First World Problem$

Lately, I’ve been having an internal struggle about consumerism and money. I think it multiplies when I walk through Target or when I read blogs and social media.

The ironic part is we don’t have much discretionary income left over for consumerism to be a problem. I always wonder where the heck all our money goes, even though Mint tells me and we keep watch over it. The numbers just don’t add up in my head. We like to put all of our Two Are Better income back into our business so we live off of Ryan’s income, which I think is a very do-able number. But every month there’s bills and debt and groceries, and so on. It feels like a first world problem that X amount of money doesn’t seem like enough for two people (and three pets, I should add, who are expensive). It’s really beyond me how we paid for our wedding last year.

Here’s how my thought process goes: I wish we had money growing on trees (hah) so I could buy things I want. Like decorations for our house or craft supplies or clothes and the list goes on. Then I feel guilty that I want all of this stuff and feel like I should be thankful for what we have. Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t have much money to spend on these items. But – if we did have the money, how would I balance my wants and needs? It wouldn’t be appropriate to spend every penny, and especially on things I don’t have to have.

I’ve already started looking into another part-time job for myself and I think I do need it to help pay off our debt (student loans hurt, which feels like a common theme). I just still can’t get over the fact how much it costs for two of us to live. I feel like we even do major things to cut back on costs, like being a one-car family with no car payments, not having cable TV, not buying meat, etc. However, there’s still our mortgage, other first time home owner needs, internet for work, student loans, credit card bills, utilities, and the list goes on. It really gets monotonous every month, doesn’t it?

Now I should be thankful that some extra money goes towards enjoying nights out with friends or extra expenses of that month (ex – we plan to buy a lawn mower this month). But in the end, there’s no money left to make major strides for a savings or emergency fund (shameful!) and certainly not decorative pillows or other fluff.

Please tell me this is normal. I’m just being honest and transparent about how I feel and again, I know it’s a first world problem. I am truly thankful that we have food on the table, a roof over our head, and clothes to wear, plus much more. In the end, I want to be good stewards of our money, no matter how much we have.

2 Responses to First World Problem$

  1. Ashley May 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I think this is normal. I fight this same thing every day. We live a very modest lifestyle…partly because we think it’s the right thing to do, and partly because we live within our means. We don’t have any credit cards. It’s just a matter of choice I think. Sure I could go get a job that pays a lot more than I am making, but I would rather have more free time to work from home and be with my kids. On the other hand we home school our kids which is more expensive than sending them to public school because we feel like that’s the right choice for our family. I also want new throw pillows though! ;0) I think if you and Ryan sit down and make a list of what is most important to you in life…the big picture things it will help guide you on how you want to spend the money God has entrusted you with! Love you!!

    • Mindy Merenghi May 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      Ashley – I was hoping you would comment with your wisdom. :) You make a really good point. Thanks for the advice! <3

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