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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"The Best Things In Life Are Free"

Ok. This may be a rambling post, but I have to get this all out.

So here's the deal. My husband is about to get a significant raise in two months. We've known it was coming for the last couple of years.

Now it's almost here. Will we be "wealthy"? No. It's not anywhere near the realm of "The Elite" salaries. But it's enough to be comfortable. Which is all I care about. So many years of barely scraping by. Making poor financial decisions because we were young and inexperienced. Trying to figure out which bill we were going to skip for the month because we couldn't afford it. Getting a foreclosure letter during a maternity leave. (We thankfully were able to get ourselves out of that one.) You name it, we've been there. And we take full responsibility for putting ourselves there. But, we've always worked hard to provide what we can and thankfully we've always had family that has been there to help us out when we were in dire need. Our pride has always insisted on paying them back...whether it be from 6 months of savings or the next tax refund we paid them back sheepishly and graciously.  

I feel a little weird posting about money, because it seems like a taboo. It's definitely not something (or enough) to flaunt around. You just don't talk about it. 

But, I have reasons for writing about it. You see, we have known about this raise for awhile and before it just seemed so distant. Now it's 8 weeks away. And I have to admit. I started a list. A long list of things I want done for the house.

 Furniture. Basement finished. Landscaping. Paint. Appliances. Wood Flooring. Central Air.

It's an expensive list. And of course the raise wouldn't be enough to cover all of those items in the near future...but it was something to hope for.

Then I started thinking bigger: Trips to Disney World. Surprising children at Christmas. Dang you, Disney World commercials!!

But then...I got embarrassed. I usually strive to not be super materialistic and this list is exactly that.

It's extravagant and full of "I Wants". 

We are a fully functioning family without all of those extras. My children share a room, but it works. We all share a bathroom...and it kind of works. The carpet is worn and shows WE definitely live here. We have hand me down furniture...which lets face it, you don't get as angry about chocolate syrup stains smeared on the arms of hand me downs as you would on something brand spankin' new. We go on vacations around our state, and the kids seem to have a great time.

My list that was originally created as "NEEDS" seems trivial.

I still "WANT" this stuff. But I don't need to kid myself into thinking I MUST do all of this in order  to prove something or feel like I'm successful. It's still...stuff.

I've toned it back a bit and we are focusing on putting enough money away slowly to finish our basement. That's all we are going to put on the list for now. It's something that we can all enjoy, and mostly our kids can have their own bedrooms.

This will be a convenience, an extra, a perk. Also an investment as it will add much needed equity. But I need to remind myself that it is not a "Need".

Truly, catching myself in this greediness reminded me to step back and count EVERY SINGLE BLESSING.

Because regardless of my financial status...I will always be rich. <---Cheesy, but true. 


  1. I am so glad for you Leia but having a family money always gets gobbled up too quickly

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