It only goes so far.

I don’t know if you are like me, but I want it all.

When I say ‘all’, I mean holidays, a paid off mortgage, keep the kids going to the private school we started them at, good coffee whenever and wherever I feel like it, with a gorgeous vintage wardrobe, and all on one income. Or even better, completely self-funded.

But, here’s my reality: money only goes so far. If I have $100, I can’t buy $80 worth of groceries and a $40 dress. I have to choose; buy less groceries, or don’t buy the dress. 

And here’s what is hard: if I want to pay off my mortgage in significantly less than 25 years, then maybe I should stick to only drinking coffee at home. If we want to send our kids to this school, we might need to find a way to earn more money, and that might mean me getting a job that pays regular money. If we want to do a trip to Italy and Canada, then I might need to buy less groceries AND less dresses. 

To have the things you most want, you must sacrifice the things you least want. 

It isn’t always a money thing: it could be time, dreams, opportunities, health.  It is about deciding what is most important to you, and getting rid of the things that aren’t. Some days – and today is one of those for me – those decisions are hard. Some days, it’s easy.  Borrowing a book at the library instead of buying it: easy. Not buying too much chocolate after Easter, even though it’s cheap: reasonably easy.  Skipping the sales rack at my favourite shoe shop: hard, but fortunately not much comes up for me there anyway. Choosing how much insurance I need, with how much excess, because it is so expensive where I live: freaking difficult. Deciding what to do about school and work: worthy of procrastination because it is just too complex. 

Then I read my list, and am thankful that we have a high enough income to be able to make any of those choices!

How about you? Do find it easy to choose what to spend money on and what not to spend money on? Or do you put your head in the sand and hope that somehow the groceries and the dress will magically come to $100?