It’s funny how easy I thought it was going to be… I mean, if you put it on paper, it makes complete sense, and I wouldn’t hesitate before making the selfless decision. Every time, I would choose family over things. I would choose people over stuff.
But now that I’m living it, I’ve come to realize that — even if it sounds selfish — the adjustment is going to take some getting used to. So after you read this post, please don’t judge me or think me too materialistic for feeling this way… I honestly didn’t think I would.
You remember that old movie The Wilderness Family? A father and mother, tired of the rat race, quit their big-city careers and move to the wilderness with the kids. I kind of feel like the movie left out one very important part. It’s really, really not easy to let go of money and the stuff it can buy.
Like, it’s really not easy.
Nate and I have known, since the beginning of our marriage, that if we had kids, we would want to live off of one salary. Even the cost of day-care aside, we knew that we didn’t want a stranger raising our child. If we were going to take that step and start our own family, we were going to do our absolute best to make sure that one of us could stay home.
It’s important to us.
But in this world we live in, such an arrangement is easier said than done. So as of January 1st, Nate and I began an experiment and decided to live off of one salary, putting the other into a bank account. You know, just to see if we could do it, should we have kids one day and want to live off just that one income. Better to try it now, with two incomes coming in…
It sounded so good on paper, but when my spending money didn’t come into my account Friday, the situation really hit home. I mean, it’s not that we spend frivolously, as we put a lot of our money into the house or to pay off bills. But have always had extra funds for eating out, and shopping trips, and craft stores.
We’ve had that very nice, comfortable cushion that we’ve gotten so used to and things never were that tight.
And now, we’re getting a taste of how it will be without that extra cushion. Suddenly, I’m realizing how much hair supplies, makeup, and cat food adds up to on a monthly basis. Suddenly, I’m talking about how to stretch pennies and cut coupons.
And I’ll be honest with you, I may have even gone on a teary-eyed rant about how life isn’t really fair. Funny, isn’t it, how nice things can have such a pull on us. How easy it is to get caught up with the stuff that moth and rust will destroy… instead of realizing that what really matters is free.
I know that it’s not going to be easy, especially since we’ve become used to that extra money coming in. But I also know that it’s what I want. Ultimately, difficult or not, it is truly what I want.
So as of today, Nate and I began our challenge — or New Year’s resolution, if you will. And I know that it will be worth it in the end! 🙂
Have you ever decided to give up money and stuff for something that ultimately mattered more?
Oh, I’m making a list of fun things in life that are FREE, so that I won’t focus on what we might not have… but instead on what we’ll be able to do, even without money. Any suggestions on what I should add to it? 🙂