sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers. sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think. it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)
i have learned a lot in my adult life. mostly about life-stuff that's hard to learn until it's really applicable. and one of the most valuable lessons i've learned is that if you want something, you have to earn it: you work for it and save for it before you buy it. period.
i've touched on my financial struggles before, but have never really given you the 'whole story'. i've been working on a post on that for awhile...but i want to get it just right before i share it with you. it's got important stuff in there. stuff i learned the hard way that i think can help others. so hang tight on that.
in the meantime, i'm going to tell you about my car situation. my car is a 1999 honda cr-v. i bought her (yes, i did that) almost five and a half years ago. she was quite used, but she would suit my needs. i had a budget, wanted all-wheel-drive, and she fit the bill.
i bought her at a point in my life when i was racking up credit card debt and was trying to tackle it on my own...with little success. i had gotten rid of a new car to buy my used cr-v...but after a couple years, my car was getting older and was needing a little $170 repair here and $210 repair there. most recently, it was one thing, then another, then while it was up on the lift it was clear those things were less neccesary than this other new repair.
i was feeling like a crazy person. i don't know much about how cars work (yeah, i work at a dealership...not in service!)...so it was so frustrating that the occasional repair was turning into a laundry list of crap my car needed to be safe.
it was time. time for my cr-v to go.
but since i depleted my savings trying to fix the car...how am i going to make this work?? i need a car...i can afford a payment, but don't want to if i don't have to. i'm thisclose to paying off all my debt that i want to plug away at that before i commit a monthly payment to something else too.
let me rewind a little. (just for a minute.)
when i was 15 i remember starting to get more interested in cars...mostly because the magical year of 16 was coming and i knew i'd earn my driving privledges...so i was always on the lookout for a car.
a car that i never got.
i was so disappointed. as a teenager, you're learning to gain your own independence...but if i didn't have a vehicle to get me to this wonderful world of independence...i'd surely die, right?
well, i'm still here. i made it through my teenage years without a car.
and today, i'll shout it from the rooftops:
mom & dad - thank you for not buying me a car when i was sixteen!!!!!
why so enthusiastic?
because this weekend, my parents are giving me a very generous gift.
and no, i'm not just getting a car.
i'm buying a car. (i'm buying my mom's 2006 honda cr-v.)
and she's giving me a great deal. like significantly-less-than-its-value kinda good deal.
and you know why she's doing it? (other than her unconditional love for her only child?)
because i have earned it. i have worked very, very hard. i have pinched pennies and paid off debts. i have proved to her that now is the time that i need a little break in the car department.
and i couldn't be more grateful.
so let me tell you...i may have had to wait for a 'little break in the car department' for 15 years...but considering everything i've been through and learned in those 15 years...i know this is the break i earned. (with the generosity of my parents as well!)
just think about it...
that t.v. you really want for your new apartment? it can wait until you have every dollar saved. (trust me...we did it. it feels good to save for something.)
that shopping trip to the mall with your friends? take only the extra cash you have to spend. it's not worth sacrificing your heating bill. that new pair of shoes isn't going to keep you warm in january. and isn't it about spending time with your friends anyway?
that weekend getaway you want to book on your credit card rightthisveryminute? put it off until you have actual greenbacks to pay off the charge. there are plenty of romantic things you can do without going away. you have to think creatively!
that tattoo you've drawn out and can practically see on your skin? make sure you're not sacrificing too much for a little ink. having a roof over your head is more important than decorating your body.
that new car you think you can make work with your budget? make sure you're not looking through rose-colored glasses. having something new is nice, but make sure it fits your needs (more than your wants) and you can easily budget the purchase. if you're making excuses to make it work...put it off or think about another, less expensive option. it's only temporary.
i can't express it enough: it's only temporary.
sacrifice is only temporary.
just keep telling yourself that if you're in over your head trying to crawl yourself out.
cutting back and pinching pennies is only temporary. there will be a time when you've learned your lesson...you'll have money saved...and then when you want a new t.v., or want to go shopping with your friends, or want to go on a weekend getaway with your other half, or you want that new tattoo or vehicle or whatever...
you'll have the money.
you'll have earned it.
so once again...
mom & dad - thank you for not buying me a car when i was sixteen!!!!! i didn't deserve it then.
and i'm very, very grateful now.
trust me...after years of struggling...and now years of pinching and saving...i can say i've made progress.
and i earn what i get.
the hard way.
by working hard and saving.
and you know what? it's totally worth it.
happy labor day weekend everyone!