So, my wife tells me we only have a specific amount of money in our [checking] account to last us the next two weeks. She gets paid every other Friday, and I get paid on the 1st and 15th. Sometimes, they coincide well together, other times, it really sucks. But this got me thinking.
The amount of money that is sitting in my checking account is more money than I used to make in a month as a high schooler or college student. Of course, I only had myself to worry about, but that’s not the point. I used to be able to make that amount of money last for an entire month, and now, my response to my wife was, “What the–!!?”. I actually said the hyphens and punctuation marks (okay, actually, I made a suggestion that a gentleman should never make for his wife).
As much as I would like to think that I never make money mistakes, I have to admit that I have been making a huge one for several years now. I have been operating under the concept of “water seeks its own level”. What I mean is, that I have been living the lifestyle of someone who makes as much money as I do, albeit a frugal person. When I was younger, and made considerably less money, I used to live within that salary, and all my bills still got paid. I’m not apologizing, because I still believe that money has no value unless it is actually being spent, but I bet I could probably go back to spending pretty close to the same amount as I used to without losing out on too much.
Oh, wait, here it comes. Of course I would lose out. I would have less fun, my wife wouldn’t like me nearly as much as she does (she would still love me, I think, but she wouldn’t like me much), and I would be working much harder than I was at the time. I couldn’t just decide that I wanted to leave without considering the repercussions of that decision and how it might affect my marriage and my life. And all that extra money? What good would it do me? I suppose it might pay for my divorce lawyer, but the only lawyer I know that I would trust with a divorce would be my wife’s uncle (I should have rethought that decision…,) and he charges A LOT.
The point here is, being frugal isn’t sacrificing until you drive yourself nuts. You need to live within your means, and as far below your means as you feel comfortable doing. While there are perks to making more money, there are also very good and valid reasons for those perks. Could I go back and do surveys in a mall? Or work retail? Sure, but why would I? I’d give up a lot of freedom of, say, not working on weekends or being able to get home from work at a decent hour. Finance For Youth wouldn’t exist, and I wouldn’t be any happier. Since all the bills have been paid, I don’t see a problem with having a lower balance in my checking account. Besides, she never said anything about the money she just moved from there INTO one of our SAVINGS accounts!