Middle Class Money

A mostly stay-at-home mom and her husband battle to defeat the debt monster in the face of daily money-hungry dragons.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No one likes to cry poor mouse

We are sitting not pretty, but not ugly financially. By working about 7 hours a week to supplement my husband's full-time job, I am able to stay home with our 13-month old daughter, pay our bills on time, and have such luxuries such as cable internet and cell phones. We have a positive net worth of $113,545. I am turning 30 this month, and DH is 31. Not too bad.

But, we still have a lot of debt: 2 car payments (totalling $21,839), 1 student loan ($16,097), and, of course, the 30-year mortgage ($187,870). And we don't like debt. At all.

So, we try to cut corners. We budget how much we spend each pay period on everything, including fun. Friends will ask us to do things, and we have to say "No" because our fun money has already been spent for that pay period. We hate to say," We don't have any money," because it just sounds bad. If we look around us, we have so much. We either sound cheap, or we sound like we over-extended ourselves. But the main reason I don't like to say we don't have the money is.... the peer pressure! The high-school peer pressure is kickin' in all over again. "We don't have the money right now," just doesn't sound cool.

It all comes down to priorities. And, sadly, prioritizing my friends. I would rather save the money so we can go out with A & B then spend it to go out with C & D. Yuck. And I like them all! I wish I could spend without conscience. Alas, I can not. We must persevere, and I'll toast them all when we retire early and move somewhere that my golf cart is my only method of transportation.

Many of our friends probably think we are just super cheap. Where is that fine line between finanically saavy and just plain old cheap? And how do you say no when people want you to do things you can't afford in your budget?


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