Saturday, September 20, 2008

What Goes Down Must Come Up

By Kate Collins

If you're like me, you're biting your nails a lot these days, watching our US economy sink like a stone. Is there anyone who's not being affected by what's going on? Outrageous gas prices, food costs rising, insurance rates soaring, mortgage lenders and brokers falling like flies . . . Didn't anyone see these things coming? I mean, they didn't happen overnight, did they? Throw in a few hurricanes, mud slides, raging forest fires, health care crises, and you've got one heck of a stress load.

Even worse, as studies have shown, stress causes illness. Our minds and our bodies are one in the same. It's not just what you eat that affects you, it's also what you think. So starting now, let's think positively. Let's take control of what we can and vow to do better with the rest in the future.

To that end, I thought I'd pass along some life lessons my mom taught me. My parents were born during the Great Depression years, and what they came away with stayed with them forever. Here they are. I hope you'll add some of your own at the end.

1. Always have a rainy day fund. Don't ever count on the good days lasting forever, because they never do. Plan ahead for the bad ones and they won't be so awful.

2. Never spend more than you make. Seems logical to me. I would add, don't charge what you can't pay off in two months (unless it's an emergency situation, of course.)

3. Pay your bills on time. In these days of instant credit reporting, that advice is more important than ever.

4. Repay loans promptly. This one goes to your character. Are you honest? Do you have integrity? Then never borrow what you can't repay within a reasonable amount of time, and then make sure you do, especially to family members.

Most importantly, remember that what goes down ultimately comes up again and often stronger than ever. So as bad as it seems now, it will get better. So take a deep breath and say, "Ahhhh."

Now it's your turn to add your own helpful hints.

p.s. I will be out of the country for 2 weeks. I'll have lots to report on my return, but in the meantime, watch for next Sunday's blog on the new TV shows.