During one of my precious and few quiet moments today I had a revelation. I feel like God had shown me that someone I looked up to growing up caused me to believe that life isn't worth living if you don't have a prestigious job, lots of money and things nicer than most people can afford. I'm certain they didn't mean to teach that mindset. I realized that many of the things I have accomplished or desired to obtain were items that were highly valued by this person or one of the things they "couldn't afford" like specific other persons could. "Must be nice, they've got it made, I wish...but it'll never happen to me". I realized the pity party they were on launched me to do two things: 1. make excuses why I couldn't do something and allow it to drag me into complacency during that season of my life and 2. make those things a priority on my bucket list as if to say "See, if I can overcome and do these so called expensive things then so can you." It was an unconscious effort to give hope but clearly in not the best way. Affordability is simply budgeting based on priorities. I was too immature to realize that then and see it for a pity party.
Fast forward to my current position...homemaker. I also realized this foundation caused me to say some of the same things during tight times in our budget though I didn't mean it in self-pity. I was simply telling my child that we couldn't afford that AND all the other things on our list including extras, treats and such. I realized that I am making them "feel" poor despite all that we have. And let me say for the record we have been very blessed with SO MUCH from our tightest times to our abundant times. I recall a couple times the kids have asked me if we were rich and poor at different times. I don't remember my exact answers but I do remember I never answered with a one word answer. I'm sure I said we were rich and explained that being rich has absolutely NOTHING to do with money. My answer was always based on how blessed we are and how we need nothing that we don't have. I have decided my answers to requests will no longer ever be because we can't afford something no matter how extravagant the request. Rather I will explain that we are choosing not to spend our money that way. I feel like using that phrase will also, hopefully, create a foundation for budgeting.