The idea is pretty simple, yet it's SO hard to really live by this. We live in an age where consumerism is constantly shoved down our throats. Think about it. You watch T.V., commercials come on, and it's "buy this" "buy that". Same with the web, radio, and just driving around. Think of all the billboards telling you what you "need"! Do we really need all these things to be happy? Or, is it possible that we are actually becoming a slave to our possessions?
Here's an example. Facebook. It can be such a great thing! Really! A way to connect with our family, and friends. But what else do you see on facebook? One thing that stands out to me, is what people show off. And I will be the first to say I have done it a number of times! My husband bought me a beautiful necklace last Valentine's day, and BOOM, off to Facebook land to show it off. Now, I'm not saying never buy someone you love a gift, and never let on that you like receiving gifts. What I'm saying, is, sometimes we are so excited about something we just got, that we want to share it with everyone. When it comes down to it, why do we do this?
I think partly, is we want to give thanks publicly to the person who gave us the gift. It's nice to be appreciated. But another thing it might convey to others, is, "neener neener neeeeeeeeener" We didn't have much when we first got married, so when we started having a little extra cash flow, it was so nice to get new things. A new T.V., a new computer, a new car, ect. You work hard, you deserve to have some things you want. But where do we draw the line? The age we live in says, we DON'T. We always need to upgrade. Bigger, better, faster, stronger... You know?
We have started to change this about ourselves. Sure, we still have things we want. Sometimes we still spend money on things we don't need, but we are trying to change that. We are turning away from all the latest and greatest, and trying to ignore it. Because when it comes down to it, is it really that important? Is it really going to make our lives better? No. It's going to cause more distractions from what's important, and it's going to keep our cash going out just as fast as it comes in. .
So, onto what I was getting at. My husband and I decided we are not going to bring anything into our house that we do not need, and we are going to talk about the things we bring in before we make that decision. We have debt. Car debt, house debt, and we want to climb out of it. We do OK, and we give to a lot of charities. We want to be able to do that more, too. We can't take our money with us, and in the end we don't want to be remembered by what we had, but rather what we gave.
As we are not making careless decisions with our money, we are hoping, and expecting our savings account to grow, so that we may pay off our debt. Our children are young, and now is the time to instill some good habits and lessons. We will probably never be that couple with the beautiful family photo's done every few months. We will probably never be that family who's home you envy because it is so big, and fancy. We will probably never be that family who has expensive cars, and all the latest gadgets. But we will (I hope, and pray) be that family who is happy, and loving, and gives more than they receive.
God willing, we will be able to keep the momentum going, and keep learning and opening our minds to this lifestyle.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and if you have any suggestions of your own. Please leave a comment if you feel compelled.