Ups and downs.Â We all go through them.Â Judging from the current state of our economy, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that more folks are going through downs than are going through ups.Â The last thing any of us need to do, right now, is to slack off and stop actively managing our finances.Â I know, I know.Â The temptation is there, especially when things are going rough, to just throw your hands up and give up.Â Do not!
It’s easy to save when interest rates are high.Â It’s not so easy when they plummet to near zero.
It’s easy to find motivation to invest when the market is bullish and strong.Â It’s not so easy when the market is bearish and weak.
It’s easy to live on a budget when you have surplus income and costs are low.Â It’s not so easy when money is tight and prices are high.
It’s easy to give, tithe, and be generous when there is an abundance.Â It’s not so easy when life is hard and times are tough.
It’s easy to plan and pontificate when all looks well.Â It’s not so easy when times appear troubling and the world is restless.
Let us remember the words of Thomas Paine –
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
These may be trying, difficult, unfamiliar times, but our country, and its people, have faced far worse.Â We have stood against the evil of fascism, the lie of communism, and the brutality of terrorism.Â Will we now, in the face of difficult financial times, give up, give over, and give in?Â Never!
The men to whom Paine’s words were delivered would never know the comforts of our modern world – indoor pluming, rapid transportation, instantaneous communication.Â They lived, for the most part, hard lives, and many of them would deal with harsh deaths.Â Their sacrifices and commitment paved the way for the liberties and the freedoms that we now cherish.Â Far be it from us, and our generation, to lose hope and to lose faith.
Each of us, in our own homes, businesses, families, churches, communities, and states, should begin to take personal responsibility for the daily management of our finances.Â We honor those who came before us by ensuring the passage of our blessings to those who come after us.Â Today, instead of giving up, we must choose to work harder, smarter, and better than we ever have before.Â We cannot allow the temporary stresses of the day to destroy the bright future of our tomorrow.Â We must hold our elected officials to the highest of high standards – and ourselves as well.Â The destiny of our great nation depends on the personal responsibility of each of its citizens.