Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I am guilty too

I was so excited to get to spend some time with a new friend tonight. Her husband (lets call him D) and mine work together.  And it was nice to get to know another military wife. They have been in the military a few years longer and have a little bit more experience with this lifestyle that we are just getting used to. One great thing about this friendship is that D is really trying to advance his career and he loves being apart of the Navy. He is good for J to look up to as a friend and also as a co-worker.

And the wife, R, is great too. They have an almost three year old little girl. R is a stay at home mommy and is a genuinely nice person. It was great to spend time with her tonight. While we were chatting tonight and getting to know each other, R mentioned that she just bought all new furniture. New couches, dining room set, and entertainment center. The couch that we were sitting on is less than 6 months old and she is trying to sell it on Craigslist. And in the two years that they have been her this is their 6th couch that they have bought. Plus they have bought many entertainment centers and dining sets that "just don't work out." And then somehow we get to the topic of wedding rings. And they have upgraded her ring 3 times to finally get the one she really wanted.

And the whole time we are talking about this, I find myself wishing that we have the cash money to buy everything we want. Would I like new couches? Yes! Preferably ones that you can actually wipe off without leaving water stains. Would I like a sweet hard wood entertainment center that wasn't bought from Wally World for $90 because that's all we can afford? Yep! Sure would! Or a dining room table that fits more 4 people comfortably? Heck yeah. Another wedding ring? You get the picture...

But, brand new furniture just isn't in the budget for us. Do we have room on the credit card to put it there? Yes ma'm we do. But we have not worked (and are still working!) our tails of to try to get out of debt just to rack up some more. And while the hubs and I may disagree over being debt free, it's still a goal that I have for us. I think that it is something that is achievable for our little family (or anyone) but it's all about delayed gratification. It's about waiting for the things that you want, and paying cash for them.

And I sure am guilty of buying things that I want and can't afford. Hello 3 of the 10 cars that we have owned over the last 8 years. Hello townhouse that we bought and no longer live in. Hello living beyond our means!

But I am happy to say that times have changed. J being laid off had a lot to do with it. And now, Navy pay is great! But we still have bills to pay. We have past mistakes that we are still in the process of fixing. But I am proud of the progress we have made. We have a budget. We have paid off credit cards. We've sold a car and bought one that will be paid off *hopefully* as soon as I go back to work from maternity leave. And that will leave a credit card, a car loan, and a mortgage. Thank you baby Jesus... we are on our way!!!

So tonight I was reminded of the person I used to be, or the person that I could have been. I was able to reflect on all the progress we have made in our financial lives. Am I a little jealous of this friend with her new rings and new furniture? Yeah, but that's okay cause I know the grass isn't any greener over on her side of the fence.

And can I just say that I am so thankful that God reminded me that we are only stewards of the money he provides for us. It is given and it can be taken away. It is never guaranteed. And all we can do is use it as wisely.



Sasha said...

You are so wise my lovely Lindsey! Love you :)

navynest said...

I know what you mean! When I was right out of college, single, and working I couldn't spend money fast enough! I would blow so much on clothes, going out to eat/drink, and just doing whatever I wanted. When I met my husband, it all changed. In retrospect, I'm so mad that I spent all that money when I should've been saving more. But alas, I got it out of my system, and that's a good thing. Now I love being thrifty and finding a deal. Live and learn, I suppose! It feels good to live within our means.