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Category:  Money

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Budgeting in Times of Stress

By Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

These are tough times. People are scared. Some are handling the stress better than others. There are some very matter-of-fact attitudes. "This has been going on in the rest of the world for years, now itís our turn" they say, as they continue planning their vacation to Hawaii.

In general, this is not the case. There is stress bordering on hysteria among many people. How are you suppose to stick to your routine, and even care about your budget when you think your world is coming to an end?

All of a sudden, that balance on your Master Card has diminished in itís importance. The family budget has taken on less importance. Shopping has re surged as a way to tell ourselves that things are normal and has taken on a comfort role.

Many of us are having medical problems, ranging from stress disorders (new and recurring), to nightmares, ulcers, and many of the other things that happen to the human body when under duress.

How are we suppose to keep to our goals and even care about money now? It was hard enough before. Now, we may feel frozen or overcome by malaise. What are we to do?

I think that there are some important things to consider. First of all, try and calm your nerves. As horrible as the incidents were on September 11th, remember that it took 8 years between attacks on the World Trade Center.

We may have been "sleeping" in those years, but we are not now! All the intelligence and technology of the United States is now focused on our defense (as well as the rest of the world).

Not only that, but our people are now fully aware of potential problems. Look what happened when a deranged man made a scene on an airliner. The passengers brought him down. It is almost a certainty that skyjacking will not happen again.

As far as the anthrax scare, while it is troublesome, it does not have the potential to hurt on any kind of a large scale. There are 280 million people in the USA. Anthrax may be produced, but it, as well as other harmful substances can not be produced on any kind of large scale, nor delivered to a great amount of people.

Anthrax an incredibly hard agent to transmit in a pathogenic amount. Although people talk about using Cipro to treat it, almost any good antibiotic will do--penicillin or tetracycline, for example. The only reason Cipro is recommended is the manufacturers of Cipro were the only ones who went through the bother of being approved to treat anthrax--which is now paying off big time.

Also, the attacks are only aimed at prominent persons or places. Unless you are a prominent person, work for a major newspaper or company, or the post office, you are not going to receive a letter containing anthrax or be exposed to it.

Per my brother, here is the "Ben Laden cave test". If your name or workplace would not recognized by someone in Ben Ladder's mountain cave headquarters, you are not going to be the target of an anthrax letter.

All the technology of the United States if now going to be applied to the mass production of equipment that will sterilize our mail. Whatever is left "up their sleeve" will be dealt with...until we deal with them and they are no more!

Probably the biggest threat is car bombs. Again, most of us are not in potential target areas. Greatest precautions are being taken at all potential targets.

We have done a lot of damage to Ben Laden's ability to coordinate any more attacks on any kind of scale. If he tried to communicate with his followers, we will find him, and he will meet his well deserved fate.

The bottom line is while our perception of our world turned upside down in a horrifying way on Sep. 11th, life is going to go on. While we now live in a world with heightened awareness of terror, our lives are going to go on.

Is the quality of our live any less important to us now? Are our children less important? What about our values, dreams and goals?

Money may have moved a little lower on the totem pole, but it is a necessary factor in our lives. We have lost some control over other factors in our lives. Letís not loose control of our money!

Money rebuilds buildings. Money provides for medical care and research. Money educates our children. Money buys food. We do not love money. It is a tool we use for the running of our households, and helping with the important choices in our lives. Without sufficient money, our choices are often limited.

I write this article for myself as much as for you. I, too, have been frozen. I have been affected mentally. We just canít afford to let this affect us.

The person I talked about at the beginning of this article is a friend of mine. I admire her greatly. She is a nurse, and deals with death and dying every day.

We need to be more like her. Doctors canít do their work if they bleed for the patient. We canít function if we can not let go of our grief from the events of September 11th.

I urge you to remember you too have a job to do. It is raising your families, and providing for their welfare. It is one of the most important jobs in the world. Always remember that!

Donít let go of your goals, plans, and dreams. Don't lose control of your money. Donít let the evil in the world overcome righteous endeavors. You and your family are too important to let that happen.


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