Whenever a new year starts, Brandon (the hubster) and I tend to participate in a spiritual activity to help us reboot and re-focus. This year, it’s the 21 day Daniel fast. Aside from avoiding certain foods, we are writing in journals daily, praying and getting in some personal worship time with God. This is day two and I am feeling very positive about it so far. At first, avoiding sugar, fried food, meat and dairy seemed difficult but we’ve found some good solutions. I didn’t realize how many products contained added sugars, bleached wheat or chemicals (like tortillas, salad dressing and even some canned fruits). It’s no wonder people have so many health issues these days. There are so many junk foods out there disguised as healthy choices that it’s ridiculous.
Brandon and I are about to purchase our first couch together. We’ve been married for three years now but have yet to buy living room furniture. When we first got married, we had our bedroom furniture and two lawn chairs. That was it. Then, a friend gave us a dining room set which we used for about a year and a half. Once we moved to Texas, we got rid of that and the lawn chairs and upgraded to two nice chairs from Target. After that, Brandon and I acquired our own work desks. Mine sits where most people would place a dining room table, right next to the kitchen. Brandon’s desk, along with our small book case and a few other do-dads, occupies the second bedroom. We are excited to get more furniture but we also want to keep things minimal to keep the living room uncluttered.
For those in current shock, no, we aren’t poor. We aren’t struggling or on any type of assistance. We live a minimalist lifestyle. Instead of furniture, we focused on getting our finances in order first. When our car died, we started taking the bus. Eventually we will get another one but not by paying for the car twice after applying interest to the price. We are saving up the old fashioned way. In the meantime, taking the bus has given us the chance to get outside more and walk often. The media, retailers and peers make you think that you need things hanging on the walls and taking up floor space to survive. But should you have a yard sale, you almost have to give that stuff away. The hard truth is, that stuff is junk cluttering up your home. You’ll end up spending more time and money taking care of things that add no real value to your life if you buy into that mindset. It’s ok to want those things, but realize that life still goes on whether your home is full of stuff or not.
I don’t think people understand the difference between want and need these days. As soon as some people walk into our apartment, or realize that we don’t own a car, they start giving us a bunch of ways that we can go out and buy something to ‘fix our problem’. They think, you must be living a really tough life not to have certain things that you ‘need‘. But no one needs half of the things they purchase. They want these things, because someone said, this is hip, you need this to be cool or to function. The first thing that pops out of people’s mouths is that we can finance a bunch of items so we can get them now. My question for them, and perhaps someone reading this, is why do we need to get them now, this moment?
Brandon and I are on a debt free financial plan that involves paying off all current debt and not gaining new debt. People think credit is the only way to go, but cash still works. You don’t need to worry about credit scores when you have the money to buy it right out. As a bonus, you won’t end up paying thousands more in interest which means keeping that amount in your pocket or savings. (And before you start, yes, there are programs that allow you to buy property and cars with the full cash amounts instead of credit.) Finances are the number one stated cause of divorces in the U.S. hence, we are opting to get our money right as we build our relationship together.