Now here’s where it gets tricky: Every time, I get even a smidgen of money (that’s right, I used the word smidgen), I start spending it immediately. I realized a long time ago that I am uncomfortable when I have money in my bank account and I try to get rid of it as soon as possible, and while I don’t necessarily like having no money, I have always been more comfortable that way. I figured out why that day.
As I discussed with my husband all the wonderful things we would do with our newfound money, I realized how anxious I get to spend my money in one big burst. Why? Because if I have money and I’m not spending it, then I feel like I’m wasting it. My thought process: “If I have the money to fly to Paris, why on earth am I not on a plane!?” It wasn’t about the money; it was about the freedom I had to do things with it, and if I wasn’t doing those things then I was doing something wrong. Luckily, my husband is much more financially-minded than I am and he kept the conversation um… sane, as in no foreseeable trips to France. (Though, if we play our cards right, Alaska is looking rather likely next year!)
A few days later, I read Rousseau for a class and was instantly reprimanded when I read the line: “All will praise moderation, and wish to be as rich as Croesus.” Croesus, as you probably guessed, was a very rich, very dead ancient King, and not vital to understanding the concept: People will advocate moderation, while secretly wishing that they could have excess everything!
I mean, my blog is about simplicity, for goodness’ sake, and here I am, one step closer to being financially stable and in my head, I’m lounging in a clawfoot tub with the Eiffel tower out the window. Silly me.
Once I realized that I was being a bit of a hypocrite, I decided to adjust my thought process. I allowed myself one weekend shopping spree and one splurge date with Travis (couple’s massage and Cheesecake Factory…. sooo good!). Now our goals with our money are the following:
1. Pay off credit cards. No more monthly payments. Yay.
2. Pay off medical bill.
3. Pay off car.
And most importantly, one that I stipulated:
4. Always keep a comma in our account. This allows us the peace of mind and freedom that I want in our simple life. We always know we’re covered in case of an emergency or unforeseen expense.
You can be as rich as Croesus and still live a simple life. It all comes down to moderation vs. excess. Simplicity is not about money, but about how you spend it. In the end, you stay on the path to simplicity because it is where you want to be, even if you have the money to leave.