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Some Other World - Livin' the Good Life

Oct. 14th, 2008

04:45 pm - Some Other World

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Today I read with interest about one of Oprah's recent shows. It was the one with Suzy Orman, the financial whiz. Since we don't have a TV antenna, I never watch TV shows. But, I was interested to read about this particular one, because it was challenging one of my most cherished causes. I read about the show on two people's blogs, and was heartened to know that there are still other people out there who share my views on at-home moms. Apparently, Suzi Orman told one of the guests that she could not "make it" on just her husband's income "Despite the fact that her husband would still make over $6500/month after taxes, despite the fact that she wouldn't have to pay for expensive childcare, which costs almost as much as her own salary, despite the fact that they have over $100K in a 401K, a $6000 cushion in savings, and $800 left in the revised, one-income budget each month, Suzy determined that this mother hadn't factored in the cost of diapers or formula, and therefore should keep working."


This is another world for sure... one I find hard to relate to. It makes me want to take a poll of all the families in our country who are "making it just fine" on one very modest income. Not just a poll, but an explanation of how they do it. It would be so fascinating! There are so many ways to make a life "work". A mom or a dad at home has a full-time "job" of finding ways to save money and to happily "do without" many of those things that a materialistic society has tricked us into believing that we need, beginning all the way back in childhood. The problem with materialism is that it makes us forever unsatisfied... which leads to unhappiness and feelings of victimization. We always hear about "poor people" who are miserable, telling their sad stories. But, someone else who is living on the exact same amount of money could be interviewed and could share how happy and grateful they are for what they do have and how proud they are of the ingenius and resourceful ways they've found to get by. It's all a matter of one's perspective.
Back in the early 70s Steve and I lived on $100 a week. We were classified as below poverty level. But, we were totally happy! We were so proud of ourselves for being able to live on so little and still have a great life! Believe me, it's all perspective.


Date:October 15th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you read that Oprah show Darlene...because when I saw it, I thought of you. I wish you had been on the show to give your perspective! It made me very angry. Suzie should just talk about money and stay away from lifestyles. She hasn't a clue what life is really all about. She has obviously not walked the walk like you and I have. The greatest joy in this life without doubt has been within the walls of my own home with my children. Oprah has done many shows about "stay at home Moms"...that I was surprised she didn't stick up for us, even a little.
And in the 70s we lived on $400. a month too!!

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Date:October 16th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC)
Keep on preachin' it, Darlene!

You are right, and that materialism is biting back very very hard right now.
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Date:October 16th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)

That last comment was me--sorry

Sorry, I keep forgetting to log in! That second anonymous comment is me.
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Date:November 6th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
That's too bad that Orman doesn't have a more family-centered approach to money - however, I wanted to mention that I have read about her advice before and her bottom line is living within your income. If that family had chosen to live on less, move to a smaller house, budget, etc, I'm pretty sure she would have advised them differently.

I've definitely heard her say, "Sorry, but you can't afford your lifestyle. Better sell that four-bedroom house and move to a one-bedroom apartment." This was to a single mother with at least two kids. Of course, Orman's advice was considered completely impractical...

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