The Undiscovered Country…of Contentment

1 Jun

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli



Last night something very sad happened. As Hubs and I were watching something boring on TV, he turned to me and said, “I’m sorry I don’t make more money.”

I was a little stunned for a moment because I couldn’t think of what brought it up but then I just felt terrible. I told him that he makes plenty of money and that we have everything we need plus a little more. I told him the only reason he felt we don’t have enough is because at this point in our lives, everyone we interact with has more money than we do. Hubs is the lowest-ranking person in his squadron and over half of his co-workers are officers, at that. Because we’re the youngest of our friends, most of the people we know have had more time to establish themselves in a job or a career too. I reminded him that we’re actually very lucky to be able to live the way we do, even if it’s out of necessity.

I was reminded last night of how hard it is on a man’s ego when his wife wants something he can’t provide. I don’t ask for a lot but sometimes I ask if we can go out to eat and he has to say no and then not only do I feel selfish for asking but he has to feel bad about denying me. I probably should put more effort into making him feel appreciated but just as I was wrapping up my reassurance last night, something else popped into my mind.

Out of nowhere in particular, I came up with a plan that I instantly spouted off as if it was pure genius. The plan was simple and would feel extremely rewarding if we could pull it off, but it would cost us…pretty much everything we want for ourselves.

It was this: For each pay check he receives, we sit down and budget all the things we absolutely need to live on and then donate every bit that’s left over.

“You don’t want to save for a vacation anymore?” he asked.

“We’ll do things that are very, very cheap,” I said. “Like booking the hostel in Asheville for a few nights and taking day trips to the beach, or camping.”

“I don’t want to give away all our money and have something else come up.”

“Then we’ll move all the extra to our savings account until the end of the month and give it when we know we’re clear.”

And of course there are other things that we will have to consider like what we’ll do for fun and how I’ll respond when a new video game comes out that I really, really want. I’d like to try it for at least a couple months and see how we feel about our money afterward. I have a hunch that not only will we get really good at living cheaply, but that we’ll also have a better grip on how fortunate we are to have our money and what it feels like to live contently within our means (means having the most basic definition in this case).

For now, it’s something we’re thinking about and praying over and we’re beginning to look at how our budget would work this week. Will update you further as we go.


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