I had an “aha” moment last week. (I’m an Oprah fan, cut me some slack).
Eric and I are not poor. AHA!
I had been thinking about our expenses lately and how our credit card is over my “comfortable” limit and I thought to myself–we could take the money out of savings and pay off the whole credit card right now and we’d be done with it (For the record, I pay off the card in full every month, but we always seem to be one paycheck behind and so our credit card always has a balance). However, I chose not to withdraw from our savings and instead be extremely frugal so that we feel the impact (pain?) of our credit card purchases.
It would be too easy to always bail ourselves out by simply raiding our savings. I want us to learn to live within our means and include saving as part of our financial budget.
But throughout this inner battle, I thought to myself: Eric and I are not poor. And a lightbulb went off.
And no, I’m not about to write some dribble about how we’re actually “rich” because we have each other, yadda yadda yadda, insert gagging noises here.
No. Financially, as in monetary wealth–we are not poor. The fact that we are on track to save between 8 and 10 thousand dollars by August should have been my first clue in realizing this. But I think when you allocate all your pennies, and you watch your friends and read other blogs and you compare yourself to others, with all their shiny new toys and expensive trips and homes and cars, you realize “crap, they have something I don’t and that makes me feel poor.”
But, like I said, we’re not poor. We just choose to spend our money in different ways.
Could we afford a fancy apartment instead of the homey shack we live in? Yes. Could we afford to go out to dinner every weekend? Yes. Could we afford to go on $500 shopping sprees every month and have the latest and greatest clothes? It’s sad to realize this, but yes, I totally could!
But we choose not to. Because if we didn’t buckle down and save money like crazy, we’d be in really bad shape come August when Eric enters the fire academy full-time. And even after he finishes the academy, we still plan on saving like crazy for future goals, which may include paramedic school, a new car, a down payment on a house…um *gulp*…a family? Again, this is far, farrr in the future.
But still, I am glad that we have a choice when it comes to how we spend (or don’t spend) our money. And I believe we’re doing it wisely.
Any other recent aha moments out there?
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