I know, I know. "Is it worth it?" Such a mom question.
Well, I am a mom. And, in all honesty, it's a legit question.
Granted, during your high school years it probably relates more to breaking curfew or making some other less than intelligent decision, but it really does relate to grown up life, too. More specifically, finances.
Think about it. All too often I find myself looking at my checkbook register thinking, "I spent how much on that!?" If you literally have nothing to show for spending what you earned from your hard work, chances are what you chose to purchase wasn't worth it. Sure, that's not always the case. A lot of times though, it is.
Not only do I sometimes look back at my purchases and realize I spent too much, sometimes I look back at my purchases and truly know it wasn't worth it. Even a good buy can be a bad buy if it's not something you need. Take, for instance, my husband's never-ending garage sale purchases. (I pick on him because he has the opportunity to go to more garage sales since he works nights, but I'm guilty too... shhh!) He LOVES buying Tate fun little toys at a quarter here, a dollar here, a dime here. And granted, that isn't a big deal. I don't mind it, truly. But when Tate has hundreds of toys sitting around our house that he doesn't play with, it does seem a little silly to buy him more things, even if they are cheap. Of course, on the flip side, when you have a two year old fizzling out on the whole garage sale thing and a fifty cent toy will keep him from screaming bloody murder, chances are it's most definitely worth it.
But here's the challenge-- don't look back at your purchases and think if they're worth it. Ask yourself before you buy. And don't make rash decisions either. If you can't answer right away, that doesn't necessarily mean the answer is no. It might mean you need to sleep on it.
For instance, Corey and I decided to expand our deck so there was a bit more room for our patio furniture and such. Obviously decks aren't really something you can purchase instantly, but I still made sure it wasn't something I chose to do and then the next weekend did. I processed it through my mind, figured out an approximate cost, and then made the leap. I made sure we could afford it and that it was going to make a big enough impact for the cost. I thought it through!
However, I do need to work on the smaller purchases. Trinkets for the house, clothes (espeically for Tate-- see toy story above, the clothes situation is the same!), books, and the list could go on. I need to think before I swipe! AND you should too! :)
And for another little tidbit-- just because the money is there doesn't mean that you should spend it, even if the purchase seems worth it. THINK ABOUT IT! Weigh your options.
As an example, the money Corey and I spent on the deck we could have used to do a different house project, go on a trip, or something else entirely. That was part of my thought process-- did I really want a deck first, or should I make remodeling the bathroom a higher priority? Would we have enough money for a vacation if the chance to take one arose? In the end, I thought the deck was worth it-- and I still do. Corey did AWESOME (with the help of my grandpa-- who without a doubt is the hardest working man I know) and I truly think it was a great investment.
Plus (this might be going off on yet another sidenote-- I do that a lot sometimes, sorry!), one of the great things about attempting to live below your means is having the money to spend on things like decks, vacations, and the like. Corey and I try really hard to save a good chunk of the money we bring home each week. And every month I try to put a large portion of that to paying off our lovely lump of debt, but I also think it's important to occassionally have fun. Of course, it probably wouldn't hurt to save a bit more (yet another thing for me to work on!). Granted, not everyone can do that, and don't feel guilty if you can't. I TOTALLY was there. The key if you're in that situation is, like I said before, not going into debt!
DEBT SUCKS!!!!! Sorry, but there's no other better way to put it. Corey and I could afford a lot more home remodels, trips, garage sale finds, and clothes if we didn't have that awful four letter word sucking our dollars and cents every week! We would also have a larger savings account which would make me a much happier wife and mama! :)
So, to link this all back together and wrap it up-- don't forget to ask yourself "is it worth it?" Whether it's for a tiny little garage sale purchase, a deck expansion, or even going into debt, use the brain God gave you and make sure that you're not wasting your dollars and cents!
P.S. I looked back at my past posts-- and a lot of them follow this same theme... apparently I'm not good at remember what I write about in the past... and this is a real issue for me! I promise the next post will be a completely different topic-- any suggestions let me know! :)