Living within our means

The scary economic times we are living through make me think about our finances more than usual these days. Each time I panic, I run through a mental checklist – jobs, expenditure, savings – are we doing something wrong? Is there some way we can be more prudent? I think not. We were pretty conservative in our lifestyle much before all this happened anyway. But what about the people around me?

Most folks I know here live in five bedroom houses and own two or more cars including the mandatory gas-guzzling SUV. The homes are usually mortgaged, the cars are often leased. The husband and I live in a one bedroom loft apartment and drive a second-hand Honda sedan. Everything we own is fully paid for. One of our friends with four kids spent thousands of dollars at a swanky Disney resort last year. He was worrying over paying for his kids’ education when we spoke with him last. We have no kids yet but we preferred to stay in a decent hotel outside Disney at half the price when we visited Florida last year.

I often read articles on personal finance that advise Americans to consolidate credit card debt and urge them to pay off a little more than the minimum balance every month. A credit card is a mere convenience to us, a better option than carrying around paper money. We pay all our bills at the end of the month, without giving a moment’s thought to the deferred payment or minimum balance options. They might as well not exist, that’s how much they figure in our scheme of things.

It’s common practice here, I am told, to borrow money against one’s home equity, ‘unlocking’ the wealth ‘tied up’ in the home. The borrowed money is supposed to be used for important expenses like paying for college education but sometimes more frivolous indulgences pop up as well, I’ve heard.

Just before we came to America, the husband and I invested our savings in a modest two-bedroom home in India. The bank was surprised with the loan amount we applied for. ‘We’ll give you five times that’, they offered. ‘No, thank you, this is all we need and can afford right now’, we countered. Besides, why do two people need a bigger house anyway? We’ll get a bigger and better home when we need one and can afford to pay for it, we figured.

There are several more examples, but I’m sure you get the picture. So are the husband and I both saints? No! This is simply the way we were brought up to think. I don’t mean to be sanctimonious and go on about how wise I am. Fact is, I am no different from most people I know back home in India.

When I opened my first bank account in the US, the bank executive offered us a savings plan that would automatically transfer the cents left off from my transactions to the savings account. ‘This way, you’ll have some savings at the end of the month’, the guy very sincerely told us. ‘Thanks, but no thanks!’, we told him, struggling to control our smiles. One of the things the husband and I fought over the most when we landed here were my penny-pinching habits. I didn’t need to save cents while I watched and fretted over every dollar I parted with!

This is a complete shift in culture and perspective we are talking about here. Like two people who see the same glass as half full and half empty, one of us looks at a paid-for home and rushes to unlock and spend the wealth in it while the other sees an outstanding home loan as debt and strives to repay it. It’s difficult to say who’s right and who’s wrong when confronted with such a clash of cultures. After all the glass IS both half full and half empty. Economists, who obviously understand these things better than I do, tell us it’s American consumers who fuel the world’s economy. And most folks would think I am a worrier who doesn’t know how to enjoy life.

Perhaps they are right. It all depends on one’s perspective, I guess, but I feel happier choosing the more prudent option for myself. And I don’t think I’m missing out on life’s pleasures at all! Is living in a two-bedroom condo all that bad? Both the husband and I lived in one-bedroom homes all through our childhood. We were four of us in my family while his had over ten people living in the same 500 square feet of space at one point of time. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, all our memories from this period are of laughter and games and sharing and warmth and togetherness.

Perhaps neither of us can imagine going back to living that way again, but we definitely can imagine bringing up our kids (when we have them!) in our cozy two-bedroom home in Pune, we are deliriously happy in our tiny condo right now, and we sure had loads of fun during our trip to Cape Cod last summer! Sure, I go berserk each time I see a glossy travel ad or one of those gorgeous remodeled homes on HGTV. I’d love to indulge in a five-star spa or decorate my home like that someday, but I’ll do it when I can afford to pay for it. And not have to worry about the kids’ education fund a few months later!

What about you? Do you think we are forgotting the art of living simply and within our means? Do we need a jolt like this recession to remind us of the simple and fun things in life?

Disclaimer: I am not an economist or a financial expert. This post is a collection of my thoughts and impressions from the news articles I read and the people I speak with. I mean absolutely no disrespect to anybody.


44 responses to “Living within our means

  1. I think I need to write a separate post on this topic!

    But I totally share ur sentiments. People like us raised in a middle class household in India always watch our spending! We live within our means. We know to spend as well as save! And the best part is that we are perfectly happy! Is it not?!
    I was appalled when I saw how much the average American spent when I first got here! I am no expert on economy either, but I have always wondered how is it possible for American economy to flourish inspite of people spending more than they earn. How is it that people say that a midddle class American is richer than an Indian, when an average American lives on credit and is in debt! Well, economies aren’t that simple I think… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyways, I do think that this recession is kind of a wake up call to those on Wall street, the Govt, and people in the American Main street as well. The rest of the world is paying a huge price for depending heavily on the American economy!

  2. Like Jira said, I also feel like I want to do a post on this. But anyway, I’ll write it down here too:) and maybe do a post sometime later ๐Ÿ™‚

    Can I say you just read my mind everytime? ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps that will just sum up all that I have to tell on this topic. I’ve always felt guilty many times to spend on something for myself. Like the top G got for me that costed $30 alone! I felt very guilty that I was thinking I could buy 3 tops for that from some other store and still look good!

    Yes, I’m tempted everytime I see my friends or someone take a good vacation or shop for expensive things. But although I feel it in their presence, I do not indulge myself later. Its difficult but I stop myself from spending that much on myself or my home for now. You’ve seen my house in my pics so you will know how much they all cost ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m not one bit embarrassed. Its just part of our plan to live within our means. And yes, some people have told us that we could live in a 2-bedroom apartment, but we found it was completely useless for us. Cos we will be anyway using only 1 and we have very few people coming and staying with us. And even if they did, we could manage very comfortably given that we have a spacious living room.

    And for some people that cringed their noses when I said I got some things from the Dollar Store, I can only say I’m not embarrassed to tell it. They wouldnt have known it had I not told them in the first place! Anyway, its just us and we prefer to live within our means rather than pile up on credit card debts and car lease.

    Oh, btw the car is second hand too and is 10yrs old!

  3. When I see people throning the shopping malls and carrying loads of plastic bags full of clothes and other accessories, I wonder which America they’re talking about!

    And here we are – keeping an account of every pie that we spend and stopping ourselves from indulging in fancy stuff ! Makes me think how we’re so cut out for this place ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Economist or not living within means is something very basic I think. I was so nodding my head as I was reading this post. I could have written the same things but not so eloquently ofcourse.
    We just bought another car because we needed one and felt so bad about having to spend more money. As it is, we feel bad about spending more than we planned for, for an apartment. I am not embarassed at all about being careful about spending money and about paying my credit card in full every month. I like the feeling that we have enough money in case we lose jobs, to buy tickets to India and sustain ourselves on our savings until we find a job. That is my bad-weather plan!

  5. Very well written post..I can easily connect to whatever u have written..Took me back to the time when six of us stayed happily in a single bedroom flat but now even a three bedroom flat seems small for us

  6. It is beautifully written, sincerely put and brings out a very wise brain who knows how to spend. It is not a crime to pinch one’s pennies when one must. The Umreeka that is suffering today is all due to their wasteful habits. The things we were taught-to stay within our means, to keep tab on how much we spend under which clause, to maintain a balance between earning and spending-came out of the wisdom of our wise parents/grandparents. I still remember my mom maintained and still maintains a budget diary. The necessity for simplicity is dawning on people. Yes, most of us have forgotten that pure joy of living together in a small house.
    Loved your post.

  7. Devaki, thanks for stopping by my blog. And I cant tell you how much I could relate to your post. Go 20-30 years back, write the post again , and thats me. Very slowly, folks in India today are following in the footsteps of those folks who get their kicks and starts by buying more, and moRE, and MORE, all for show; 2 kids, 4 cars, 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and uncontrollable urges to regularly spend some obscene amounts on clothes, that would other wise give several families some decent holidays every year within India…..we never learn, do we ?

    P. S. Hope its OK if I put you on my blogroll….

  8. Very well put…yes we indians are brought up with such values..remember the saying—jitni chaadar ho utne hee pair pasarne chahiye ? I think its the most solid piece of advice we have grown up with..who doesn`t` look forward to a bigger car,house,fancy vacations etc etc? And we too follow the simple rule…use a credit card only in emergency and pay off the entire amount once the statement comes..though i do see people use it wisely and it can be a boon too but u need to be v v v careful…

  9. Lovely post…
    The biggest joys of life lie in the smallest of things.. I totally agree with all your thoughts. I wonder when I hear people going for international holidays every now and then using a loan, that how can they repay?? Eventually it all piles up one day and then there is mass suicide in the house.. its so common these days and so horrifying.

  10. Oh we have wars in my house on this. I believe in living completely within our means and squirreling away for the rainy day whereas my husband believes that life is for living and that if we don’t spend today we’re not going to do it ever! Now both of us come from very very mediocre means, more so for me as we had huge financial issues and were in a state where we did not know where the next meal came from. So maybe that’s why my attitude is like that. Now we’re both comfortably off with decent salaraies, a good house (with a loan that we can comfortably pay)and all..
    But the coming years do not look too good, both of us are in the financial services industry..M&A and the the age of big bonuses are definitely over. So we’re definitely cutting down, no big holiday plans, we think twice before getting an electrical appliance, before buying expensive has to be done for sure. That definitely gives me more peace of mind than having the big holiday and fancy curtains and credit card dues..that’s totally my life philosophy!

  11. Great post!! Even I have heard of the Americans always thinking big and its great that you all have held on tightly to your values. I am sure now many people must be regretting their past expenses and you can only be glad! We too are pretty conservative where spending money is concerned and the main thing is to avoid credit as far as possible. Credit is what does one in. I mean, where does one stop?? Now redit card spending is so common in India but we are very careful and I always prefer to use my debit card!

  12. A very heartfelt post Devaki. I’m glad you and your husband have been able to stand by what you believe in.

    Being prudent is not being a bore! And if it is, I’d still be prudent and a bore.

    My father almost never took a loan for anything in life. Which is probably why we never had a lot of things. We were happy nevertheless. Coming from that school of thought, I believe that you must buy only what you can afford right now. Like they say in Hindi, pair utney hi phailaney chahiye jitni lambi chadar ho, translated to mean that one must know one’s limits. The problems arise when you forget that.

  13. Awesome post!! I also believe in ‘waste not want not’. I think Indians (most Indians) are by and large frugal. I use debit cards only as a convenience and live simply as a habit, and I agree it does not mean you are any less happy. I think unnecessary spending becomes a habit, it;s just something you start doing because that’s what’s ‘done’.
    This is a brilliant post.

  14. Whoa! ALL of you agree with me? Awesome! I thought I’d be seeing a lot of dissent on this post… just goes to show, dil hain Hindustani! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your thoughts ladies!

    Jira and Snippets, write your posts soon.

    It’s great to see you here Suranga! You know, I admire your blog very much. I’ve blogrolled you too!

    I was thinking of those suicides too when I wrote this post, JellyBeans… Horrifying na? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Peace of mind – those are my buzzwords too GDS!

  15. Really enjoyed reading this entry. Living within the means is easier said than done. I feel a lot of people fall into the temptations of living beyond their means simply because they are constantly bombarded with attractive options to do so! I think it’s remarkable, and impressive, that both you and your husband (and, actually, everyone else who has commented here so far) are able to follow a conservative lifestyle when it comes to spending. It’s a hard task to do, considering the consumeristic temptations out there… and especially when living in the U.S, where everyone else thinks it’s completely normal to be doing everything “on credit”.

    You’re being extremely prudent – this can only mean good things for your future. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. ๐Ÿ™‚

    oh well! i grew up in a one room kitchen! not even one bhk! and after i got married for almost an year we stayed in a similar house in bangalore!

    and there was never a dearth of anything if not excess either! and life was happy!

    even now at heart i am pretty much middle class! i cant dream of spending money on perfumes and expensive shoes and bags! even when i can afford it!

    we also own a second hand 800, live in a cheap house and pay our bills on time!

    we still havent dared buy house because we arent assured of a constant income to pay high emis for next 20years. when we feel comfy, we shall see!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    i guess spedning as per your aukaat is the best thing to do! ๐Ÿ˜€


  17. You hit the nail right on the head Girl!

    I can relate to your thoughts/actions so very much.
    In fact, many people I know, with similar ideas are desis.

    Sometimes I get the feeling – being brought up in a nation with the biggest middle class society where the entire generation of our parents believed in ‘living within the means’ and treated debts like most ardent enemies, this sense of financial prudence comes to us naturally.

    While I might never be that good at my finance and principles, here is a recent example : A friend of mine bought a flat in India and when I enquired about the EMI, he looked very glad to reply ” I would not get one night of good sleep with a debt lurking around. So, I waited to save enough for a complete down payment !”

  18. Totally agree with you. I don’t know when people decided it was Ok to live on credit. Oh, yeah, you still have mortgages (mostly because its impossible to save the amount required to pay for a house outright !) but everything else is budgeted for the month. I’m not working and probably will have to wait it out until the economy gets better, but even the fact that we have the mortgage *at all* keeps me up at night.

    But you know D, its not entirely fair to compare our generation with our parents’ – because our parents did not have the kind of temptations our generation has to navigate. Our parents were *all* middle class – even those with money didn’t believe in flaunting it – and so reduced the whole “keeping up with the Joneses” effect.

    I don’t know, what can we do ? Just work hard, live within our means – and pray.


  19. Oh, Oh and forgot to add – If one mentions one is frugal in one’s habits – one gets terrible looks. What’s bad about buying a summer shirt on sale three months later if its going to be half price ? Or what’s bad about using used furniture ? I have a dog and a kid under age 5 I don’t want to worry about getting brand spanking new furniture all muddy and torn and dirty with food stains.
    But not many people think like us Devaki. The husband and I joke that we’ll live in our dream house after we retire. Life begins after 60 what say ? ๐Ÿ™‚

    p.s. I’ll stop hogging this space now ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I have been lurking on your blog for quite sometime. Actually came here from Usha’s. You make a very good read. Ya very true about all that you said. We did stay in the US for 7 years starting with a single bedroom apt and ended with 2 bedroom apt with 2 kids. What ever kind of salary you make or earn, i also have this kind of generic principle to have a limit in what i have to spend and see if it is a necessity. Like what priya said, i see in India, people often think that the spendthrifts are the broad minded people. I wonder how that relation popped up in the first place.

  21. The responses to this post are mostly monotonous. While I agree that avoiding excessive spending is a no-brainer, most of us have chosen to live in this part of the world and the only way its going to survive is that people start buying again.

    So while we save up every dime and sacrifice our vacations and control our temptations we are really hoping for the economy to bounce back and for that we need consumers (which essentially means “everybody else”) to spend money. Are we being selfish and more so hypocritical?

  22. re: Amit Apte

    No one here has said we need to stop spending *at all* – just that we need to stop spending beyond our means.

    “Those of us that have chosen to live here” abide by the rule that we don’t spend beyond our means, and we do not expect others to either. That I think, takes care of your issue of hypocrisy. In fact, the whole mess that the economy is in right now is because people were spending *beyond* their means.

    I’m sure you know that rejuvinating the economy takes more than just consumer spending. Consumer spending is directly related to consumer confidence – and if you are like most people – you are probably worried about your job, where your next paycheck will come from, how you are going to pay the utility bills (or if you are going to have to live in a cold house this winter), how you are going to feed your kids etc. Vacations would be a little further from your mind under those circumstances don’t you think ?
    The fact that many businesses are declaring losses (despite share holders’ investments) and job losses are so pervasive – affect consumer confidence negatively, which in turn affects consumer spending negatively.

    But for those of us who *can* afford that kitchen upgrade and *can* afford that vacation and still have savings left over should the recession hit us personally – sure, go ahead and spend. Most people on this blog aren’t in that tax bracket, so we don’t talk about those things.

    Besides, the fact that most people agreed to this post might be because they think its just plain sound advice – don’t you think ?

    p.s. I’m extremely sorry Devaki for taking over your space like this, but I just could not stop myself.

  23. You are right. But the strange part, Sindhu, is that Iโ€™ve never felt a strong temptation to spend beyond my means so far. The temptations are there, but only in my dreams. And I enjoy them better there! ๏Š

    You said it, Abha!

    You are right about our parents AHK. But your friend seems to be taking the logic to an extreme, isnโ€™t he?

    I am with you on the summer shirt sale Priya! In fact, each time we enter Kohls, I head straight to the clearance section first. That usually drives the husband mad!

    Welcome here Sumana! I’m glad you delurked, please do that more often too! ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. Not at all Priya! Iโ€™m glad you spoke your mind. I WAS expecting a LOT of dissent and arguments on this post, to be frank. Now letโ€™s see if Amit comes back to reply โ€“ should be fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Actually, I am not sure (since both the first and last names are fairly common), but I think Amit is an old friend from school and if he is who I think he is, the comment style was something Iโ€™d expect. Which would explain why it made me smile and not take it personally. The monotonous bit was fairly biting though, Iโ€™ll say! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyhow, getting back to the argument now – I agree with Priya โ€“ the point of my post was not to deride spending but excessive spending. And we all seem to agree thatโ€™s no good. (No-brainer, eh?!) The question is โ€“ how do we define excessive spending? Is spending 10000 dollars when I have 100000 in the bank excessive? Or is spending 1000 dollars when I have 100 or less excessive? To my mind, itโ€™s the latter. Which is why the title of my post was โ€“ living within our means. And yes, itโ€™s also about what I spend the money for โ€“ so even if I have 100000, I shouldnโ€™t be spending 10000 on a single dress or vacation. But thatโ€™s just my middle-class Indian upbringing again.

    About the hypocrisy bit โ€“ Iโ€™ll concede Amit has a point, at least w.r.t. me. I work in the retail domain and any cutback in consumer spending affects my job directly. So I keep hoping everyday that Americans will start spending again even though I have no plans to change my own spending habits. But the saving grace is – I was never a big spender anyway. And yes, as Priya says, I donโ€™t pray for Americans to start spending indiscriminately โ€“ since that is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    There, I tried arguing with one foot at each end (typical Libran) and I just hope I havenโ€™t fallen flat on my face as usual!

  25. Nice … now it gets interesting …

    My reply wasn’t directed at advising people how they have to spend their money. If that’s the way its appearing then I apologize. That’s an individual’s prerogative.

    You’ve gone over pretty much what the poll campaigns and CNN has been saying for the last several weeks so clearly you also know that this cycle is simply not going to end until somebody (ya it may be the government or the affluent or people who can afford upgrades etc) starts spending money.

    What I was trying to highlight was the irony between the two scenarios between our mindset which makes us save money vs the credit economy which simply wont survive until the investor steps in. Yes its the “credit” economy so it means that people spend what they don’t have. If everyone here stops doing that this variant of the economy will not survive. Your statement of “we dont expect others to spend beyond their means” is not practical.

    It’s always been the case (I agree that there have been bad investments and decisions esp. wrt the housing market). People like you and me who treat our credit cards as debit cards are depending on others to spend what they don’t have.

    The question “Are we being selfish or hypocritical” was a leading one meant to spark of a debate and it certainly has ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not at all. You’re right – the “credit” economy *does* work only when a majority of people *use* that credit. But then, we are seeing what happens when it gets out of control.
    I personally don’t believe that any economy requires credit to remain viable – my God, people still bought stuff and sold stuff and lived happily before credit cards were introduced ! And if we need people to spend more than they make in order to keep the economy afloat – its better that that business model of the economy is done away with don’t you think ?

    No offense meant by my earlier comment btw – I’m just tired of people around me sticking their heads in the sand and pretending everything’s OK. So we basically agree – just in different words !


  27. To your queries – Do you think we are forgotting the art of living simply and within our means? Do we need a jolt like this recession to remind us of the simple and fun things in life?
    Yes, and No, in that order.
    I have decided – it is no achievement being merely good enough to make lots of money – if that lets you do nothing else.
    And if you dare to spend a few quiet moments once in a while sans the phone / tv /Net, you’ll not need the market-created jolt to remind you of simplicity.
    Pl read this if you get the time – Should we fast-forward so?

  28. It is a generational thing. I don’t go out with my son and his wife. When they eat out or shop, the expense freaks me out. I’d rather not be a wet blanket, and keep my “baniyapanti” to myself. They tease me mercilessly about it. Ah well! We do not live in Umreeka – we live in the NCR

  29. Very well written & u know what, not the whole on India thinks like you do anymore though I wihs they did. Even within a family like ours, we have our differences. Even between Delhi & Kolkata there are stark differences. But we are slowly getting to where America is today- living of credit cards.

  30. hi, first time on your blog and i must say you’ve echoed the voices of many who feel like you do. i know i am one of them. i don’t like debts. Credit cards for me are very imp. they help me move my finances and are a way of balancing my expenditure not indulge in extravaganza. even with the way the economy is currently i see people shopping at malls like there was no tomorrow, and every 3 out of 5 people use credit. so much so that the sales person was surprise when i choose debit instead of credit. she gave me this look of “what you’re doing honey?”.
    i guess it’s just the way we are and how we’ve been brought up. I do see this trend in India too however. credit cards have become a status symbol of sorts. the more the riches but with holes in their pockets. i guess that’s why some banks have resorted to other means of getting their money back.

  31. Haha… baniyapanti – that’s a nice one Ritu. Applies to me as well, I guess. And I must be your son/DIL’s age! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yeah, I see India changing too Monica. The change in attitudes started when we were in college actually, (when the first malls opened?) but it seems to be spreading more and more these days. I just wish people shop but keep their sense of perspective too.

    I can relate to your experience A – a couple of months back, we were in a jewelery store buying a gift for me (my b’day!). So we were shopping around, arguing over the budget, the husband insisting I take something I like, me looking at the price tags before the jewelery ๐Ÿ˜‰ and the shop guys were looking at us as if we were a couple of loonies! Then when we finally decided on something, we walked to the cashier who had all our financing forms ready for us to sign but we insisted we’d pay for it upfront – you should have seen the looks we got! I think they felt sure we were loonies by then!!

    *Sharam aani chahiya… mere ko… wohi to* – LOL at that Mampi!!!

  32. I guess it is easy to get really carried away when u are inundated w/ images of stars in fab clothes, bags and vacays…one gets celeb envy..been there.
    Most ppl forget that they dont make money like the stars but indulge like one . ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. See.. I have 4 kids and one breadwinner. We have to count every freaking cent in this house. So even though I am lusting after the Coach bag, I will do just that, *drool*.
    We do alot of budgeting in this kids will take classes at the local parks n rec instead of the fancy ballet place up the street.. We hardly eat out(in part due to youngest child’s allergies) We have basic cable..We travelled back to our hometowns after 3.5 yrs.
    Despite that, we have sort of accumulated a debt on our credit cards(less than $5000 ) because of unforseen emergencies and every night I think of when that debt will be paid off. And I think about all those people who are lookin at foreclosures and shudder.

  34. I get it sraikh. I can imagine how tough it must be to balance a family on one salary… but that’s just the point, isn’t it? You are trying your best to keep the balance – I see that in your comment and on your blog too. An emergency debt is out of our hands, isn’t it? It could happen to anyone of us irrespective of the size of our families/savings. The important thing is – you and I think of the debt as a burden and not a privilege. Which helps us keep our perspective. I look at layoffs all around me and shudder each day too. Hang in there, things can only get better from here. (I hope!)

  35. You are right Sraboney. I donโ€™t take pleasure in anyoneโ€™s misery but itโ€™s hard to feel sorry for folks whoโ€™ve lived way beyond their means and flaunted it at us, isnโ€™t it?

  36. I bloghopped and decided to make your day just like you wished (A passer-by’s comment about your posts) after a little comment on this post –
    I have been through the same thoughts just like you, a little more during these bad economy times – and I realised living frugal is a big deal only for people spending more – me and my spouse cant get any more frugal – we are that type naturally and it makes perfect sense to me to live frugally, no matter how the economy is.
    You should be proud about yourself!

  37. So totally true. and I cannot but agree with you completely…

    G and I also still live in a rented apartment and until three weeks ago drove cars that could as well be sitting in the junk yard…we were forced to buy a new one (a second hand but new to us)…we are prudent and definitely have been penny wise pound foolish many a times…but when the recession hits, at least I know that we are not going to sit with a towel on our heads…at least we will have a few options…

    We rarely took vacations and worked 99% of the year and even refused to take sick leave when we were both genuinely sick…we wanted to save for the later day…we are tired and need a vacation but who knows our hard working ways might keep the roof over heads…lets see…

    Hope all’s well…

  38. Oh yes, all’s well… so far, touchwood. Thanks for asking ART!
    And hey, don’t over-work yourself, okay? No money’s worth risking our health for, what say?

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