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January 2009 - Posts - Workin' It
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Workin' It

"Workin' It" is the blog for working parents who are committed to the frugal lifestyle. This blog addresses some of the issues working families face in keeping their lifestyle frugal, including childcare, work expenses, and the constant trade off between time and cost. The author and her husband, both law school graduates, work full-time; the author has a law firm, and dear husband a property management business. They also have an eight month old. Despite all that we have on our plates, we're still committed to living life frugally.

January 2009 - Posts

  • I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor...

    Don't bring me down. I've consumed, regurgiated, and crammed in yet more economic doom and gloom. So I thought perhaps it's time to share a real life example of the type of financial sanity that will lead us out of the current mess.

    I met yesterday with The Successful Cousin (I come from a family of Cousins, including The Beautiful Cousin, The Sweet Cousin, The Funny Cousin...I'm The Loud Cousin, last I checked).

    A few things struck me about The Successful Cousin (hereinafter, TSC).

    1. Even though she's set up to retire quite comfortably at 38, no one would guess it. She's not a conspicuous consumer; although she always looks pretty and professional, nothing about her screams "Look! I spend lots of money!"

    2. She's smart, savvy, and constantly educating herself. Although she's by trade a database architect, or something equally technical, she can converse with knowledge and insight about tax law, accounting, and literature. That kind of savvy helps her make much better financial decisions, better job decisions...she's a smart chick, and that carries through to pretty much everything.

    3.  She's charitable. TSC has causes that are important to her, and she supports them with both time and money. Her charitable giving is planned, it makes sense in relationship to her means, and it seems to help her keep everything else in balance.

    4. She knows who she is, and doesn't have to buy stuff to fill any holes. TSC has been through the wringer in this life; she's been through more tragedies than any one person should have to. But she's come through it all knowing exactly who she is and what she believes in. She doesn't buy "stuff" if she's angry; she deals with whatever has upset her.

    5. She's honest. She's honest with herself, with her husband, with her friends, and with her family (which I'm lucky enough to be part of), and she's honest about her money. TSC has a nice home--which she could afford. TSC goes out sometimes--but she can afford it. She could probably stretch and live in a bigger, fancier house and go out to fancy dinners, but it wouldn't be honest, because she couldn't sustainably afford it.

    In short, TSC is all about hard work, thrift, kindness, and honesty. These values seem to have been pushed aside for the last 20 years in favor of bigger, faster, and louder, but I'm hopeful that if anything good is going to come from the financial crisis, it's this: more folks living like TSC, because she absolutely deserves the title of The Successful Cousin.  

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