Mandaris Moore

My wife's sister has just had a horrible experience attempting to get her car fixed. The problem all started when she had a car accident one night1 and the car was totaled. Others would have cut their loses then and there, but I think that because this was the first car that she bought with her own money she saw it as something worth saving2 and has literally spent enough money in repairs that she probably could have bought a new one.

I really feel sorry for her. The world does not have an easy way of telling us wether or not something is good deal and when it comes to mechanics, even if they are honest, it doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. I've run into my fair share of people who simply want to make the most money they can from you. I've heard people say that the price for anything is "what the customer can afford".

What are we doing to each other? It seemed like "Honest work for honest pay" is a forgotten concept in our ever consumer focused world.

  1. It was raining and she was speeding while talking on her cell phone in a sharp turn. She still says that it's not her fault. 

  2. Some would say that are other things that she invests her money and time into but always seem to fail her, but that's a huge bucket of flesh eating worms that I'm not even going to look at. 

I'm trying to think of all the positive things that are happening in my life. Sometimes I lose track of those things that I should be grateful for so I want to list them here:

  • My wife.
    There are no perfect people in this world, but when push comes to shove I feel that she has m back.
  • My children.
    It's a kind of pride and warm feeling to see them grow from little meatballs into little girls. I'm not looking forward to have them leave one day.
  • My job. It's been able to support our house hold at a standard of living that's becoming harder and harder to maintain in this economy.

The economic rock on which we stand

Speaking of economy, I've been thinking about how even though we are in a recession, there seems to be more and more ads on things. Once again, I'm not a communist, but it seems crazy that our society has no problems having all these messages about buying things when most Americans are having problems balancing thier budgets.

Caeer builder recently had a survey stating that 42 percent of their respondents were living paycheck to paycheck. I think it is more of a personal thing rather than the amount of money that people make. From a very young age we are taught to keep up with "the Jones'" and the other thing that we are taught about money is the single semester of econ1 in high school. Personally, I think that it's a little late because by then all your classmates have already been bombarded by barbie, GI Joe and Disney and I doubt many of them have an idea of what it is costing to live like they live.

  1. My econ teacher was pretty well off. Her husband made a lot of money and this was her way of giving back to society. There were many rumors about her drinking in her car between classes. 

Today, I got a notification that someone had stolen my account information to buy things online and that my account is going to be closed for the time being. It just goes to show that you have to be on top of this kind of stuff and people will take your money even if you don’t have a lot in the first place.

On top of that, I just got the bill for the fixes to my doorway that was kicked in last year.


You must be out of your mind!

Talk about bad timing!

My wife and I took the kids to Costco today to load up on some of the necessities (namely toilet paper). As it is now fall, Costco has brought out some of their winter wear and my wife was a beautiful peacoat. My wife loves peacoats and has been saying that she would like something new because she's been loosing weight due to her new found passion for running. Like any husband I would love to get her the dress, but we have already bought her two other jackets in the last year plus a Scottevest that we got on sale two weeks ago.

We can't afford it. We haven't a need nor do we have any money in the budget for it.

My wife tries on a few and then sadly places the item back.

That's when my oldest daughter asks why.

I don't even think about it and say, "We don't have the money to buy it."

Instantly, my wife get's angry. Later on we talk about it briefly in the car and she tells me that I should have told our daughter about it in a different way.

"Should I have said, 'We can't afford it'?"

"No, you should say it in a way so she won't misunderstand and get picked on."

I let the subject drop because I'm frustrated. As far as I'm concerned, I told my daughter exactly why we couldn't buy the coat in a way that shouldn't make anyone feel offended. I think it's one of the most important financial lessons an adult (or any one else for that matter) should know. You don't buy things if you can't afford them. If I had learned this lesson earlier or taken it to heart years ago, I'd be in a different financial situation. I don't want my daughters to go down that path an I certainly don't want them to think that they are less because they can't get everything they want.

It's ok to know our limits.

But didn't I just say that I'm guilty of this as well?

Yes, b-b-but...


I've decided to place myself on a spending diet. I've already paid most of my bills for this month. I'm going to set aside $200 for gas and other expenses and place that in a my new Golden1 checking account and see how things go from there. I'm hoping that it helps me realize that the money my family needs to survive is different then the money I use for wantsies.