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It’s a daily struggle. The wants vs. the needs of life. Even as an adult, I have to remind myself that I don’t need to give into every impulse in life. I don’t NEED to keep up with the Jones. I may WANT to….but, I don’t need to.
The urge is constantly around us to buy bigger and better things. The moment I set foot in a store, my mind instantly sees all the big bright shiny object that I just HAVE to have. Do I need that $15 new bestseller book? No, but you better believe I want it….so, how do we combat our impulse purchases? How do we still enjoy life by having things we want but balance it out with the things that we need?
For me, it’s all about the goals. I’m a list maker. A little over the top on this..I have a daily list, a weekly list and a monthly list. Some days, I even get fancy and color coordinate! (Oh la la!) I write down EVERYTHING. Things that need to get done, things that have to get done, things that I want to do, things that are on sale that we NEED to have in our home (toilet paper, hello!) and things that we WANT to have in our home. Then, I sit on it. (No, not literally….) I mean, it’s written down, it’s out in the limbo of space and I just let it sit out there to see if I still need it or want it after so much time has passed.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been to the store, been adamant that I’ve absolutely had to have something, walked out the door without it because I have willpower (;-/) and forgotten what it was by the time I got home. Guess I didn’t need it that bad, huh?
But, those are small puppies in comparison to bigger ticket items when keeping up with the Jones. The new cars…the big houses…the designer clothing. Ugh, it all sounds seriously amazing, and looks so nice and shiny…those big ticket items carry an unsaid worth with them, an unsaid knowledge that those people must want for nothing, they must be so happy with all their brand new things…but…guess what? MO’ Money, MO’ problems. (Bills, bills, bills!!) It’s the truth. My personal thought and opinion is that once you start trying to keep up with the Jones, you can’t stop. (2 legit to quit) – and may I just say that my song references are ON POINT today! 🙂
Starting is easy, realizing and stopping is hard. To some, money is no limit and they have no reason not to have the best of the best. and more power to them. I’m not here to judge anyone based upon their things. I’m here to state that for me and my family, it isn’t the lifestyle that we have chosen to live. We have chosen to live a lifestyle of spending time together making memories rather than spending money on things. That’s it. Plain and simple.
So, how do I NOT keep up with the Jones? There are a few ways.
- Our cars are less than pretty, but they are PAID for. No full coverage needed, no car payments – just free. They get us from point A to point B. Maybe not in style, but – they get us there.
- We live in a smaller home that we got a great deal on. We used patience, knowledge and negotiation power to get us in the neighborhood that we wanted for 1/2 the cost.
- Have I mentioned I’m blessed to have a husband who can cook?!!!!!!!!!! Yahoo! So, this means – we don’t spend money eating out. We eat at home, we make our breads homemade, we experiment with cupboard cooking and we save those dollars!
- We buy our needs, not wants. Plain and simple.
- We utilize the free resources in our town for fun. Parks, library, Art district, movies, festivals, markets, sporting events – a ton of FREE family friendly activities every week.
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There are ways to live a wonderful, full life without it being full of things. Each family and person is different and has to find their own path. While our journey for our family is different than others, we don’t ever feel like we are missing out on things when we see the amount of debt and money that people spend on materialistic items each and every month. We have been living this life for over 10 years now, and I honestly feel richer now than I ever have. <3
How do you NOT keep up with the Jones?