Tuesday 11 March 2014

We Need More People To Say "We Just Can't Afford That!"

We love budgeting. Weird as it may be, it's true. I wish everyone had a budget just so that they could have as much fun as I do at the end of the month!  But I know as well as you that it's fun to be on a budget as long as it's not really affecting you too much.  Once you start having to give up things you really enjoy - dinner out with your spouse, coffee with friends, new clothes for your kids, expensive groceries - it sorta takes the fun out of it, doesn't it?

On top of that, it's not very cool to be frugal.  It's not even trendy to save money.  What's trendy is to get the things you want...right away!  To not worry about money!  To live like there's no tomorrow!  To just loosen up a little and have some fun - YOLO! :)

And its because of a cultural mentality like that, that we end up with images like this:  

The US national debt in 1791 was 75 million, now it goes up by that much ever hour (source). Total student loan debt has exceeded 1 trillion dollars (source). For houses that have credit card debt, the average credit card debt is $15,779. Mortgage lenders in America have more equity in homes than the American people do (source).  We can't afford our homes, cars, school or stuff. 

(original photo source)

So what's the solution?  For starters, we need more people to be honest and say "We just can't afford that". Imagine the freedom!?  Instead of all the worry and excuses about what to say to people, we'd just tell them to truth!  And then maybe they'd feel better about doing the same, and everyone will start making wiser financial choices.  

To inspire you, here's a list of a few of the things we "just can't afford" right now:
  • a vacation
  • restaurant date nights
  • a second car (or a minivan)
  • organic free-range meat
  • a house (we rent)
  • cute new baby clothes
So the next time someone asks you to do/go/buy something that you shouldn't, instead of beating around the bush, take a deep breath and tell them the truth - we just can't afford that right now!

Are you with me?!  What's on your list?

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  1. Awesome post Stephanie!
    We could use a few politicians who tell us the truth as well, instead of trying to buy votes by spending money they do not have... and putting whole countries into debt and ruining the economy.

  2. Restaurant date nights are one for us too - as well as new clothes that aren't an absolutely necessity.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I realized recently what a blessing it is to prepare and have home cooked meals - its easy to take for granted, or even seem like a burden, and yet so many people are not so blessed.

  3. I couldn't agree more...if we all learned to so no more, the national debt wouldn't be so high! Learning to determine if something new is a "want" or a "need" goes a long way to figuring out if we can really afford something new. Great post!

    1. Thanks Tracy! And it is so easy to just assume many of our "wants" are "needs" if we don't think about it!

  4. Thank you so much for this! Your list looks identical to mine :) The one I have the most trouble with recently is the house. We have been married 13 years, have 4 kids and have always owned. Until last year when we had a financial crisis, had to sell our home before we lost it (I am so thankful that it sold!) and now we are renting. We are in recovery mode right now and have changed A LOT of our habits so that if we ever experience crisis like that again, we won't fall as hard, but I have really been struggling with the fact that we are renting and don't have our own home right now. It's feels odd to me, like I just can't settle in and feel at home because it's not "mine." I feel like everyone else I know "owns" their own home, so it really helped me to hear from another family that rents right now.

    1. Rae! Thank you for YOUR comments! We are similarly surrounded by young married couples who "own" their homes. I have actually found a lot of benefits to renting, one of which is that Andrew has to spend less time on house maintenance, and so gets more time with us! :) I saw that you just started blogging - look forward to reading more from you! :)

  5. I loved this!! After just adopting our little boy last July, we were left broke. Health issues with him and the constant break down of things kept us broke. We even had to say we couldn't afford Christmas. Our six year old has actually grown so much from this and looks at things in a brand new light!

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