I missed a lot of good ones while I was busy during the holiday season, and I may still do a few some time, but for now I’ll settle on the current prompt.
Mark and I are not the richest people in the world, but we’re not the poorest. I wouldn’t put us at upper middle class either, though. We have enough to get by, but definitely need to put a lot more into savings than we have right now.
Mark likes to play those scratch-off lottery tickets. Sometimes he loses, sometimes he wins anywhere from $2 to $500. Sometimes he plays the lotto numbers too. He has a plan, though, just in case he ever wins big. You know, the millions-upon-millions kind of big win, which they always advertise as if it’s within grasp (“New York Lotto: Hey! You never know!”) but which always grows so you know that nobody has won it yet. I swear, the state must make a fortune on the interest alone from what everyone is putting into it…
So here’s Mark’s plan, in no particular order. Pay off all of our debt (including credit cards, my car loan and student loans). Pay off all debt for those in our immediate families. Gift a million or so to his mom, and another million or so to my parents. Buy a house for us to live in with our future children. Buy a couple dogs. We both retire, and start “for fun” jobs – his would be a sports memorabilia store, mine would be… well my ideal is to be a stay-at-home mom while raising our children (I know, how terribly ’50s of me), and then when they are in school, maybe go back to work part time so I’d be home by the time they are. Or pursue my dream of becoming a published author, with my own home office of course.
That’s the “for richer” part. Now here’s the “for poorer” part. I’m trying to pay off my credit cards but need to get my spending further down so I’m not charging more each month than I pay off. I have just over a year left of payments on my car. At that point I will not get a new car, so I can transfer those payments onto credit cards (if they’re not paid off by then) or into a savings account. I have student loans that I’ll be paying off forever (or so it seems right now). When we decide to get a house, we will end up with a huge mortgage that will also take forever to pay off. I know that our salaries will go up over time, but so will the cost of living.
Despite our college degrees, including my Masters degree, we are like millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and hope we can continue to get by. My biggest hope is that one day I will have enough money that my paycheck doesn’t disappear almost immediately with bill payments, and that I will actually feel calm when thinking about money instead of feeling stressed. But the most important thing is working together and sticking it out, and not letting finances get between us in that bad way.
Sunday Scribblings is a blog run by Meg Genge and Laini Taylor that posts weekly writing prompts.