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- Whether to lease or purchase.
- Whether to buy new or used.
- Which brand and model best suits your needs.
- Which car is the best value for the price.
- What dealerships are currently running sales.
It Made More Sense When We Were Kids
We can use our $10 to buy a handful of cheap little toys, or one bigger, cooler toy. We can buy Toy A or Toy B. All we have is the money in our hand, and whatever we decide to buy with it, we’re making the choice that is the toy we want, above all others. We know that we’re giving up having those other toys in order to have this one.
A Real-Life Example (Mine)
- The ability to work at a job I cared for, because the job I hate is the only one that’s been able to let me keep up with my bills.
- A savings account/retirement fund/emergency fund. I recently read an article on how much savings you should have built up by each age in order to enjoy a fairly comfortable retirement. I’m barely 1/3 of the way towards what I should have had built up at 20, not at 31 where I am now.
- Peace of mind. Every time someone in my house gets sick…every time our cars need repairs…every time something breaks in our house, it throws me into a panic because I’m already stretched thin meeting our monthly expenses. There is no margin for error. There is no room for the unexpected.
- Stress. Because our budget is so tight, and I’m so terrified of getting into another bad situation, every financial decision I find myself faced with—whether it’s buying one brand of toilet paper over another or wondering when we can afford to fix a leaky faucet—is a major source of stress. I am frugal, first and foremost, out of a sense of fear. I hope that once my debts are paid off, I can learn to have a healthier relationship with money, but right now, it is a very broken, very tense relationship.
***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/5930043516/