Friday, June 12, 2009

Fixed and Fine With It

Hardly a week goes by that you don't see or read stories about individuals or families that have been hit hard by this "recession" we're in. 12 year old Tiffini had to give up her cell phone. Bart? Well, Bart can't take French horn lessons anymore because he has to go work at the mall since his dad was laid off. Hey, we're all feeling the pinch. Especially those on fixed incomes. Like me.

I started thinking about that after watching a report about how the elderly are handling things nowadays. It's always brought up that retirees are living on a fixed income but really, outside of salespeople whose commission can vary wildly from month to month, who isn't? Pumpkin and I work 40 hour weeks. My paycheck doesn't change. Neither does hers. That's a fixed income, right? So where's the profile on me? The advantage to having a fixed income is (unless you're a moron) you know what you can and can't afford. Pumpkin and I have tossed out cruises to the Bahamas and trips to Australia off the vacation possibilities list. Our trips this year look like they'll be to Wisconsin for family visits. My new Wisconsin motto is "Where the accommodations are always free, and there's always coffee a brewin". Not very catchy, but the point is that living with a fixed income should be easier than living with a variable one. Kind of like how having a fixed-rate mortgage gives peace of mind that a variable rate can never hope to provide.

It seems simple to realize what you can and can't afford to do, but even the simplest of concepts seem to escape more people. A red light means stop, a lighted elevator button doesn't need to be pushed a second time, and you never, ever need to buy a boat. Yet, as you read this, someone just ran the light and caused an accident, someone is feverishly pushing that button thinking it quickens the speed of deceleration, and some poor sap is turning to his wife and going "Aw, let's just do it. Live a little!". In the meantime, I'm going out to dinner with some friends on Sunday night, and to me that means we'll have the rest of our weekend meals at home to save money. Fine by me.

That's another advantaged of a fixed income. The ability to plan ahead. 


Bryan said...

Nice job, Mitch.

Anonymous said...

Back in the olden days, when we used to be a capitalistic & entrepreneurial society, fixed income referred to the fact that you were living off your retirement income and had reached the apex of your earning potential.

The assumption was that everyone else had the ability to increase their income through new job opportunities, investments, etc.

Of course now that 1 in 6 Americans suck from the Government teat, fixed incomes have become the ideal instead of the fallback position.