misconception

misconception: Once one graduates from college, he/she will have more money.

Eeh...wrong. Before Tim graduated, we would dream about the day he had a "real" job because we thought we would be able to live a little more comfortably, or at least not pay check to pay check. I remember when he found out he got the job with Caterpillar we went over our budget and thought we would be able to save some money each month. We did not factor in life which for us has brought tons of unexpected medical bills. It is different for every couple and family, but medical bills are our enemy.

Someone recently asked me how we handle our finances since we literally live paycheck to paycheck. We budget, and we try to stick to our budget. It has been a learning process for me. I used to be terrible with money. I loved shopping and eating out. It was a weakness. However, things have changed considerably since we were married and began our family. If we shop, it is normally for the kids. If we eat out, it is normally about a quick meal instead of tasting every savory morsel. The way I look at it, I would rather have a few tight years now to help me appreciate the future.

Tim and I went to Chicago (more to come in a different post) for two days this week. While there, we visited a handful of stores and found several items we wished we could buy. The items combined were $593. Our eyes grew wide at the sight of them, but in the end we walked out empty handed. Without putting every last cent on the credit card, we couldn't afford them and so we walked away. And you know what, we are just fine. We can live without that fine looking work coat, those awesome skinny jeans, those beautiful camel colored boots and those snazzy dress shirts for a few more months.

My rule for buying anything is "Will I wear the item the same amount of times that the item costs?" or "If the boots are $159, will I wear them 159 times?" If not, I put the item back. With only a few exceptions, this rule has saved me from buying silly items that end up sitting in my drawers or closet. I also will not buy anything unless I love it. I don't even buy it if I like it a lot because I have learned that liking something a lot is not enough for me. I just don't use/wear the item enough.

Living tight can be very frustrating. There have been moments where I resent our situation (whatever situation that may be), but I have always learned a lot about how and where to save when we budget. Tim and I talk things through which also makes it better. We have decided that we would rather have a simple life free of gadgets and beautiful things if it lets us breathe easier because we won't have the debt.

5 comments :

  1. If only everyone else had this attitude! Thanks for the post. It is important to realize the difference between wants and needs... and to just be grateful and satisfied that our needs are met!

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  2. i agree. it's hard, but worth it when i can do it.

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  3. Perfect time of year to remember this!

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