We, the people …

Remember yesterday’s rant on the universe kicking my ass? Well, Darling Husband and I had a really good talk last night — and I do mean talk, not argument, so yay — about everything: our finances, the kind of house we want to buy, how we’re going to survive financially when I’m on maternity leave.

The bottom line was that we both hate feeling stretched so thin. Our current mortgage payments are too huge — and it’s not even a house, which is depressing. Our car payments are expensive. We pay through the nose for gas (ew, bad choice of words).
Since making more money is something we don’t forsee — blah blah blah economy, you know — then our only choice is to cut back. We’ve already scrapped the home phone, dropped some cable packages, and drastically cut back eating out (even on Date Night). Now all that’s left are the big-ticket items: mortage, vehicle, etc.
The stress seem to quadruple when we talked about how we’ll cope when I’m on maternity leave — and, God willing, when I’m officially a SAHM. If we’re tight now, how will we manage then?

Well, this is what we have decided … a “declaration of (financial) independence, if you will …

To us, the most important things are:

  • I can stay at home with our children while they’re young
  • We live within our means, so we are not always worried about money
  • We do not work ourselves to the point of exhaustion/unhappiness
  • We do things together as a family
  • We always remember that a strong marriage is one of the best things we can give our children
To reach the above goals, we are willing to sacrifice:
  • A big house
  • A fancy vehicle
  • Elaborate trips
  • The latest gadgets
  • Material stuff we don’t need
In order to archive financial security and — more importantly — happiness, we will be content with happy and grateful for:
  • A not-so-big house: We would rather live in a smaller space, than buy something large that causes us financial stress. I admit that I originally told Darling Husband to only search for homes with four bedrooms — because hey! We want a lot of kids — but now we’ve agreed to look for smaller places. A smaller home = a smaller mortgage = bigger smiles.
  • A modest car: Yup, we’re going to be tradin’ in the SUV for something with cheaper payments (and easier on gas). This was a hard decision, because we are big-vehicle-lovin’ people. But it must be done.
  • Modest vacations: We still want to take our family on trips — and with Darling Husband working in the airline industry, it’s more afforable for us than most — but we’ll do our research first to find good deals. And we love to camp, which is a pretty cheap vacay.
  • What we have: Back in the day, we were one of the first people we knew to buy a PS2 … then a PS3 … then a Wii. And we admit, we have a pretty sweet big-screen. Although we love-love-love gadgets — especially computers — we have reached a point where we have more … um … self-control.
  • Buying what we need (and ignoring what we don’t): I used to pick up cute little tops and dresses like they were bread and milk — that is, regularly. Very regularly. But I haven’t allowed myself near a clothing store in months, and it’s definitely paid off. I haven’t been running around naked, so obviously I already had plenty of clothes.
Basically we are transitioning from early twenty-somethings who heart buying stuff (and having nice things), to late twenty-somethings (gulp!) who have realized that life is not about cool stuff.
It’s about being happy — which we’re not, when we’re worried about money — and being grateful for what we have — not whining about everything we can’t afford. And I would much rather have less and be a happier person, than have stuff and being a nervous wreck.
Cheers to financial independence, and choosing happiness over a life of financial stress!

4 Comments on “We, the people …

  1. This all sounds amazing! These are all tough decisions to make, and I find it takes a while to see the fruits of your labours, but in the end, it'll all be worth it. We keep talking about getting a new vehicle, but we realize that our old one — with no payments — is certainly sufficient for us right now. We just have to remember that it's all for the greater good.

  2. Thank you for that post. You have really summed up how so many of us are feeling, and shown how you are creating your own happiness, and not just drifting along in life. I follow your blog, and it really sounds like you both are going to be amazing parents and are certainly setting the ground work for a happy environment and happy parents for the little one to grow up with, when he/she does happen. Lots of luck.

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