I called one of my sisters today to catch up on life. She began telling me about work-related stresses they had last week. She and her husband own their own business and, therefore, have the occasional up-and-downs associated with doing so. Well, last week “Jane”, an employee for a competitor, sent out libelous letters to business and potential businesses who would employ my sister’s company. Jane said that the company was doing things that were not in code and that employing companies should stay away from my sister’s business. So my sister and bil went to their lawyer, who said, yes, you can prove it libel, and yes, you can sue…but it’ll cost $30-40k and would probably be better to write letters showing proof of good business, etc.
The conversation then turned to how fragile our life situations can be. If her business went under due to these kinds of problems or they lost jobs, they’d be in big trouble. They owe on equipment for work. They have a new house. They recently got a new truck for the business. Losing work would take all of it out from under them.
I think most of us are in the same boat. My husband once lost his job; we picked up and moved across country. Our community is very small, and we’d likely have to do the same thing if it happened again.
Living paycheck to paycheck is getting more difficult, especially with the increase of gas and grocery prices. “Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said the imbalance in spending before and after payday in July was the biggest it has ever seen…”, according to a 2007 study CBS did. And that was a year ago. About 50% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.
” Analysts at The Heritage Foundation recently examined how going from $3 and $4 retail to $5 and $6 retail per gallon of gasoline would affect the U.S. economy. If prices continue to rise at an accelerated pace over the course of a year:
- Total employment would decrease by 586,000 jobs,
- Disposable personal income would decrease by $532 billion,
- Personal consumption expenditure would decrease by $400 billion, and
- Personal savings would be spent to help pay the cost.” (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/bg2162.cfm)
Ouch!!! So what do we do? Drive less and pray more! The LDS church has counseled its members for decades to build up a food storage that would last a year. This is wise counsel for anyone. If my husband lost his job, or my sister’s business had to go lean, we would have at least food to help our families. But food doesn’t pay for gas and utilities. Each of us has to put away savings, even if it’s $10 a paycheck for occasions like this.
Money comes and goes and sometimes all we can do is hang on tight and hope we’re prepared for the worst. Our life situations can change in an hour.