If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know that Austin and I live off of less than $1500 per month.
Life wasn’t always that luxurious though 🙂 The year we got married, we made less than $15,000 for the whole year. In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever had a tax return showing more than an income of $35,000.
Here’s the thing, I have never felt poor. I have never felt greatly “in need”.
I’m proud of the choices that we’ve made and the financial stability that we’ve created even with a low income. A big reason that I’ve never felt poor or in need is because we have an empowered view of our finances.
Change Your Financial Situation in 5 Minutes Today
If You Change How You Think about Money, You Change Your Financial Situation
Stick with me here. I know many people who make much more money than us that often complain about what they don’t have or what they’re “too poor for”.
They even say the four words that I cringe when I hear: “We Can’t Afford That”
I have tried hard to banish this phrase from my vocabulary. Why? “We can’t afford that” is a defeated phrase that makes me feel like we’re missing out.
We are not defeated. We are in control of our money. We decide how we spend it based on our priorities.
Here’s the thing: We can all afford almost anything if we really want to.
Could we afford to go on a cruise every year? Yeah.
Could we afford new smart phones and a newer car? Yeah.
Could we afford to eat out at fancy restaurants each week? Yeah.
To do all of those things, we would need to make different choices and set different priorities.
Our priority has been to stay out of debt and get Austin through college so that he could get a job that he enjoys (and that pays well). We have been focused on those goals for the last few years and how we’ve spent our money reflects that.
What are Your Priorities?
People tell me all the time that they could never live on as little as we do because the cost of living where they are is so high. I totally get that, and I try to never come across like I think people should spend how we do. It’s all about choices. In fact, when we move next week, we’ll be living in a higher cost of living area and our budget will probably go up because of it.
The point is that it’s all about choices and priorities.
You could have cheaper rent if you lived in a lower cost of living area. It’s your choice to live there. If you “can’t” move because all of your family lives nearby, that’s fine. That means that you’re choosing to make living near family a priority and your spending reflects that.
We could afford to go on more vacations, but we’ve chosen to save up a bigger emergency fund instead. Financial security and peace of mind have been a bigger priority for us than travel.
When we recognize that each of these things is our choice, it doesn’t make us the victim of what we can’t afford. It empowers us to believe in our choices and see what’s important to us.
Even when our income was crazy low and we were barely making it, I was saving every penny I could to pay off the little bit of debt that we had. We could have chosen to buy a nicer car and have car payments or buy expensive clothing. Obviously, that would have been a pretty stupid choice and we might not have been able to pay our rent if we had done that, but I’ve seen people who make those bad decisions because of where their priorities are.
If you change how you think about money, you change your financial situation.
Look at how you’re spending your money and you’ll see your priorities. If you truly have different priorities, then maybe it’s time to make some changes to your spending and create a budget to make different things happen in your life.
I don’t want to think about what I can’t afford. I want to choose how I spend my money because I’m in control of it. I can choose to work harder to make more money or I could choose to move in with family to afford travel or a snazzy car. The point is, it’s my choice.
I want you to feel empowered in how you think about your finances. I want you to know your priorities and choose how to spend your money because of those priorities. What do you think?
⇒ Do you ever catch yourself thinking “We can’t afford that”? What are your priorities with your money?
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