Money is hard.
I am very privileged, and very lucky. I’ve not always been able to go out to restaurants whenever I’d like, or go on large, fancy vacations whenever I’d like, but I’ve certainly done enough of these things. I’ve also, whenever I’ve needed something big, like a car, or a bed, or a plane ticket, been able to purchase the item without worrying too much.
That’s not to say that I didn’t worry – I always worry – but, inevitably, the expenditure would be absorbed and I would go about my business. I’ve had very many safety nets, and I’ve always landed on my feet, despite the many poor financial decisions I’ve made. But now that I’ve spent most of my safety nets and most of my money on a house, and now that we’re moving across the ocean and across the continent to start (mostly) over, I’m finding that, for the first time in my life, I need to be more responsible with my money. I need to pay attention, be careful, be thoughtful.
The problem with money is that, if you ignore it, it goes away.
Right now, our expenditures match my take-home pay, meaning that there’s not much in the way of wiggle room. As we get settled and can attack our spending again, this will change, and we’ll start pulling ahead again. I know this to be true. However, we still have to pay taxes, buy new bikes, and buy a used car. These aren’t small items, and they will delay my goal of attacking our debts. Which means that they’ll also delay my retirement.
I’ve been very lucky. I guess, when I say that money is hard, I mean that reining in my need for ease and comfort is hard. I think many people understand this – if you’re faced with a restriction, it’s not unusual to immediately want to ignore it and do as you please. The next few years – decades – the rest of my life – will be a journey to replace irresponsible and unhealthy desires with the things that truly make me happy – hearth and home, family and friends.
It will be difficult – but the most worthwhile things usually are.