’t already borrowed from you. As silly as it sounds, in a a few days, you’ll be paying them back the money they “loaned” you. It reminds of the days when college pals & I engaged in a very mushy kind of money-management, which often required borrowing or loaning to cover financial frivolity.
So, while you’re getting ready to square up with the IRS, here’s some stuff to think about.
If you’re single, you probably support yourself and have a good idea how hard it is to live on one paycheck. Maybe you feel lonely, and wish you had some dependents. Don’t feel bad, you have dependents. There are plenty of strangers depending on you to keep putting money in the government coffers. Even if you struggle to support yourself, you are expected to help support other people you don’t even know.
If you’re married with the benefit of two incomes, even if your combined household income is a mere $35,000, you are expected to help pay for things that our government can’t afford. My guess is you’d be furious if you had the big list of things you help pay for, or realized how few of them benefit you.
If you are a parent, your children are already facing unprecedented tax liabilities, because of the amount our federal debt. Even before those precious babes were issued social security numbers, they were already obligated to pay more in taxes, than they may ever earn in their lifetimes.
My e-mail box is full of pleas from friends urging me to write or sign petitions to tell this government they shouldn’t cut funding for this thing or that. Even if you can’t imagine living in a country that doesn’t subsidize Planned Parenthood, Meals on Wheels or NPR, consider this. Our government is quickly becoming as insolvent, as the college roommate who continued to borrow from pals until, there was no way to repay any of the loans. Sure he was the one who would spring for the pizza & the pitchers on Friday nights, but it was always with someone else’s money. Eventually, even the pizza guy knew not to take his check.
If our Federal Government continues to spend money on non-essential things, because of the impractical views of voters, we will go bankrupt. Every single citizen of this country will be forced to work to support the government. (Some people call this socialism or communism–I call it slavery.)
We are indebted to other countries who will not be nearly as generous toward us, as our government has been. When those to whom we owe money can no longer collect the debts we’ve run up, they will no longer allow us to buy goods and services; or borrow money we need to continue living the kind of lifestyles we’ve grown accustomed to. In essence, they will own our future–YOUR future. Our country will become like the third-world countries we once helped.
If you’re a real sport, maybe working the first quarter of the year to pay for the things the government currently funds seems worthwhile to you. I hope it does, because unless we radically change federal spending, you will likely soon be able to work the entire year to pay for things which no longer exist. That might sound preposterous, but if we continue to support the bankrupting of our country, there isn’t any other outcome.
Today we are worried about cutting programs,tomorrow we may be worrying about how feeding our families.
This year (2011) “Tax Liberation Day” will fall on April 12th. Though it doesn’t feel very liberating, you can rejoice in the fact that on April 13th, you finally start making money you can keep.