Mostly, Dave and I have been good about not living beyond our means, even though we can easily see the edge of our means from here. We’ve even been good at putting money away. Which is a good thing because this way it will take a little longer for our money to disappear completely.
That’s what it’s going to do. It’s going to evaporate, and just leave behind a little ring of good intentions. What you’re supposed to do is learn a little about finances, and then make wise choices. You’re supposed to make your money work for you. This concept makes me squirmy. I understand how I made money. Some days, I was even worth what I was paid. But it seems wrong that my money should go off and make money on its own, maybe even while I’m asleep and possibly drooling. Like maybe my money will make enough money to move out of the house some day. Get a girlfriend and a dog and a cable connection and a bedroom set from IKEA. And I’d never see my money again.
In fact, the idea that my money should work for me is deeply repellent. That would make me The Man. I won’t even get a pedicure because I’m too creeped out by the vision of some small woman laboring away at my toe jam, like I’m Genghis Khan or something. Why should my money make money? What could it possibly do that is useful to society? I’d be fine if it just sat around the house and didn’t drop wet towels on the floor.
So we’re not good about money; we’re too indulgent, and let it slack off. Our house is the bright spot. We bought it long ago, when you could score a complete house for twenty dollars as long as you paid, like, a million bucks a month interest. We certainly couldn’t afford it now. Which means our real estate makes us worth a lot dead. We’ve inadvertently become winners in a game of economic roulette that has produced conditions that are supposed to make homeowners feel terrific, assuming they do not give a shit about poor people.
Oh, we used to have investments, but we bailed out of them on at least two noteworthy occasions corresponding to the precise nadir of the market. They say you can’t time the market, but they’re wrong. If we do it one more time, we’ll have no money saved at all, and might have to write a check to a financial institution just to make them promise to stop giggling.
So our money is now working just as hard as cash stashed under the mattress, assuming there is a little mouse nibbling at the edges. It’s not working. So be it. We don’t work so well anymore, either.