Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Do They Do It?

How many times have you asked your spouse (or friend or co-worker) that question?  You see your neighbor driving a new car or taking a nice vacation and you wonder how he can afford it.  I mean, you can't afford those things.  Well here's the answer - he can't afford it.  He's probably in debt.  And if you try to keep up, you will be in debt too.

This is still a conversation in our house.  And my husband and I have had this conversation many times. We know what our income is and we know what our friend does - so we can estimate his income.  But this friend seems to have so much more disposable income.  And we question why we don't.  Why do we only buy used cars?  Why do we always use coupons?  Why do we take our kids to a nearby beach for a few days instead of flying to Disney World for our annual vacation?  It seems like everyone else can afford so much more - on a similar salary.

The math is the same on the other side of the street.  Really.  It doesn't change.  If you can't afford it, neither can he.  And while you may choose to spend your money on different things than your neighbor, the amount you have to spend remains constant.

That's why I try to minimize my spending on every day items.  It takes a little time, planning and organization but it allows me to do fun things more often.  If I can keep my grocery bill down to $100 a week (for 6 people) then I have more money for other things (like that beach vacation).  And - most importantly - I stay out of debt!

So, stop trying to figure out 'how they do it' and start figuring out how you do it!

1 comment:

  1. Once again...you are SO RIGHT ON! I am retired but I had a career as a computer scientist and I made good money (I thought it was good anyway...my husband (we're divorced now for years) didn't work much and I supported the family of 6. I yearly went to a tax advisor/investment person and one year I asked him the same thing. I told him the people I worked with got new cars, went on SEVERAL vacations a year and had new furniture, houses, clothes..etc. I asked what I was doing wrong and he said "Nothing. You could do the same things. You could go out and buy a Mercedes if you wanted this afternoon. You've got great credit and you make a good living like they do and you could get a bigger nicer house and take as many vacations as you want but right now if you lost your job you would survive because you're not in debt except for a small house payment (small compared to others at that time) but they are in debt..I promise you and if they lost their job they would be ruined." He was right! Long story to tell you why I know but I saw it happen and I was also in that situation but I had saved for my kids college and also for a years salary in case I needed it. etc. You are so wise and if you're happy you don't need the stuff! Treat yourself every once in awhile but happiness comes from the inside not the outside. P.S. I like sleeping at night too...I do not like financial worries!

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