23 May 2012

My wife and I are facing a certain time of forced austerity that will keep us from spending the money that we earn in our normal ways.  Now, we aren't by any means extravagant spenders--we rarely eat out, we don't go out to movies, we don't have expensive home theater systems or any of that.  But because we want to buy a home, we're going to face a certain amount of time during which we spend even less than normal.  And in order to be able to afford the mortgage, we're going to have to give up some of the things that we take for granted right now.

I don't think it's important to sit down and make a list of things that we'll do without.  Such a list, I believe, leads to inflexibility and probably resentment about our austerity.  And heaven knows what kind of effect it would have on me if I were stupid enough to put something like chocolate on such a list--and believe me, in a moment of unjustified optimism, I could see myself putting chocolate on the list of things I would do without.

I think the important thing for me to do is to prepare myself mentally for making small decisions every single day, and making larger decisions as time goes on.  When I go to the store and I see something really cool that I don't really need, I'll have to decide that I can do without it, even though now I tend to get such things, especially when they're on sale or on clearance.  When we have to decide whether or not we want to eat out, we'll have to ask ourselves whether we want to spend 50 or 60 dollars at a restaurant or to put that money into our account to take care of necessary payments.

No matter what, these will be simply decisions that we'll have to make.  They won't be that difficult, for we know what we really want and we know what our priorities are.  Life is like that--when we decide what we truly want, then making the decisions necessary to make that a reality is suddenly a simpler task, and making sacrifices definitely is not something that causes pain or resentment--rather, it's something that helps us to achieve the goals that we have in mind.

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