Monday, August 21, 2006

Practical Thinking about Expenses

It's very easy to fall into the consumerism driven mindset that says we "need" things other than basic survival necessities.

What do we really need in life? Shelter, Water, Food, Warmth, Clothing, Transportation.. and Medical care or RX should be on there too.

Nearly everything else that average American's spend their money are definite non-essentials. Think about it.. Does anybody really NEED a $4.00 cup of coffee, a fastfood meal, or spikey heeled shoes? No.. we don't.

We also don't need boxed snacks and cookies (I've started making two batches of banana or pumpkin bread each week and a batch of cookies instead.. guess what? It's cheaper, they taste better, and they are far better for us... my husband added that homemade goodies are comforting to eat!)

We don't need to go to Movie Theaters or rent videos (Library has lots of videos, or you can trade if you really need video entertainment).

We don't need cable TV. Instead... how about something that money can't buy? Building relationships with family and friends through games, outings and entertaining company at home. Not to mention excercise, throwing balls with young children, or having "time" to make goodies that comfort!

I've started to question every purchase. Here is what I ask myself. Self.. is this purchase worth my husband spending this much time away from home at work? Is this purchase worth not being able to save for vacations, retirement, recovering my couch? Is this purchase worth not having the money saved to pay for orthodontics for five children? How many years past retirement age do I want my husband to NEED to work? Is it worth it? Invariably.. the answer is a resounding NO!

Spending on frivolous things is taking money and opportunity from our future selves. I don't know about you.. but I want to have a bright future, one without debt and with the ability to pay cash for our needs and reasonable wants. So here I am.. pluggin away to reduce our debt load.

We are still in the early days of change.. but already, there is more money free to pay down our loans.

Perhaps the best thing about beginning to affect change.. is the empowering mindset that we have a plan and it's being put in action.


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