Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Little Bit Sick

I seem to get a little bit sick when I hear the word "recession" still being thrown around, as if just calling it that might actually make it be such.

 "The New Poor"

I also get a little sick when someone says "when the housing market comes back". 

It's a pretty crappy deal that banks and mortgage companies worked together to create the housing bubble that skyrocketed the "value". Now that the values have dropped in a lot of areas, will the banks revalue these loans to reflect true value? Of course not. They'll just take people's homes and the delicate house of cards will continue to collapse.

If you choose to return the deed to the mortgage holder in lieu of foreclosure or accept a short sale, be sure to get a signed statement from them stating that they can NOT come after you for the remaining balance, which of course isn't a real balance anyway.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Nouveau Poor: Basic Definitions

Though I have not yet seen anyone using this term, I'm sure it's being bandied about somewhere. I define it as anyone who was formerly somewhat affluent, (and when I say affluent, I mean able to pay bills, eat and enjoy some of the entertainment that our culture offers so copiously) who are now living on the edge since the house of cards we call our economy has begun its battle with gravity. These are people who perhaps had well-paying jobs, unfulfilling though they may have been, they lost, people who had a major medical issue, people who suddenly found themselves unable to pay their basic bills for a number of reasons.

When this kind of scenario hits, and I strongly believe it is going to hit a large number of people who may be in denial about the possibility, by necessity you must adapt some new living strategies. The old paradigm stops working. The sooner you let go of the past, the sooner you can move forward. I speak from experience. My husband lost a construction-based job in fall of 2007. He had been making good money and I was a stay-at-home mom. We have both had to rethink things as I had difficulty finding full-time work.

This blog will discuss some of the strategies available to you, to learn to accept a new way of life, and to apply actual skills that can allow you to more easily live at a lower income level. You might even find a better way of life than you previously could have imagined.

Wikipedia has a definition for it that is equivalent to my definition. Though I would say that many of us who were not rich in the first place are experiencing the phenomenon of living at a lower level. So my definition is perhaps a little more broad than the Wikipedia definition and includes anyone who is living at a lower level of income or status than previously.

Now more than ever, you might need this.