Monday, July 11, 2011

"Cash is KING!" (But I'm a Commoner!)

Sometimes it feels like a "Detainee". (don't know the hierarchy? Read here)

The other day I was browsing the news online, and "10 Reasons I'm Canceling My Credit Cards" caught my attention. The 10 Reasons:

  1. I'll spend less.
  2. The card bonuses aren't worth it (true that!!)
  3. Cash makes budgeting easy (again, a huge AMEN from me!)
  4. Less worry about identity theft
  5. Fewer impulse purchases
  6. I can still shop online
  7. Say goodbye to debt (I wish it was that easy)
  8. Privacy
  9. Cash rebuilds the link between what I earn and what I spend
  10. Cash helps people I want to help
That's the list from the article, and most of them I agree with.
It took me back to when Pat & I did Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey's course), and we felt the "fire". We were pumped to make cash king, budget together every single month, etc. 

While we haven't fully gotten away from that, we've certainly lost some of that fire. 
Plain & simple: real life can just stink.

We get ahead one step, and shortly after something happens pushing us back many more steps. 
Just when I think "phew, we will never be at square one again!, guess where I find myself?
Square one.

It's frustrating. 
And while I know that even wealthy people aren't exempt from such situations, I can't help but think the extra money would be a nice factor. (duh, right?)

It makes me question decisions we've made, like the value of a stay-at-home-mom, Catholic schools, clipping coupons, etc.
I'm doing what I can, yet we keep ending up where we started. It's not supposed to be that way!

I'm whining. Perhaps even having a slight temper tantrum.
But I feel discouraged & just plain sick of it. 
On paper, we should be better than ok:
We're in our 30's, we both have our degrees, one of us an MBA.
I went to private school my entire life, kindergarten through college. 
We both received above-average educations.
We're frugal.
We don't take extravagant vacations.

Going off the last 2's not like I'm looking to do extraordinary things.
I'm talking about getting a playset for my kids in our backyard. Getting my eyebrows waxed when they first need it, not waiting until it's not coming from the grocery budget. 
Enrolling my kids in martial arts (huge dream of mine).
A house with some SPACE, where the master closet is actually bigger than the kids' closet. Where more than 1 bathroom exists.

I'm not talking about private lessons here, or a trip to a fancy day spa. I'm not referring to a Rainbow playset that costs literally thousands of dollars. 

Yeah, yeah. Offer me some cheese for my whine, I get it.

I need to get it off my chest, though. Sometimes that alone gives new perspective.

On the one token, I am proud of us for managing w/ what we do have. We're not bumming meals off of people, no one else is paying for our kids' clothes or tuition, and we've packed more into our 3 bedroom house than I ever thought we could. 
We're healthy, and though it's not always stylish, we do have enough clothes for our bodies, food to eat, and a clean bathroom to use.

Then there is the other side of that token, basically this post of mine.

Ugh. When will it change? WILL it change? Is this just life? Do even the well-off get pushed back again & again?
Please share if you have some good insight. Because this soul over here is feeling it.


Molly said...

I can SO relate Sharon! We often say "what are we doing wrong that we can't afford things like other people?!" I had to laugh at the martial arts because we just put the boys' in for the summer (they had a really good deal)and I had NO idea how expensive it is for continuing....$150/month! We were just discussing last night that we really need to decide if it is worth it. We were house poor for a long time and it sucks. We have also been doing Dave Ramsey's plan and often feel like we are back at square one.
Our air conditioner just went out and there went our emergency fund. I guess there are little lights at the end of the tunnel...our van will be paid off soon and then it's just student loans and the truck. I know if I worked it would make life easier but I don't want my boys with someone else.
My mom says that God allows financial struggle so we always turn to Him and don't become so self-dependent. It is true...but isn't fun!

Mandy said...

We, too, can relate. I keep telling myself to remember what we have accomplished since starting Financial Peace. Each time we pay something off, it seems like something major breaks. Just last week we had to pay $500 for busted water pipes and internet router/modem because electricity struck a tree in our yard and ran into the ground. Who gets that kind of luck other than us?!? LOL
Think of all you have paid off, how you have changed your lifestyle, and how you live like no one else. Your kids are noticing and will appreciate it when they are older. It sucks when your friends are taking extravagant vacations, buying whatever whenever they want, etc. But they are more than likely prisoners themselves. They just don't realize it yet or don't know how to overcome it, whereas you do. It takes a long time. But you can whine and I'll listen. I just wish I was closer so we could share a bottle of wine while we griped. :)

Crystal said...

been feeling that way lately too. In fact, we have kinda drifted off the budget a bit, by using our credit card to pay for the hotel for that night up north (less than $100 but still) just glad we had put away a couple hundred CASH for all the other stuff we did. With everything going on, that is one of Jason's biggest things though. We can't/haven't been able to afford the "extras" for the kids that he wants for them. (my point is always, well right now it's not like they are even wanting to do anything "extra" ;) lol) But it's hard. Our house is nice but I'm thinking we should have gotten something else. Not that our choices were plentiful but you know what I mean. It's too much house, too much mortgage. We are paying it but it would be much easier if it were less, blah, blah, blah. Now I'm the one whining, LOL. But, I get you, especially right now, and without a degree, without any options, I'm not really able to change our situation by bringing money in. Minimum wage just isnt worth it when you factor gas, babysitters when there is that almost inevitable work schedule conflict, etc. Besides who wants to hire a 4-month preggo mom with little experience that will have to take time off for maternity leave??