yup, but just relax

a typical hawaiian sunset

it's a real shit show out there. i keep promising myself i'll write to explain what happened with the macs (fannie and freddie), then lehman, then merrill, then AIG, and then the bailout, and now another bailout, and all the while the market seriously tanking.

i still might, but in case i don't, basically all you need to know is that you should probably not stress out that much unless:

1. you're about to retire, in which case, you should probably hold off for a bit or find a nice sugar daddy/momma.

2. you have the majority of your short-term savings in the stock market, and you need that money asap. if this is you, see someone much more qualified than me to help you extract yourself in the least damaging way.

3. you're still not tracking your expenses and have no clue what is going on with your money. if this is you, please please please leave a comment and your email and i'll send you my super easy expense tracking worksheet. and i'll include a handy set of instructions to boot.

i stand by my initial assessment of this disaster, which is to say that had we provided more comprehensive financial education (and i don't mean fancy degrees, i mean basic, "common-sense" type education) to all parties involved, none of this would have happened. we wouldn't be spending more than we earn, and we would still extol the virtues of frugality, and fiscal responsibility. so let's get back on that bandwagon, and make being good with your money cool again. see here, here, and here.

and if you're too rich for any of this post to even matter to you, please see my holiday wish list.

for the rest of us, this is actually a really good time to re-assess our spending habits, and attempt, maybe for the first time in our lives, that age-old wisdom of our grandparents, to live within our means. hell, might as well go all out and try and live *below* your means. you never know how bad it's going to get! kidding! but only just.
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