My thought for tonight is, why does our culture often punish those who handle their money well, but reward those who are spendthrifts? I started thinking about this today after I realized that one private "need based" education program used actual expenses to determine need, not the average expense for the area and family size. So, people like me willing to put two people in a one bedroom, cheap, rundown apartment has $500 less in financial "need" compared to a single person renting a pricey two bedroom for one person because he or she "needs" a study/computer room. Or replaced a paid-off three year old car with a new one and a new car loan has a greater "need" than someone like me who is nursing along an older car that's paid off.
Several times at past jobs, other people were given raises when everyone else was being told merit raises, even for the people who'd been put off for several years due to tight money, were out of the question. Worse, all of these people were average performers at best who were often already overpaid for what they did, while people who did much harder jobs were paid less for much better work. The reason invariably was that the person wasn't "getting by" on their income and they needed help. Those who were paid less weren't complaining or didn't have a "crisis," so obviously they were fine.
None of these people had a real crisis such as their house destroyed by a tornado and wasn't covered by insurance or a family member with major medical bills that weren't covered by insurance. No, every one of these people took expensive vacations and ate out constantly and ran up their credit cards until, voila! they had a crisis just to pay their normal bills. If any one of them had cut back their expenses, the crisis would have vanished.
To me, this is punishing those who live within their means, and worse, rewarding mediocrity and whining.
Hmmm, guess I'm whining a little myself. Time for a piece of chocolate...