One thing I have learned is that life is too short to be living it for someone else. I spent a lot of time trying to impress other people. I wanted to have a great car, a big house, and to look perfect. Granted, having nice things is a good thing to strive for, but when it puts you at risk, it is not what you need.
For years it has been a struggle financially. We made car payments that would equal a mortgage payment. We paid daycare that would equal a mortgage payment. We paid rent that would equal a mortgage payment. All of that and we had nothing to show for it.
Every one of the kids birthdays we struggled to get them gifts. It was always last minute and we always missed paying a bill because of it. We felt guilty and we felt like we were failing as parents and adults.
This year is different. It is my oldest's 7th birthday. I have all the gifts purchased, even the wrapping paper. We decided that we would take her and a few friends to the movies to celebrate, instead of having a huge party. The past two years we had a big party and we went to Great Wolf Lodge for a few days. It put us in the whole big time. To know that we made responsible decisions this year brings tears to my eyes.
On top of being on top of the birthday thing, we were able to pay off a BIG bill hanging over our heads. We actually paid it off ten days earlier than what we had laid out to pay. Having it paid off means we will be able to tackle other bills and steadily save for a house. YES A HOUSE!
Once we stopped trying to live life like everyone else, we found that we were happier. The things we have are ours. They can't be taken away from us.
I don't apologize for having a 16 year old truck or a 10 year old car. I say, hey, isn't it neat? They are ours!
I have a friend who is in a hard place. She is where we were not too long ago. It is hard waking up every day wondering when the bank will come and take all of our stuff. There is no security. You are stressing all of the time. I wish I could give her some hope. I wish I could help her. But in reality, there is nothing that I can do. It has to be something she does. I am here for her. I love her no matter what. I hope she takes a little of what I have been through and finds peace in her own life.
Don't be afraid to live like life yourself. Other's may look like they are doing great, but are they really? Are they living life in a reality that will come crashing down around them? Are they on the verge of losing everything? You just do not know. So live like yourself. Live within YOUR means, not someone else's.