There's a rumbling through the media as we are--approximately--at the one-year anniversary of the financial meltdown. No, I'm not planning to listen to re-broadcasts of the news from last year. No, I'm not going to read the various post-mortems.
All I can say is OMMMMMMMMMM.
Doesn't every single self-help thing out there--whether for finances, relationships, addiction, whatever--exhort focusing on the things you can control?
So my anniversary will be marked by a list of the things we did that made the biggest difference to our financial lives.
1. We didn't avail ourselves of student loans in grad school. We lived like poor students.
2. When we finally got jobs, we didn't get a car right away. Mr. FS was sold a used car by a colleague for $200.00! We used it for several years. Then, my parents passed on an old Volvo, which we also used for several years. We didn't have 2 cars for some time.
3. We bought a house that was a bit too expensive for us. Interest rates were high at the time (10%!). So, perhaps counter-intuitively, we began paying extra on the mortgage, because we couldn't stand it.
4. Breastfeeding and cloth diapers. The latter, surprisingly, had a spiritual dimension.
5. Public schools.
6. Sheer luck. Both children were National Merit finalists and we sought out colleges that wanted these kids. Children DID participate in this choice.
What were your financial choices that had large impacts?