Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The neighbors think we sell crack out of the garage

Actual conversation:

"So, you stay a home?"
"And your husband is a firefighter?"
"Wow, how do you do it? You live in a nice house and drive an SUV. What, are you guys doing - selling crack out of the garage or something?"
"Excuse me?"

When people hear that we are not a dual income family - okay, not the norm, but not a big deal. When they see other aspects of our lives an eyebrow tends to go up. Maybe two. People tend to have this idea that if you are living on one income, especially a fire fighter's income, that you are poor, maybe cannot have some of the finer things in life, and surely should not have things that would define a dual income lifestyle. I think people just naturally assume that if you aren't making much money you can't really be living the good life.
This isn't true my friends.

It is all about choices. Do you want to eat a dinner that you will be paying for three years from now and not even recall what you had or do you want to be able to say "Hey, let's take a little out of the vacation fund and go to Washington D.C. this weekend for some fun." Do you choose to have a brand new top of the line car so you can impress people at the stoplight or would you rather have a nice emergency fund in case you have a need for quick cash?

For us it is simple - we look at it as do we choose the family or do we choose "X"? Sure it would be nice to have a nicer car but that would mean that Husband would have to work more or I would have to go to work, thus compromising our personal commitment to putting our family first. (Disclaimer here: this is just the choice for our family - by no means am I saying that if you are working that you are compromising your family.) For our family, we want them to have a parent in the home full time. Those are our beliefs and those are our choices that trump everything else.

So start to look at things as a choice and find something to compare it to. Do you choose the new red shirt or do you choose to have extra money so your kid can take soccer lessons?
It is all about choice. And you don't have to sell crack out of your garage.

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