Sunday, March 1, 2009

The news today said that the economy had fallen to levels as low as in 1981. I asked my husband, "Do you remember as many people being out of jobs in 1981 as now?" He hadn't.

However, as I sat here thinking a little harder (1981 was a LONG time ago and I'm not getting younger!), the principal at my job in Whitmore Lake at that time, came to me one October day and told me the Board of Education had voted to lay me and several other teachers off in 10 days due to emergency financial conditions. The teachers there had been working without a contract for over a year, and money to small districts was even less than before (schools were supported merely by their millage votes back in those Proposal A). I was so sad and I cried on the way home from school. I was a special ed teacher in those days and I had done my student teaching at the Children's Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Michigan, so I saw that they had an opening. In 2 weeks I was working there. I was geeked. A pay raise and it was a great place to work.

That same year, after getting the new job, my old black Mustang was getting old, so I went out to buy my OWN first brand new car. The cheapest interest rate I could get was 14%....YIKES. I bought a little Ford EXP (a sportsy version of the Ford Escort) and I was thrilled.

Three years later my husband and I bought our first house. We got an adjustable mortgage at 9%....YIKES.....and that was cheap. The first house we had TRIED to buy, and eventually let the deal fall through, was an adjustable 11% loan. We decided that was too much. Of course, a fixed rate mortgage was much higher at that point. THANK goodness the overall cost of houses and cars was much lower then. We later refinanced the house for a cheaper fixed rate.

My point being.......things were kind of bad back then, but they got better. Hopefully, things get better now as well.