I was doing a bit of navel gazing today.
First we had pie for breakfast (a Pi Day tradition) and went to a maple sugar festival and tromped all over hell’s half acre learning about sap and checking out tapped trees and learning how the native americans tapped the trees before the pioneers got all high-tech with their big metal pots and ball jars.
It was mostly on the drive home I was thinking. Probably because we had just gone to a fabulous, free event and then scooted in and out of the gift shop without buying anything and were on our way to have lunch out as a family. I was considering how much we (a family of five) were about to drop on lunch and thinking about the other things we could do with that money.
Ultimately I decided I didn’t care what else we could do with the money because having lunch out with my family is a special experience that does not happen often. It gives me great joy to hear them treat the staff at the restaurant with appreciation and respect. I smile and think maybe I did something right when they are able to order on their own and get exactly what they want.
Some of the money we set aside in savings was to get the brakes on the Toyota worked on and it cost less than we estimated. So the money to pay for lunch wasn’t being taken away from anything else.
Yes, I started my financial journey with Dave and the belief that to be debt-free you have to put your nose to the grindstone. I’m still excessively frugal if you popped me on a bell curve. But I will not deny my children everything on the way to my own financial freedom.
Most things? Yes. Just not everything. I found the line in the sand I will not cross, I guess.
This summer they will get new (Flea Market/Craigslist) bikes because they outgrew their old (Craigslist) bikes. Between lunch today and the bikes I could probably make a dent in another credit card.
Or could I?
If they don’t have bikes am I going to be more likely to take them somewhere to have fun that costs money? I don’t know. The world is a complex place and just because in my head I think things are going to work out a certain way that does not mean it’s written in stone. I make the best choices I can with the information I have at the time.
I had an amazing benefactor pay for my girls to attend softball this year. So you bet your sweet butt I’m going to make sure they all have helmets and bats and mitts in order to play. (I’ve already procured bats and helmets for two out of three kids. One more trip to Walmart and I’m good.) My nose may be grindstone-adjacent, but it’s certainly not ON THERE the way it would be if I were dutifully following a “beans and rice” plan.
All that to say…. I turn 40 in a few short months. I’m not looking at it as a milestone because my goals are not based on the calendar but on things happening in my home and with my family. But hey, it’s a handy little mile-marker and if Mr. Brickie goes back to work early enough it’s entirely possible I could put such a dent in the three cards left to pay off that I could actually call myself Financially Fit by Forty. I would like to, but only because I adore alliteration. The best part? If I miss my birthday and we get Financially Fit by August I can just change it to Financially fit AT Forty and still have all the alliteration I could want in the world.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I think we did it.
It is actually possible that we could be in a position to take a family vacation next February.
If nothing else, we are in a position where dreaming about taking a vacation doesn’t feel fake and pathetic.
Sometimes I still don’t believe it. How close we are to being normal people instead of food pantry people. A family that can go out to lunch once in a while and it’s not going to keep us from sleeping tonight because we are afraid it was a life-sinking bad idea.
Maybe….just maybe….I can get a new cell phone this Black Friday. My iPhone 4s (from back when I had the AT&T subsidy and a job that allowed me to afford an iPhone) is acting sketchy as hell. But since I’m with Net10 (prepaid, awesome) I have to bring a paid-in-full phone to the table. Last year they had an iPhone 5c half price for Black Friday.
I kind of want a Windows phone but hey, I’ll probably take what I can get as long as it has updated specs and a decent camera.
See? I can actually dream about saving for big purchases in the future and it doesn’t sound like a total pipe dream!!
That feeling of surprise that it’s me thinking such positive thoughts just does not get old.