Financial security is one thing to strive for but when does that cross the line to decadence?
We must be prepared to sacrifice certain things in order to eat well, put a roof over our heads, clothe ourselves and pay our utility bills and medical insurance. The main thing we give up here is usually our time since we need to work in order to pay for the basics. At what point do we then start to sacrifice more of our time and other things in order to pay for the things that aren’t a necessity.
Do we really need –
- Homes larger than our needs dictate.
- Cars bigger, newer and more expensive than required.
- The latest and greatest techno gadgets.
- Cable TV.
- Beauty treatments and expensive hair styling.
- More stuff in our homes than we can possibly fully use.
- Replacing perfectly good items just because we feel like a change.
- Expensive/excessive dietary items that are likely not healthy anyway.
- Dining out on a regular basis.
- So many toys for our children that they couldn’t possibly learn to appreciate any of them.
- Expensive holidays.
- And worst of all credit card interest that accumulates from buying things we really can’t afford.
I will stop here but that list could go on forever. In order to make more money to buy life’s “luxuries” we work longer hours and something has to give…
Family:-Unfortunately and sadly the first thing to be sacrificed is time with family. There are so many double income families out there whose children are in day care on a regular basis. Some out of necessity just because of the cost of living, but there are many in this situation because they are just trying to keep up a standard of living that goes way beyond necessity.
Friends:- If we have a lack of time to spend with family it stands to reason that there isn’t going to be much time left for friends either.
Dreams:- We will often sacrifice the life we would really prefer for the one that earns us the most income. While we may be offered our dream job we would have to turn it down in preference to the one that pays more. While we might wish to start our own business we can’t afford to take the risk.
Health:- Working long hours and trying to make time for private lives and for ourselves can be very stressful and stress is not good for your health. Often on top of that our diet can suffer due to doing everything fast including food. Add lack of exercise and you have a recipe for disaster.
There are many other things we sacrifice but these are a some of the most crucial and important ones. Unfortunately modern society seems to place so much more value on professional position, qualifications and status symbols than it does on family and personal happiness.
I am sure every person reading this has fallen into this trap to some degree. Be it working too hard and sacrificing too much or just working to surround yourself with stuff you just don’t need while there are far more satisfying things you could be doing. Either way it is worth giving some serious thought, and working out what is really important to you.
Item 333 of 365 less things
5 Things I am grateful for today
- Being left to sleep in – It made up for the fact that I went to bed late
- My ebay auctions are going well – Yes I finally got around to placing them.
- I am going out to dinner and a show tonight – It will be nice to spend some time with my old work mates.
- Having had the wisdom when young to give up the trimmings in order to stay home and raise our kids – That’s not to say we didn’t make other mistakes along the way where our money and time would have been better spent.
- Liam getting out and about with his friends this weekend – He must have been getting bored sitting around the house and spending all his time with his parents.