What do you think of this?
Let me clarify that I don't think the message behind this statement applies to people who are out of work or who have a debilitating illness or who have suffered a recent tragedy or anything. I think it applies to people with average circumstances, like you and me. People who have shelter and food and income, but who just never seem to have enough money.
I'm really inspired by women like Dig This Chick who decided upon having children not to clutter their lives with stuff.
When Scouty was born, we were living on a lot less money. Kurt was also driving 2.5 hours to get to work each day and spend about 500$ per month on gas. We didn't have money for anything but absolute necessities.
Now, we're older and we have more money and things aren't so tight, but to be honest, it doesn't feel like we've made it. If one of our cars breaks down or we have an unexpected expense, it totally does throw us.
However, we also...
went to Lake Erie this year
stayed in a fancy hotel for our anniversary
went on a mini-vacation with an old friend
have a membership to the children's museum
have a pass to an indoor play area
went to Alligator World at the beach
have cable and internet
pay for preschool
pay for soccer
have a pool pass
made a down payment and are paying on a beach house for next year
and so many other things.
I don't really feel like we're filling our life up with stuff. (Well, actually, I do feel that way, but most of our stuff are gifts or second hand, so the toys and things aren't draining us of money.) I feel like we're paying to fill our lives up with fun experiences. But, what's your opinion? Is that really so different than buying our kids a lot of stuff?
I can totally live on less, as far as material possessions go. I don't have shoes and clothes and outer wear. I wear the same things until they're worn through. I cook from scratch and we utilize the library and the outdoors as much as we can. I cut our hair and fix things myself. I'm a big believer in homemade.
I'm just not convinced that it's better to save money than it is to go places or visit museums or for my children to participate in activities. I feel like we've made a definite decision to be people without extra money so that we can afford to explore and have adventures.
When a car breaks down, though... in that rare moment, I definitely feel like it would a less stressful kind of life to skip adventuring and stay at home in favor of having a savings.
I think a lot about how we use our money. I try not to make decisions that aren't justified. I know that some people would consider our spending to be frivolous, though.
I'm curious. How do you live, in regard to money? Do you have a philosophy? Are you a saver? Where is your money going and is it worth it to you to spend it that way?