Out of the U.S. comes a story of a couple that is raising four children on one lowly teacher’s pay of $40,000 a year. Dad says they live comfortably and are very happy. When they married they decided that mom wanted to stay home with the kids, so they set about executing a plan that would have them mortgage-free with a big fat emergency fund by the time they had their first child. They did it by living off one income—her lower one—and using all of his income for mortgage pay-down and savings.
While you might think living on one income would be the hardest part of their plan, you’d be wrong.
The toughest part: dealing with the mocking he got from people who were spending money. “Pride is sometimes a hard thing to swallow,” he’s quoted as saying. But the couple persisted, doing what was right for them and living below their means.
I’ve had this experience myself. I’ll be in a store browsing around with friends and they’ll say, “Buy it, you can afford it.” I think to myself, “No I can’t.” They assume because I make a good living I can buy whatever I pick up and look at. Perhaps I could, but then I wouldn’t have a big fat FU Account that lets me sleep so peacefully at night.
Having money tomorrow means making choices today. Sometimes other people won’t understand those choices. Sometimes they’ll roll their eyes at your, “Sorry, don’t have the money for that this week.”
I’m not sure why our peer-pressure is geared to doing us more harm than good. I do know that if you’re determined to have what you really, really want, you’ll have to turn a deaf ear to the taunts and temptations.