Apr 02 2008

Count your blessings

CNN Money has a series of 40 or so Americans telling their economic stories.

I read each one, and really felt for these people. Some absolutely break your heart. Others amaze you at their courage and hope for the future.

Consider this 34-year-old single mother. She lost her first child at the age of two to cancer. The $5 million in medical bills forced her to file for bankruptcy, and it’s easy to see why. I don’t know how a person could ever fully recover emotionally or financially from something like that.

She’s doing her best to provide for her family, but she’s unable to refinance her mortgage, and very well could lose her home.

Then, there’s this 20-year-old student, who is working so hard for her family’s future. Her father had to quit working a year ago due to his health problems and cashed out his retirement plan to pay the bills. Now, he has no retirement savings.

Their home is facing foreclosure, and they can’t pay the rest of their bills, either. The 20-year-old is using some of her student loan money to try to pay the bills, yet they don’t qualify for government assistance.

This woman survived Hurricane Katrina and for awhile, lived in a FEMA trailer. She left the area, in part due to the high cost of living, and moved to be closer to her aging parents. She’s been unable to find work.

And this college student, like many college students, can’t afford to have a career-enhancing internship. Often, internships are unpaid or poorly paid–not nearly enough for a student to live on. So, rather than adding a great experience to her resume and possibly advancing her future career, she’s stuck at home for the summer working full-time at a different (and likely not as beneficial) job. Meanwhile, her parents are likely going to sell their home and live in an RV.

Some of you might see yourself in these stories.

I consider myself extremely blessed. My husband and I are so incredibly fortunate to be in the situation we’re in, and it’s all by the sheer grace of God.

I wish there was something I could do to help people who are having a bad time right now. I’m not sure how I can contribute, other than praying for everyone at this point. One thing’s for certain–I’m counting my blessings.

3 Responses to “Count your blessings”

  1. I know what you mean…there are days where I get upset with my financial situation and wish I made more money, but then I have to step back and realize how good I have it. Even though I’m on an entry-level salary and can’t afford to live luxuriously, I don’t have debt, I have enough money to have all the basic essentials, and have enough to sock some away for retirement and vacations. These stories break my heart, too — I don’t have much sympathy for people who get into deep debt for living above their means, but I feel awful for those who did things right but were hurt by circumstance, such as medical situations or a natural disaster. I also wish I could help these people, and am not sure what there is to do. I wonder if there are any non-profits that help these people that you can donate to?

  2. Financial wellness and medical bills are always in conflict. 50% of Americans that filed for bankruptcy did so because of medical bills.

  3. Blessings indeed. We may not be rich, but we have each other and a roof and our physical health and our debt is small enough to pay off in a lifetime…or most likely less.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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