I believe I fall into the classification of upper middle class, meaning my husband and I make decent incomes but still get screwed when it comes to tax time.
We are relatively frugal people. I personally enjoy the satisfaction of putting money from our paychecks into savings or investments, growing our little nest egg, as they say. Our income also allows us to financially support our adult children when needed. This does not mean we are their sole means of support. This means that, as young adults, they sometimes need a little extra help when unexpected costs arise in their lives. We are more than willing to help them in this way. I remember the struggles I faced as a young, newly working adult. Rent, car payments, food, bills and maybe just enough extra for an occasional fun event, but usually the extra’s, like car repairs for example, are truly difficult to save for when your paycheck is earmarked every month for necessities. So we help.
The outcome of this help is usually that our credit card statement will reveal charges for a variety of services that we personally don’t benefit from but that make life easier for our kids. I then, as the bill payer in the family, set out on a mission to pay off the credit card before the next major crisis occurs and more charges appear. Sometimes that’s easy, but in general, one crisis does not a family make and a series of things go wrong with all three kids at the same time, leading to multiple uses of our card and delight on the part of Chase Bank as we pile on our share of business.
To be fair, we also put our own charges on the card, it’s not always something for the kids. We also do not have a huge balance, I refuse to let that happen. Huge to me is over $3000. We have a much larger credit line after years with this company, but if we ever had the desire to reach that maximum, there would be no more card. The interesting thing though, is that for a while, no matter how much I pay per month, all the while not neglecting our other bills, the balance seems to mysteriously hang on, taking forever to actually reach zero.
I have had countless memorable moments when the big zero has been achieved, only to see some charge appear almost instantaneously for something really important. As of this writing, I am once again looking ever so closely at that zero balance. I believe, if I have calculated correctly, we have $109 left. This charge being a recent purchase for concert tickets. I know, at the end of this week after my paycheck arrives, I will make that online payment and when posted, will get to see the big $0.00 balance once more.
Personal satisfaction indeed.
Until……. graduation, vacation in June, tuition, textbooks, car repairs……..