November 6, 2009

Money Matters

Filed under: budgets,children,debt,family,money — by elysianconfusion @ 2:37 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Recently read Small Amounts Matter at Get Rich Slowly. I thought it was a good post, but some of the comments irritated me.

Of course small amounts matter. Especially if you’re in debt and not in the habit of keeping track of every little bit you spend. Equally, of course large amounts matter, how could they not? But if I save 100$ per month on my auto insurance, that’s $1,200/year. Skip Dunkin’ Donuts @ 30 a month, another 360/year. These things do add up.

Especially upsetting? The guy who said “I’ve been able to build a freelance career that nets $300,000 per year, which is a better strategy than focusing solely on reducing my Netflix subscription…”

Um, who has the opportunity to *really* build a 300k/yr income? That’s really not realistic for most of us.

I also don’t understand why you’d have these two choices:

1) Prepare for a long life by saving and investing, but then die tomorrow.
2) Spend money you don’t have now, and then be unable to afford what you need when you’re older.

Ultimately we have no idea when we’ll die. We have *no* idea. Maybe I’m at an advantage, having children, because that makes me sure that it’s important to save no matter what, so I can provide for them somewhat if my husband and I die unexpectedly. It’s also stupid to save money and cut costs to the point that I’m not enjoying my children and my life. Work-life *balance* is so hard to achieve. It’s probably reasonable to talk about debt-life balance as well.

My goal is to pay off all our debt, but if in doing that my husband and I don’t spend any time with our young children, where’s the value in that? I got a windfall — if I  put it towards debt, yes, it would be $1,000 less that I owe, which is great, but instead I put it towards paying cash to fix my kitchen. It was worth it to me. First of all, I got to pay for a house project in cash. That hasn’t happened often, and it feels good and empowering. Second, I got to fix the kitchen, which drove me nuts every single day. I’m already paying $4420.96 toward debt every month. I guess I’m lacking Ramsey’s “gazelle-like” intensity, and yes, it may make my debt payoff take longer, but I hope it also means I enjoy my life, my children and my husband during the payoff period.


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