Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Money Makes the World Go Round...

So, like most people our age, Hubby and I can stand to be more financially responsible. Last night we sat down and hammered out a plan to reach our goal of being out of debt (not counting the mortgage) before the baby comes. It was always our goal, but I guess since we succeeded in getting pregnant sooner, rather than later, that we let the goal fall by the wayside. With the help of some outside assistance, we have set out a pretty aggressive plan to make this goal a reality in the 5 or so months we have left before the anticipated arrival of Peanut.

I felt really good about it when we made the plan last night, and this morning I got a little bit nervous about it, which is a pretty typical pattern of behavior for me. So I sat down and really did a budget for our current situation, and (as always) was shocked with the amount of money we SHOULD have left over at the end of each month. It’s insane really. And to think that all of that is spent on small little things that are soooo not needed, and we really have nothing to show for all that spending at the end of the month anyway. So, I guess I am back on board with the aggressive plan.

The problem is changing a behavior that you are so entrenched in, and that you so enjoy. I mean, we are going to have to stick to a pretty tight budget if we are going to make this work, and that means taking away all those things that we love to spend on. Getting rid of those habits is going to be the hardest part.

Also, I am going to start meal planning so that we aren’t spending unreasonable amounts on groceries all the time, most of which end up going bad because there are only 2 of us, and we can’t eat everything we buy.

But, the payoff of being out of debt is going to be awesome, I know it. And it does feel kind of nice to be acting like a responsible adult for once. I know it’s going to be hard, but I am hoping that putting in the effort to change our lifestyle and  get our future a bit more secure will be more than worth it.

The sad thing is that most people in our society complain about money all the time. How they never have enough of it. But in reality, we usually have more than enough. We just aren’t managing it correctly. We end up funneling all our hard-earned cash back out to the retailers and the cycle of consumption keeps going. Hopefully we will be able to stem that flow of cash a little bit.

I know this sounds a bit preachy, but I guess I’m trying to convince myself, you know? It’s hard when companies are so good at convincing us that we don’t WANT, we NEED their products. Could you even imagine your life without a cell phone or an iPod or a computer? I know I sure couldn’t. And it’s a bit scary. I wonder what things are going to be like for our children. Already it seems so out of control, and I don’t think I see it slowing down anytime soon. Hopefully getting back to financially secure ground will also help me appreciate the simpler side of life that I’ve forgotten about.

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