Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and while most of us will be feasting on turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, there are many out there who aren’t as fortunate. Some have nowhere to go, while others head to Thanksgiving dinners hosted by food pantries and nonprofit organizations. A friend of mine has become a champion fundraiser, and this month, she decided to help out a local food pantry by spearheading a food drive at work for turkey dinner staples.
I was more than happy to donate to the cause, and it made me realize how lucky we are. We’re healthy, happy and financially stable. We won’t be retiring by the age of 40, but we’re not in massive, unmanageable debt, either. There are many people out there who are less fortunate, and I remember that every day.
What I’m Thankful For
— Good health. Sure, I have some medical issues, but they’re not life-threatening and are manageable.
— Good financial health. We have minimal credit card debt (<$500), a 0%-interest car loan and a mortgage with a low interest rate.
— Steady jobs. Both Mr. Saver and I are still employed, despite the country’s economic situation.
— Health insurance. While the co-pays are a bit high, it’s still a million times better than having no insurance at all, a scary proposition with a baby on the way. Another friend recently told me the hospital charged her insurance company $40,000 to have her baby — naturally, but induced labor. Her responsibility? $0!
— 401(k)s. We also both still get our original company matches on our 401(k) contributions — he gets 50%, up to 6% of his salary, while I get a full match of the first $1,000. That’s ‘free’ money.
— A healthy emergency fund. This account can cover 6 months worth of expenses in case of emergency, and I’m happy to have it. We continue to build it up with monthly contributions.
— Hand-me-downs. Whether baby clothes or furniture, swapping stuff over the years has saved a lot of money (and freecycling rocks). I hate wasting stuff! I’m STILL sorting through the tons of girl clothes given to me by a friend.
— Loving, supportive friends and family. You know who you are. You’ve always been there for me through thick and thin, and I will never forget it.
— My husband. Not to get too mushy here, but out of the dark came the light. And laughter and respect.