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.