The story revolves around a Brit names Arthur Dent, who gets saved from an exploding earth by his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be an alien. Ford is a writer for the definitive guide to everything in the universe, called the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The first thing we learn about this electronic, all encompassing Guide, is that the cover is emblazoned with "big, friendly letters" that read DON'T PANIC.
Good advice. Take all this financial hubbub, for instance. Quite a few people seem to be panicking. Am I? Not at all. But I have a mortgage! And a 401K! And what if I need a car loan?! Or Ladybug steam cleaners?! Or a vacation to Hawaii?! Shouldn't we ALL be panicking??!
I'm not panicking. Here's why:
- Yes, banks are failing, but, I don't have more than $100,000 sitting in an account somewhere, I know my money's safe. It's all thanks to that little sticker on the door of the local bank branch. "FDIC Insured." If anything DID happen to my bank, my money is safe, and I can still get to it. We're seeing this in practice- and, even if your bank fails, there's no reason to run and hide your life savings under your mattress. It's insured, and in safer in the bank than it is in your hands, in case of theft or house fire.
- Yes, the credit market is tightening, but I've structured my lifestyle in such a way that I don't rely on credit. I don't use my credit card. I don't plan on taking out a car loan. When looking at a big purchase, I save up before hand rather than ask "How much will this cost me every month?"
- Yes, prices are going up, but we live below our means, so temporary fluctuations in food and gas prices won't break the budget, and significant increases will put us behind in saving for goals but won't force us to rely on credit.
- Yes, the markets are in turmoil and I have a 401K, but I'm young. I'm investing for the long haul. My investment balance is decreasing now, but I'm also getting the opportunity to buy low, which will pay off in an eventual recovery.
- link via God's Politics