This is a constant struggle in our house. Need versus want. And being content with living with less.
Sometimes this goes very well. We’ve on track to be debt-free (except our mortgage and student loans) by next summer. No car payments. No credit cards. No hospital bills for cute babies. We just paid cash for the super-cool minivan and paid off the Mazda thirteen months early.
We’ve gotten rid of cable, lowered our grocery bill, and stopped eating out as much. I’ve tried to stop shopping, but that’s painful (although cash only seems to be doing the trick).
I can say, with God’s help, that we’ve been tithing religiously (can you use that word to describe tithing??) since we’ve been married (five years in October!!). And support some missionaries whom we love dearly in New Orleans. We donate often to charities and are getting pretty good at knowing what’s important and what’s not.
But sometimes we get off track. Like when we went to IKEA recently. I’m glad it’s a two-hour trip. That’s a safe distance for my wallet. Any closer and I’d go more often and that, that could be dangerous. I got a lot of neat stuff, but we probably could have done without some of it. But I couldn’t help it. And Chris isn’t good at saying no to me. Which I might sometimes take advantage of. Sometimes.
Or when it comes to things for my girls. I love to buy them clothes. Or neat stuff for their rooms. Or shoes (I love me some little kid shoes). And, again, Chris isn’t good at saying no to stuff for our babies.
So some days, I feel we’re being responsible and preparing for the future (not just living for today money-wise which is what we used to do), and then other days, I feel broke and poor.
But then I realize all that we have. And we have so much. So much more than we need.
And I want to be an example to our girls. When I was little, no matter what money I made (allowance, birthday money, babysitting money), my dad made us tithe ten percent and save twenty percent. I thought this was beyond unfair when I was younger.
How was I supposed to buy a new pocket rocker tape when you just took three of my $10 away? Thanks for ruining my life, Dad.
But now I get it. And I want my daughters to do the same thing. And they’re going to hate it just as much as I did. But they’ll thank me one day, you watch.