Priorities

A while back, I wrote about what we choose to spend our money on, and what we go without in order to save money.  And I’ve talked about how Chef and I have a written budget.  And how I make gifts instead of buying sometimes because it’s less expensive.  And just the other day, I told you about my new part time freelance job.

And I don’t want to seem like I think I’m better than other people, because I know that this time last year, Chef and I had no plan whatsoever.

I don’t want to sound judgmental.

But it really bothers me when people complain about how they don’t have any money, but they don’t do anything about it.

There is a woman I know who talks a lot about how she and her family are so broke and they don’t have money to do anything.  She has a daughter and a husband in college, and I know that’s expensive.  But in a casual conversation with her, I had mentioned that we don’t have cable TV, and she sounded completely shocked when she replied, “You don’t?!”  Seriously, you would think I had said we don’t have indoor plumbing.  I told her we have better things to spend our money on, and this woman who talks incessantly was rendered speechless.

About a week later, I overheard her tell someone that her teenage daughter was going to Florida for Spring Break.  Of course, I didn’t say anything to her, but I was thinking about how when I was a kid, we hardly went on vacations at all (I can remember about four family vacations) simply because my parents were very frugal and they didn’t spend money on vacations if the money wasn’t there.  I can’t even fathom having gone to Florida with friends for Spring Break.

Sure, there might be circumstances I don’t know about.  Maybe the daughter got some big inheritance (I know she doesn’t have a job), or maybe they really did save up and are paying cash for the vacation.

But based on other conversations I’ve had or overheard, I don’t think that’s the case.

I know that people might not agree with everything we spend our money on.  I mean, Netflix is not a necessity.  Having two dogs is not cheap.

But I’ve stopped complaining about not having money.  And we’ve got a plan to eliminate our debt and to stay out of debt.  We don’t spend more than we make.  I really feel like our financial priorities are logical and in order.

I totally believe that everyone should be able to make their own choices.  It just bothers me when people make choices but don’t take responsibility for them.

Okay, that’s the end of that.  Sorry about the soapbox I got on.  I just needed to get it off my chest.

How ’bout this weather?

Advertisements

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jon Hoyt
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 10:29:57

    Agreed!

    Also, the weather is a touch overcast, with a lot of snow on the ground 😉

  2. Dolores
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 10:54:24

    AMEN! I’d put notes with this to sing , like in “Lillies of the Field” — have you seen that movie? — but I don’t know how.
    (How do you like that sentence Karen?)

  3. Rita
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 11:32:48

    Well said.
    Preach it, sistah! (I mean ‘nuera’–DIL in Spanish 😉
    I am grateful for your example and what is teaches us.

  4. Tracy
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 13:59:47

    I agree; I also have a very low tolerance for people who complain about stuff they can easily change, but then they don’t actually do anything about it. Especially when there are things in my life that I *can’t* change no matter how hard I try. Rawr!!

  5. RainyDaySaver
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 15:33:28

    You’ve provided a perfect example of how people live above their means. They don’t see how their “normal” spending affects their finances (cable, vacations, etc.). It’s just as hard for folks like us to understand WHY they manage their money the way they do, and vice versa. I do wish there were mandatory classes for kids in high school/college to learn how to manage their finances and live within their means.

%d bloggers like this: