Well, I have had some serious thinking going on the last several days. Thankfully, my darling husband was there to provide some much needed grounding and support. I am severely amped up about this job that I may start sometime this year. (It’s looking like late July, early August at this point before I get the formal offer of employment) This is the first shot at a career I’ve had since I was in the Navy 20 years ago. I’m super excited and anxious to get started.
But here’s the thing… I’ve also been feeling supremely greedy. You see, I’ve been on a binge of planning money things – retirement amounts at various years of service, what I’m going to with my paychecks once the kids are out of private school, how long it will take to pay off the car, how much more house we can get with my paycheck added in, that sort of thing. I have set myself a goal job and pay amount before I retire. It’s ambitious but doable. In the midst of all of this I have been feeling guilty because I saw all of this plotting and planning and wanting to spend as a betrayal of my green and thrifty leanings these last several years. I do want the nice house in a good school system and nice neighborhood. I have the minivan that was my dream car. I am getting all of these things that seem the epitome of rampant materialism.
Here’s the thing though, Dearest Husband pointed out that I’ve been the stay at home steward of a single income for the past 10 years. I have wanted to be frugal and keep us able to do as much as possible within that one income. I have done a good job overall. But, now there is the prospect of me earning my own money for the first time in years, and I’m excited about it. I have had a few jobs here and there for a few months at a time, but nothing lasting because it always made more sense for me to stay home rather than earn just a little bit and miss so much time with the family, or have to pay for daycare that would eat up my entire check. Now, I have the prospect of a good job – a career – in front of me, and I want all of the things that can get us.
I felt like I had abandoned the idea of enough when I started wanting a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood, and when I put us in debt for the van. And, maybe I have, but it’s really not wrong to want these things. I want a nice house, but it doesn’t need to be bigger. I still want to pay it off early and live without debt. Even a green and thrifty girl is allowed to dream of nice things. I may not need to be as thrifty as I was once we move and the kids are out of private school, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon my deal seeking life, nor am I going to start shopping for no good reason like I used to.
I got so caught up in dreaming about all of the wonderful things my income could give us that I started feeling like Scrooge MacDuck, wanting to roll around in my money (that I haven’t even made yet). It was truly causing me a lot of anxiety and grief. Hubby pointed out that it was perfectly natural for me to be excited about making some money, and to dream about how it could make our lives better. I may have gotten a bit carried away, but that was fine as well. I am not dreaming about yachts and going into debt to buy stupid stuff, I am dreaming about being able to have an emergency fund and a good retirement. These are not the dreams of an excessively greedy person. Thanks, Honey.