Financial Stress and Hardship

The American public is diffusely under financial stress and hardship. More and more people are finding difficulty paying for things they once considered necessities. Steaks for dinner are giving way to dishes of macaroni and cheese. People are skipping lunches out at work by opting for a sandwich from home. People are cutting back from fancy TV cable options, and going back to basic service. Cell phones are being kept longer with fewer customers choosing new phones and all the frills. Private schools are feeling the crunch as students return to public schools. Non-profit organizations are receiving fewer contributions and having to let staff go. The unemployment office is a hub of activity as unemployment flutters around ten per cent. Homes are being foreclosed and new home building is down. The auto industry has collapsed with several auto makers folding and the dealerships are closing in almost every town. With each of these phenomena, and many more, jobs are becoming scarcer, and the situation spirals in upon itself.

A large part of the problem is that we continue “to party like it’s 1999.” This is a new century which has birthed its own new economy. People aren’t making six figure profits on the sale of their homes anymore. They can no longer carry ten credit cards in their wallets and expect to keep up the payments. They can’t go to the local merchandise mart and carry home a fifty-two inch flat screen because the payments are only so much a month. The principal continues to grow at the point one is only paying part of the interest each month. Sooner or later there is a breaking point at which amounts owed exceed income. A couple is faced with the prospect of filing bankruptcy which will linger into future times when the economy starts to mend and grow.

What is the economy anyhow? It is like a giant plant upon which we all feed. When part of it withers, somebody suffers. It is the task of investors to try to sink newer and deeper roots, but they are less apt to do so in troubled times. We’ve been through a former time when the plant produced more than we all could consume, but that has changed now. Winter is upon us, and the plant has entered a phase of relative dormancy.

How is a modern individual or family to cope with the present times? First of all, they have to decide to live within the constraint of their means. They cannot spend more than they make. Out of every dollar, something has to be allotted to savings. First priority is a roof over our heads and the sustenance needed for a healthy life. Maybe it is time to stop spending five dollars a day on cigarettes and four dollars at Starbucks. Maybe it is time to make that pizza at home and start to cut coupons from the sales papers. Maybe that pair of jeans will last a longer or maybe there’s a fine brand over at the consignment clothing store. It could be time to carpool or take the mass transit as opposed to gas expenditures, parking fees, etc. Do you get the drift of this? You start to save little amounts here and there, and the budget starts to come into line. Make it a family project to protect the budget. Anything you teach your children about the economy and how to live within a budget will put them in good stead for the rest of their lives. It’s a hard adaptation at first, but then it gets easier and easier. Pay off those high interest credit cards as soon as possible, and avoid credit purchases like the plague. Cut and trim: save and wait.

The best way to save oneself from the doldrums of financial hardship is to fight back. You do this either by increasing your income, or cutting back on your expenditures. If you are trying to increase your income don’t fall for every internet scam that promises you a hundred dollars an hour on your home computer. Have a yard sale. Take a part-time job at a local store. Sell an unused car. If you’re cutting back on your expenditures you need to know where every cent is going. Prepare a detailed list and start to red line things you really don’t need. At all costs don’t give in to the depression of financial strain and hardship. Use all your energy and resources until we all reach better economic times.

John Drew Laurusonis, M.D.
Doctors Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Laurusonis was conferred his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1983 and has been actively taking care of patients since completing his Internal Medicine residency in 1987 in the Garden State of New Jersey. Dr. Laurusonis has been licensed in four states but ultimately chose to permanently relocate to Georgia with his family and begin a private practice. Through his extensive experience in Internal Medicine, as well as in Emergency Rooms throughout the United States, Dr. Laurusonis saw how traditional Emergency Rooms were often overwhelmed by patients suffering medical conditions that were urgent but may not need the traditional “Level I Trauma Center”. Patients often waited six to twelve hours to be seen by a physician, were riddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills, and were generally unhappy with the system.
Dr. Laurusonis decided to open an Urgent Care Center instead of a 9-5 doctor's office. Through the last fifteen years he has received accolades from the community and his patients. He has expanded his practice to include many cosmetic therapies that have previously been treated with painful and extensive plastic surgery. He has been invited to the White House numerous times, has been named Physician of the Year, as seen in the Wall Street Journal, and has served as Honorary Co-Chairman on the Congressional Physicians Advisory Board
Dr. Laurusonis and his practice, Doctors Medical Center, is open 7 days a week from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm offering such services as lab, x-ray, EKGs, aesthetics (Botox, dermabrasion, sclerotheraby and veins etc.), cold/flu, sore throats, fractures, sprains, lacerations, GYN, Pediatrics, Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression Treatment, skin tag/mole removal, veins, allergies, asthma, physicals--just to name a few. Dr. Laurusonis welcomes you to either make an appointment or just walk-in to see him. Dr. Laurusonis will take the time to speak with you about your concerns--no problem is too big or too small. If you need additional services we have specialist referrals available or we can refer you to the neighborhood hospital emergency room. Give Doctors Medical Center a call--Dr. Laurusonis will be happy to speak with you.

John Drew Laurusonis, MD
Doctors Medical Center
3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Suite 110
Duluth, GA 30096