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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Being Responsible Means Learning To Say The "N" Word... A Lot

Being Responsible Means Learning To Say The "N" Word... A Lot
Yesterday I witnessed a man having his car repossessed. I wasn't really trying to eavesdrop, but it was hard not to with the man yelling at what I assumed was the dealership. He asked what he needed to do to keep his car, listened, then said that he could pay them tomorrow.

And, you know, that sorta stuck with me.

I've never had a car repossessed, and I don't even know anyone who has, so I'm no expert on what's involved, but I think it happens when you have fallen too far behind on making your vehicle payments. If that's true, I can't help but wonder why the man didn't at least make a partial payment at times, something that might indicate that he was at least making an effort. I mean, if he could really pay the dealership "tomorrow," like I heard him yelling, why didn't he pay a little something sooner?

I'm speculating, I know, and I hope it doesn't sound like I'm passing judgement because I'm the first to admit I'm not perfect with this budgeting stuff either, but with all that Jake and I have learned through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University it's sometimes difficult to understand the dire financial straights some people could avoid by just being a little more responsible.

Jake and I would prefer to owe no man anything financially, but in cases where that isn't possible—AKA our mortgage—we at least try to be responsible about it. When the bank said we could afford an (astronomical dollar amount) house, we instead opted to buy one that cost a fraction of that (astronomical dollar amount) because we felt we could manage the payments better. Whenever we take on a new bill we make sure it's something we can fit into the budget. We try to be smart about where we put our money.

Does this mean that we probably do without things that many people think are essentials? YES! Does this mean we resist buying new cars and drive older ones because we own them? YES! Does this mean we may choose not to eat out unless we have a gift card or save our personal spending money? YES! Does this mean we only update our wardrobes when necessary, and not when fashion trends try to lure us into buying for the sake of buying? Unfortunately YES!

These are by no means easy decisions. Well, I mean, they are. And they aren't. Jake and I know what we earn per month. We know what our bills are per month. We know we can't spend more per month than what we earn or we'll be in trouble. We know what kind of future we want, and the kinds of things we want our children to have. But in spite of all we know about our circumstances, it doesn't always mean that being fiscally responsible is easy. In fact sometimes it's downright hard.

Would we love to splurge more than we currently do? YES! Would we love to buy that Mustang Jake has always wanted? YES! Would we like to eat out whenever it is convenient for us? YES!
But instead of saying, "YES!" to everything, we use the dreaded "No" word. No.

I don't want to live like that man, screaming on the telephone while a tow truck loaded his vehicle to be returned to the dealership. I want to learn to be content with what I have and be a good steward of what has been given to me.

Are there things you are saying "No!" to right now that you really wish you could say "YES!" to instead? Tell us about it in the comments below so we can commiserate and encourage each other on this journey to be responsible adults.

Keep pinchin' ;-)

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