Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The cheap reality

You’ve probably heard and read more than you care to about our financial adjustments and “struggles” over the past couple years. (The word struggles makes it sound oh-so-dramatic…but I couldn’t think of another proper word, and I’m short on time.)

I’m getting better at being ok with things in their current state.  We’re actually doing better than we have been thanks to M’s new job.  But sometimes it seems like a few steps forward can’t even be celebrated before there are a couple steps back.  And 9 times out of 10 I can deal just fine.  Then there’s that one little day that catches me when I’m weak.  On those days I wish thing were different…

**I wish I could buy the fresh fruit and veggies that would help me do so much better on my healthy-eating plan.

**I wish I could splurge on a better quality cereal instead of whatever is the cheapest for the most—with the requirement ALWAYS that it’s not a “sugar cereal.”

**I wish I could afford a better type of deli meat for M’s lunches, because sometimes the difference is so evident.

**I wish I could swing through a drive thru just once in a while and get a yummy salad, already made for me, full of the veggies I do so love. (And yes, I do love veggies, for real.)

**I wish I didn’t have to put off baking chicken (the healthiest and most efficient way for me to do the big batches I do) because if I heat the house with the oven, we’ll be fighting all day to get the inside temp below 80 degrees, and that means the A/C will run nonstop all day and our electric bill will be so very high.  For chicken.

But then I feel silly.  And selfish.
~I have food.  Many people don’t have food. I want to eat healthy, but maybe I should just eat and keep my mouth shut. 
~I have a home, one that has a mortgage that is paid on time.  It has air conditioning. These are luxuries in and of themselves.
~My husband has a job.  He got a new, better-paying job while he already had a job.  He had a choice to change jobs, he wasn’t laid off.  He loves his new job, and it brings more money home than the one he wasn’t as fond of.  Maybe deli meat really isn’t the focus right now.
~I have a car—two—that are paid for. Free and clear of any debt. They run, they have nice, cold A/C.  Who cares if they are dented and dinged and each have over 215,000 miles on them? I should be more willing to drive my car to my home and eat my food in gratefulness.

I find myself so frustrated lately with those who have SO much and are not grateful or generous.  Or even those who don’t have all that much but they are totally wasteful with what they have and then whine constantly about having no money. I don’t want to be like that.  Sure, I’d love to get a hold of the checkbooks of a few people for a few days and bless the heck out of some other people, but that’s not for me to decide.  I must give where I’m able, with my time and my abilities.  Where I used to be able to write a big check, now I must be sure to look for a deed to be done or a burden to be lifted.

Yes, there are days when I feel like all our hard work—and we HAVE done hard work—isn’t yet paying off.  I miss my nicer, shinier, newer cars, but I don’t miss the payments.  I miss the extra cash in my wallet, but I don’t miss the credit card bill every month.

But we’ll get there.  We’ve come a long way.  We are willing to make the sacrifices.  But some days it’s just not as easy to do with a big ol’ smile on. 


  1. I can honestly say, I've never done without. I just don't have quite as much anymore. Mark and I "sacrifice" in order for me to be able to stay at home with Lily. Even our so-called sacrificing would be considered such a blessing by others.

    I appreciate your perspective! When I'm feeling sorry for myself because my 100,XXX mile, 10 year old van isn't "cool"...I'll think of this post!

    And on another note...I found a recipe one time for roasted chicken made in a crockpot. I didn't expect it to be any good, but I was pleasantly surprised. I rub down a chicken with herbs and throw it in the crockpot.

  2. RK...oh, how I feel your pain! Just remember...you are "living like noone else, so you get the LIVE like noone else!"

  3. hi,

    just letting everyone on my bloglist now that i have a new site now- http://mylittlecheekymonkeys.blogspot.com/. the site henry's mommie will no longer be in use. everything has been transferred over to my new site!! hope to see you there.



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