How long are you willing to wait to save a few bucks? I’ve been asking myself that lately. I was ready to paint the boys’ bedroom in July, before school started. Except my home repair envelope was empty. I hosted a garage sale in August and earned enough money to buy paint if it’s on sale.
That sale is supposed to happen this Labor Day Weekend. By waiting I’ll save around $40. Waiting also means I could either move the boys out of their room until I leisurely finish it; This would displace them while they are trying to get good sleep and be organized for going to school, OR I could push myself and paint their room and put it back together over the 3 day weekend.
The pushing sounded like a good plan a month ago, before I knew how much other fun we’d have opportunities for this weekend. It’s going to be a blast of family experiences with some little pockets of time for painting smooshed in. I’ll need to be efficient.
I’m still feeling optimistic though. I took the popcorn ceiling removal, skim coating and ceiling painting off the schedule this time. I decided I could do that part later. Maybe NEXT summer so they aren’t disrupted during the school year.
I’m optimistic because I’m thinking about all the ways I can bribe my teenagers to help with the painting. My first plan is try the Tom Sawyer method and to make it so much fun that they can’t stay away. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to try candy…and then money. If all that fails I’ll remind them of the hours of labor it took to bring them into the world. That should do it.
Living debt free can be hard. Sometimes we wait for things or do without. We make hard decisions about what we can and can’t do. Sometimes we face criticism of friends and family. It’s hardest when we see other people enjoying the immediate gratification of debt, while we wait. Since we aren’t there for their private moments when the consequences of debt are felt, it’s hard to remember they still exist.
It’s impossible to rightly judge another person’s choices unless we are there, loving their family as much as they do and knowing every detail of their income and expenses. We can’t really know what we would do in their shoes without being in them.
Recently I had to make a tough financial decision that made some friends close to me question my faith. The decision was painful, but the criticism was more painful. They thought I should move ahead and commit to something that I couldn’t pay and trust that the money would come. Since the money wasn’t there, we chose to live within our means.
As hard as waiting and doing without can be, living with debt is WORSE. It’s a panic that is there all the time. An awful feeling that becomes so familiar you don’t realize it’s there until it’s gone. We choose freedom.
That’s why we wait.